Human time is movement (winter), Human time is movement (spring), Human time is movement (summer), 2019- part of Y/our future is now, Museu Serralves, Porto. Photo: Filipe Braga
Bowing my head to mourn a beautiful part of nature which has died because of human action is one of the saddest experiences. It is also a wake up call to tackle the human crisis we call a climate crisis - Mary Robinson, former President of Ireland
Detail from The glacier series, 2019 (Rótarjökull)
We desperately need leaders right now who are willing to recognize the climate emergency that we are facing and one that is getting worse with catastrophic consequences. Climate change represents the biggest human rights challenge of our time and we appeal to the Nordic heads of State to reflect this emergency and stand up to leaders who continue to suffer from a very bad case of cognitive dissonance - Kumi Naidoo, Secretary-General of Amnesty International
Detail from The glacier series, 1999 (Rótarjökull)
On Sunday, we are mourning the passing of a glacier in a ceremony of commemoration unlike any in human history. The glacier, situated north-east of Reykjavik, was known as OK, and it has melted away and is no more. This is a tragic event, not just for my fellow Icelanders, but for the entire world. Something that seemed eternal has vanished for ever – as a result of human activity and inaction.
A plaque at the site will mark this point in time. It sounds a warning, and is a call to arms, to every human being on this planet. Andri Snær Magnason, the Icelandic writer, conceived the inscription around a question to future generations: “We know what is happening and what needs to be done,” he wrote. “Only you know if we did it.”
The poignancy of this moment must not go to waste. On Monday, the prime ministers of the Nordic countries will gather in Iceland for their annual meeting, with Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel as their guest. Climate change is on the agenda. There could hardly be a more appropriate moment to take the words on the plaque to heart. To show their recognition of the gravity of the situation, the Nordic countries must jointly declare a climate emergency.
The Nordic countries have powerful shared traditions and values – of democracy, social welfare, and culture. They are all striving to shape a strong environmental profile that combines not only giving up some goods and services that we have come to take for granted, but also enacting progressive policies that encourage investment in the green innovations that will contribute to our continued prosperity.
On this sad occasion, I call on the Nordic prime ministers – Mette Frederiksen (DK), Stefan Löfven (SE), Erna Solberg (NO), Katrín Jakobsdóttir (IS), Antti Rinne (FI), Aksel V. Johannesen (Faroe Islands), Kim Kielsen (Greenland), and Katrin Sjögren (Åland) – to act. They have a moral responsibility towards the future generations of the countries they represent. They also have an opportunity to forge a coalition that will show the leadership on climate change so badly needed in the world today.
Every glacier lost reflects our inaction. Every glacier saved will be a testament to the moral courage and sense of purpose that we can muster in the face of this emergency. One day, instead of mourning the loss of more glaciers, we must be able to stand tall in celebration of their survival - Olafur Eliasson
Detail from The glacier series, 1999 (Tungnakvíslarjökull)
All of the Nordic countries comprise Arctic territories, where climate change has gone from theoretical predictions of the future to everyday reality. There is no longer any doubt that the climate in Arctic is changing markedly and rapidly. Glaciers and Ice caps are dwindling and the sea ice is shrinking, whit potentially catastrophic consequences for people throughout the world – rich or poor. The Nordic countries have a common interest and joint responsibility to protect the Arctic and act on the clear message the Arctic region sends to the world. Norden is a globally significant region and a joint action towards climate change is an opportunity for Norden to work jointly towards a common goal that transcends the sentimental cohesiveness and gives Norden a global, contemporary importance and relevance. Thus – let us jointly declare common action to limit the consequences of the current climate crisis - Minik Rosing, Prof. Globe Institute, University of Copenhagen
Detail from The glacier series, 2019 (Tungnakvíslarjökull)
Extinction rebellion would love to hear a commitment, from the leaders of all countries, that immediate and serious action will be taken to first stop the harm, and then to begin repair of our planets climate. As we mourn the destruction of the natural, beautiful world we invite everybody to join us in peaceful rebellion. Let’s raise consciousness and transform our value systems - really sit with the feeling in our hearts at this moment and appreciate what is being irreversibly destroyed... and take our opportunity to act to stop it - Clare Farell, Extinction Rebellion
Arctic tree horizon, 2019 - part of Y/our future is now, Museu Serralves, Porto. Photo: Filipe Braga
"How do you write a eulogy for a glacier? Think about it. How would you go about that, having grown up with glaciers as a geological given, a symbol of eternity? How do you say goodbye?" - Andri Snær Magnuson
A letter to the future - marks the first glacier in Iceland, Okjökull, lost to climate crisis. The former Okjökull glacier, which a century ago covered 15 sq km of mountainside in western Iceland and measured 50 metres thick, has shrunk to barely 1 sq km of ice less than 15 metres deep and lost its status as a glacier. The memorial is unveiled this weekend and is dated August 2019. It also carries the words “415ppm CO2”, referring to the record-breaking level of 415 parts per million of carbon dioxide recorded in the atmosphere in May this year