CLIMATE CHANGE AND SNOW GLOBES
Are climate change and snow globes related? Far more than you think. Read on to know how this magical object has also been used to draw our attention to the phenomenon that is endangering our planet, our home.
On this post I show you some of the campaigns that have used snow globes to convey their messages about the need to act in the face of the different manifestations of climate change, which are becoming more and more evident every day in our lives.
The “coal” globe
In 2008, the 14th United Nations Climate Change Conference was held in Ponand (Poland). Among other issues, the forest protection in efforts to tackle climate change was approved. Greenpeace in China gave to some of their country’s representatives this “coal globe” to highlight the great impact that China had, and has, on the atmosphere pollution due to the importance of coal in its energy production. Not surprisingly, 70% of China’s energy comes from coal. Black particles replace the traditional snow, and Santa Claus warns us that “The weather outside is frightful”.
This is the name given to this “snow globe” by the creatives of Dorothy, a British Collective that wanted to do their bit against coal-fired power. It was created after the announcement in Britain of the construction of several power stations fuelled by this mineral. A limited edition of two copies made for the 15th United Nations Climate Change Conference 2009 in Copenhagen. The Christmas landscape was replaced by a detailed reproduction of one of these power plants. Again there are some unflattering black particles floating in the water.
A few years later, Dothegreenthing and WWF got in touch to Dorothy. The result was No Globe-2015, a snow globe commemorating Earth Hour that same year. We see a small town brightly lit by a coal-fired power station. The view of it is still unsettling.
The Ash Globe
Fires that ravaged Australia between 2019 and 2020 are one of the most recent manifestations of the devastating effects of climate change. Australia had already suffered fires that consumed more hectares. Fuelled by prolonged drought and high temperatures, 19-20 fires were classified as “catastrophics” and one of the worst wildfire season in the country.
At Christmas 2019 Greenpeace Australia launched the “Australia Burns“. The main piece of this campaign was the “ashes globe” created by The Works agency. Santa Claus is holding a sign “It’s beginning to look a lot like climate change“. This globe was delivered to various Australian political figures. The campaign achieved a wide repercussion since well-known celebrities such as Russell Crowe or Hugh Jackman supported it from their own social networks. Click on the image and don’t miss the video that sum up this campaign.
Polluted air snow globe
More recently, Greenpeace used a snow globe to draw the press and public attention to another problem also related to climate change: air pollution. In December 2020, following a campaign calling for action against this pollution, activists from this organisation handed a “snow globe” to Sofia mayor. The special feature is that the snow globe was filled with the dirty air of the city. According to the organisation’s data (28 November) that year Sofia was capital city with the dirtiest air in the world.
Snow globes have also been used in illustrations for different campaigns. The poster on the left (2007) is a collaboration between Greenpeace South Africa and TbwaHuntLascaris. Simple and forceful: the typical snowman in snow globes has melted; a sentence warns us “Winter: you’ll miss him when he’s gone“. This image became very popular and it’s available free of charge on some graphic resource search engines. Here you are the link to one of them.
On the right you can see a creation by Aya Abdalla for WWF about the issue temperature rising and sea levels. A cracked snow globe shows a tortoise that will soon be left without its natural habitat. WWF is asking us to help by putting an end to global warming.
Finally I have included Andrew Loakim’s work as a result of following torrential rainfall in London in 2021. Some areas of the British capital received a month’s worth of rain in a single day.
In A. Loakim work three “snowdomes” containing some of London’s best-known symbols (the Houses of Parliament, a double-decker bus, etc.) which are being washed away. Each image is reinforced by a sentence. “The ice age is coming. The sun’s zooming in“. “Engines stop running. The wheat is growing thin“. “A nuclear error. But I have no fear“. And a closing phrase “Because London is drowning and I live by the river“. A lot can be said in a few words.
So much for this entry on climate change and snow globes. I hope you liked it. It’s a little acknowledgement to all the organisations and people working for stopping climate change. And also for those who, with small actions, do their small and important bit every day. If you want to be one of them, here are some tips.
If you feel like it …
Here you’ll find other posts about snow globes that will surprise you.
The title image is a creation of QueNieve from two images. The background is a recreation of “Naked Brown Tree On Brown Surface During The Day” It’s available on Pexels. The dry tree inside the crystal ball is an image by Theperformancechiro. It’s available on Pixabay.