An artist encouraged people to touch these 12 pieces of ice for a very urgent reason.
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Natural Resources Defense Council

Climate change is a tricky thing to notice.

It can feel far away and at a pace too slow to notice personally.

So artist Olafur Eliasson created an icy wake-up call.

With 12 icebergs echoing the shape of a clock in Copenhagen's City Hall Square.


Marking the publication of the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's Fifth Assessment Report on Climate Change is a difficult task. One oceanographer distilled one 2,000 page piece of it into a series of 19 illustrated haikus.

But Olafur approached it in a visceral way through his installment called "Ice Watch."

Pieces of the Greenland ice sheet from the waters of a fjord were lassoed and shipped to Copenhagen.

All images from Olafur Eliasson's team, used with permission.

Then they were set in a public square next to more permanent monuments.

We're used to seeing serious, monumental works of art in public squares. By placing a circle of temporary pieces of ice there too, Olafur references the clock tower and alludes to how time is clicking away on this very pressing issue.


The public was encouraged to touch the ice in order to *feel* climate change.

Rather than the weight and permanence of a regal statue — with like a bronze figure on a horse or a fancy fountain — people were faced with massive, cold blocks of ice that melt and drip away at our touch.

"As an artist, I am interested in how we give knowledge a body," Olafur said in a statement. "What does a thought feel like, and how can felt knowledge encourage action?"

Olafur's work definitely has a different feeling than a UN report that's thousands of pages long.


"Perception and physical experience are cornerstones in art, and they may also function as tools for creating social change," Olafur said. "We are all part of the 'global we'; we must all work together to ensure a stable climate for future generations."

Art can add an intriguing dimension to a subject that, to many, can seem very dry.

What would it be like to feel climate change as a fact with our own hands? Can we feel present about the effects of fossil fuel use?

These are questions we need to ask ourselves as we continue our use of fossil fuels. Thankfully, it's art pieces like this that keep this issue in the front of minds and maybe find a way into more people's hearts.

Check out the installment in action to see how folks "feel" climate change:

When "bobcat" trended on Twitter this week, no one anticipated the unreal series of events they were about to witness. The bizarre bobcat encounter was captured on a security cam video and...well...you just have to see it. (Read the following description if you want to be prepared, or skip down to the video if you want to be surprised. I promise, it's a wild ride either way.)

In a North Carolina neighborhood that looks like a present-day Pleasantville, a man carries a cup of coffee and a plate of brownies out to his car. "Good mornin!" he calls cheerfully to a neighbor jogging by. As he sets his coffee cup on the hood of the car, he says, "I need to wash my car." Well, shucks. His wife enters the camera frame on the other side of the car.

So far, it's just about the most classic modern Americana scene imaginable. And then...

A horrifying "rrrrawwwww!" Blood-curdling screaming. Running. Panic. The man abandons the brownies, races to his wife's side of the car, then emerges with an animal in his hands. He holds the creature up like Rafiki holding up Simba, then yells in its face, "Oh my god! It's a bobcat! Oh my god!"

Then he hucks the bobcat across the yard with all his might.

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Images courtesy of John Scully, Walden University, Ingrid Scully
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Since March of 2020, over 29 million Americans have been diagnosed with COVID-19, according to the CDC. Over 540,000 have died in the United States as this unprecedented pandemic has swept the globe. And yet, by the end of 2020, it looked like science was winning: vaccines had been developed.

In celebration of the power of science we spoke to three people: an individual, a medical provider, and a vaccine scientist about how vaccines have impacted them throughout their lives. Here are their answers:

John Scully, 79, resident of Florida

Photo courtesy of John Scully

When John Scully was born, America was in the midst of an epidemic: tens of thousands of children in the United States were falling ill with paralytic poliomyelitis — otherwise known as polio, a disease that attacks the central nervous system and often leaves its victims partially or fully paralyzed.

"As kids, we were all afraid of getting polio," he says, "because if you got polio, you could end up in the dreaded iron lung and we were all terrified of those." Iron lungs were respirators that enclosed most of a person's body; people with severe cases often would end up in these respirators as they fought for their lives.

John remembers going to see matinee showings of cowboy movies on Saturdays and, before the movie, shorts would run. "Usually they showed the news," he says, "but I just remember seeing this one clip warning us about polio and it just showed all these kids in iron lungs." If kids survived the iron lung, they'd often come back to school on crutches, in leg braces, or in wheelchairs.

"We all tried to be really careful in the summer — or, as we called it back then, 'polio season,''" John says. This was because every year around Memorial Day, major outbreaks would begin to emerge and they'd spike sometime around August. People weren't really sure how the disease spread at the time, but many believed it traveled through the water. There was no cure — and every child was susceptible to getting sick with it.

"We couldn't swim in hot weather," he remembers, "and the municipal outdoor pool would close down in August."

Then, in 1954 clinical trials began for Dr. Jonas Salk's vaccine against polio and within a year, his vaccine was announced safe. "I got that vaccine at school," John says. Within two years, U.S. polio cases had dropped 85-95 percent — even before a second vaccine was developed by Dr. Albert Sabin in the 1960s. "I remember how much better things got after the vaccines came out. They changed everything," John says.

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