Starting this week, over 250 news publications from around the world will spread stories about the climate crisis as part of Covering Climate Now, a joint project by Columbia Journalism Review (CJR) and The Nation, to spread awareness and spark a united call for global action against climate change. As part of this initiative, CJR opened an art exhibition showing the visible effects of climate change as a warning against the media’s recent lack of climate change coverage. You can read more about Covering Climate Now and Peril & Promise‘s participation in it here.
CJR, in collaboration with Columbia University’s Earth Institute and TBWA\Chiat\Day New York, are featuring the work of renowned visual artist Joan Wong at the Foley Gallery in New York City for an immersive art exhibit called “Flood the News: Bringing the Climate Change Crisis to the Front Page.” The exhibit features the front pages of 35+ global newspapers physically treated to reflect the effects of climate change, including rising sea levels, heat waves, pollution, and declining snowpack. The distressed newspapers reflect the specific effects of global warming that will occur in that newspaper’s region. Newspapers from regions that will be affected by rising temperatures and heat waves, like Australia and Portugal, were scorched, while papers from areas affected by rising sea levels and melting glaciers, like Russia and Alaska, were treated to reflect flooding. These physical treatments were based on data from Columbia’s Earth Institute and international climate reports about the effects of the climate crisis.
As part of Covering Climate Now, the Flood the News exhibition further brings attention to the media’s recent lack of coverage on the ongoing climate crisis. Last October, the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released a special report detailing the deadly and extremely likely conditions the world would see if the average global temperature rises 2 degrees or more above pre-industrial levels. The majority of the top U.S. newspapers failed to cover the report, with only 22 of the top 50 U.S. newspapers covering the IPCC’s report on their homepages.
“The works [in the exhibition] bring to life some of the most devastating climate events in recent memory, from droughts to fires to record temperatures,” said Kyle Pope, Editor and Publisher of CJR at the opening night event for the exhibition. “The exhibit is an urgent call to action for more global coverage of climate change.”