Positive Things Going On in the World: “The Climate Clock”


January 2021

This past September, a “Climate Clock” was installed in Manhattan’s Union Square. On Saturday, September 19th, a sentence appeared on the LED screen: “Earth has a deadline.” Then a clock appeared. This installation counts down the exact years, days, hours, and minutes until climate change becomes irreversible. Pessimists refer to it as a “Doomsday Clock.” This clock was a collaboration by artists Andrew Boyd and Gan Golan, who created it as a daily reminder. They’ve stated that “This is arguably the most important number in the world and a monument is often how a society shows what’s important, what it elevates, what is at center stage.” Climate change has been an ongoing issue, and many of us have forgotten about it due to other current events. This clock serves as a reminder to everyone of the Earth’s suffering and how close we really are to the verge of Earth being beyond repair.

However, the pandemic has had somewhat of a positive influence on the planet. Since the beginning of COVID, air pollution has decreased immensely. Due to the lockdowns, quarantines, and certain restrictions, air quality has improved in various cities. In addition, there has been a reduction in water pollution. One reason for this is the decrease in travel, and therefore pollutants from vehicles. One location that has been affected is Venice, Italy. Also known as “The City of Canals,” Venice’s murky green canals have turned clear, and you can even see the fish due to the absence of boats. Earth’s ozone layer has been slowly repairing over the past ten months; the Earth is finally breathing. However, there are still many ways we can reduce our carbon footprint: use less water, only use energy when necessary, avoid taking vehicles, and recycle. Although the state of our planet has improved, Earth is approaching its deadline for irreversible climate change if we don’t act now. It’s important to remember that even the smallest changes will have lasting effects.