November 26th, 2010
10:52 PM ET

Climate activists in Iceland use art to send message

Hundreds of red tents form the shape of a polar bear in Iceland.

Polar bears are not native to Iceland. But they have been arriving on its shores as their homes melt in the North Pole, a symbol of how climate change is affecting our world.

Or at least that's how Icelandic artist Bjargey Ólafsdóttir sees it, inspiring her contribution to the world’s first global climate art project.

"350 EARTH" is a series of giant public art displays around the planet to help raise awareness about the climate crisis before the UN Climate Meetings begin Monday in Cancun, Mexico, according to the event's organizers.

Each art installation is designed to be large enough to be visible from space, and the majority of the projects are being photographed by satellites operated by a Colorado-based company, Digital Globe.

The projects are intended to show the artists' perceptions of how climate change is affecting our world and offer visions of how to can solve the crisis.

In Iceland, Ólafsdóttir collaborated with a rescue team to create a polar bear out of hundreds of red tents at the base of a melting Icelandic glacier. The image is inspired by the Nazca lines of Peru and children's drawings, and it seeks to highlight diminishing glaciers and sea ice, as well as the uncertain future polar bears face.

"Art can convey in a different way than science the threat that climate change poses to our planet,” founder and environmental author Bill McKibben said. “The world’s best scientists have tried to wake up politicians to the climate crisis; now we’re counting on artists to help."

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Filed under: Art • Climate change • Environment
soundoff (26 Responses)
  1. jus fun n games


    November 26, 2010 at 10:55 pm | Report abuse |
  2. eville ed

    That'll save us.

    November 27, 2010 at 3:53 am | Report abuse |
  3. suzanne

    Iceland is one of (if not the most) enlightened countries in the world!

    November 27, 2010 at 5:35 am | Report abuse |
    • termlimits

      Is that why they went bankrupt? Also, did Al give permission for ice drawings?

      November 27, 2010 at 9:24 am | Report abuse |
  4. John in Indy

    Cool art, unenlightened beliefs, utopianist drivel.

    November 27, 2010 at 6:13 am | Report abuse |
  5. RoboSecurityGuard

    What's wrong with wanting a utopia? No violence, disease, poverty or corruption sounds pretty nice to me. Maybe some like raising kids in a sewer, but not me. It's funny how these people aren't hurting anyone, yet their actions warrant some type of negative response from the haters in our society.

    November 27, 2010 at 8:39 am | Report abuse |
    • Ozzi

      That what the Eugenicists are working towards.

      November 27, 2010 at 3:23 pm | Report abuse |
  6. ***dude***

    Yea mon, I hate haters

    November 27, 2010 at 8:45 am | Report abuse |
  7. Nat

    So if evolution is truth...why worry...wont things just evolve...One truth exist...Their is a God in heaven...and J esus is His son :))

    November 27, 2010 at 9:07 am | Report abuse |
    • Atom

      Evolution requires hundreds of thousands to million of years, unless you are a virus (virus particles replicate/reproduce with amazing molecular speed, and have complex genetic mechanisms that encourage mutation and diversity!) Polar bears do not have millions of years. Their habitat will melt long before that.
      This online site will help clarify your misconceptions about evolutionary genetics and science:

      Please read! Lest you continue to sound ignorant!

      November 28, 2010 at 8:38 am | Report abuse |
  8. Joe from Mora

    This is not made from red TENTS – it's from red organic paint!!! check out the original website and please report accurately in the future...thank you!

    November 27, 2010 at 9:15 am | Report abuse |
  9. phil@Nat

    Yeah, why are people worried at all even in light of today's violence, epidemics, economics, earth changes, etc. EVOLUTTON insists that the strongest survive, and humans are by far the most intlligent. Right?

    November 27, 2010 at 10:04 am | Report abuse |
  10. Veritas

    @Robosecurityguard well said i agree completly. theres nothing wrong with making peaceful statements on world problems. would a protest resulting in arrests and injuries or deaths be better. this is proof that mankind is evolving away from violent solutions. nothing wrong with that. AND THE WEAK SHALL INHERIT THE EARTH!

    November 27, 2010 at 11:56 am | Report abuse |
    • Ozzi

      It's the meek, idiot.

      The spiritless shall inherit the earth.

      Sorry refuse to buy into that crap. Prefer violence and chaos, thank you.

      November 27, 2010 at 3:25 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Phil, Ohio

    Odd, the other day I read an article that said they were happy it was warming-up.
    Then go to "The Globe and Mail" and read this "Can environmentalism be saved from itself?"

    November 27, 2010 at 4:04 pm | Report abuse |
  12. evolve

    Don't worry. Evolution has everything under control. Do not be alarmed. Evolution is your best hope for the future. Everything that is occuring...from gay's to glaciers melting. It's all natural and is just part of our evolving.

    November 27, 2010 at 8:03 pm | Report abuse |
  13. MrWonderful

    Hey Ozzi. I don't mind violence as long as the person receiving the round to their dome is a degenerate. In fact I would support fully a giant world war that pitted the intelligent people against the mouth breathers. I'd rather not drag this out any further. We can have hmmmm... Keith Richards captain the stupid team and have..... Hmmmm IDK let's go with Steve Jobs or Michiu Kaku lead the smart team. We will have a world wide IQ test based draft and flip a coin to see which team gets which hemisphere. I think it would be pretty sweet. What do you think buddy?

    November 27, 2010 at 8:23 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Cesar

    I feel like fighting with somebody. Insult me, I dairy you. I double dairy you.

    November 27, 2010 at 8:32 pm | Report abuse |
  15. zzzzzz....

    Cesar you're funny. Zzzzzzzzz zzz

    November 28, 2010 at 12:16 am | Report abuse |
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