“On Saturday at 3:20 p.m., messages including “The Earth has a deadline” began to appear on the display. Then numbers — 7:103:15:40:07 — showed up, representing the years, days, hours, minutes and seconds until that deadline.” — The New York Times
Metronome’s digital clock in Manhattan has been reprogrammed to illustrate a critical window for action to prevent the effect of global warming from becoming universally irreversible. The clock is counting down the seconds that are left in the carbon budget, the amount of greenhouse gases that can be emitted while still having a 67% chance of keeping the world under 34.7 degrees fahrenheit of warming. It’s now plastered on the side of a building in Union Square in New York City on the Metronome, a public artwork that previously just displayed the time of day. It is absolutely ridiculous that it has gotten to the point that we have to present a timer in the middle of New York, a clock constantly ticking down until it is too late to act. Seven years is not a long time to fix the dange that has been done. We have seen warnings for centuries, we have been discussing ways to fix the issue for decades and still have done nothing, we have been constantly trying to enforce some sort of governmental act that will lead us to actually work with the damages but time after time we have been denied or ignored. Now that time is running short, we have decided to bluntly have a countdown until it is too late to create the healthy environment that not only we but the planet that we live one deserves. Climate change is not something to simply push to the side. It has affected far to many lives to continue staying out of sight, out of line. From the wealthy to those living in poverty, global warming has been damaging countless lives in various different ways and we have no one to blame but ourselves. How the weather has increased in not only intensity but as well as frequency has brought nothing but the increasing risk of conflict, poverty, and hunger. Extreme weather events such as wildfires, droughts, and hurricanes threaten the world’s food supply, separation of families, drive civilians from their homes, and jeopardizes livelihoods. And this is before even mentioning how this is affecting the wild life, marine creatures, and the animals that fly through the sky. We never should have waited this long to act, and who knows if we ever will act. Perhaps we will still continue to watch the seconds go by until the countdown is over, and then there is nothing left for us to accomplish.
“We felt a monumental challenge like this needed something monumental in scale — a monument,” says Gan Golan, a designer and artist who collaborated on the project with climate artist and activist Andrew Boyd. “And we also wanted it to be in public, something that you couldn’t push out of sight, out of mind. We wanted something that would bring public attention to the climate on a daily basis, so it’s something that we can’t ignore.” — The New York Times