Melt-UN-New York 1997

Melt-UN-New York 1997

Ice figures melt as UN bickers over global warming

Thu, Jun 26, 1997, 01:00
FRANK MCDONALD
THE threat of global warning was dramatically highlighted here yesterday when Friends of the Earth placed ice sculptures in a small public park directly opposite the UN headquarters.

The artistic event with an environmental message was called "Melt!" and even before it was officially opened by the former British environment secretary, Mr John Gummer, the ice statues were melting as New York's temperature soared to 32 C.

Mounted on empty oil drums and bearing such statements as "The world's motor vehicles could form a three lane traffic jam to the moon", each ice figure contained frozen plants.

These were to represent the loss of ecosystems which may not be able to tolerate climate change. And as the statues melted at alarming speed, with rivulets of water running on to the paths, there was nothing left after three hours but dead plants.

Mr Kevin Dunnion, chairman of Friends of the Earth International, said there were some who believed "that climate change isn't happening, that it's not already upon us". The purpose of "Melt!" was to find a new way of getting its message through.

Clare Patey, the artist who devised "Melt!" in collaboration with Walter Bailey, a Brighton based sculptor, said it was "as important for people in the street to understand climate change as it is for governments to do something about it".