Monday, October 1, 2012

'Polar Cities' climate activist to work with Tuvalu on climate project

A local artist said recently that he is planning to launch a project with Tuvalu on the sidelines of a climate summit in Doha to highlight the threat of rising sea levels caused by global warming.

Danny Bloom, who visited the South Pacific island nation in mid-September to present his art video based on ''a graduation speech to the class of 2099'' at Tuvalu High School, said in a recent interview that his eco-arts video speech project has been warmly welcomed by the Tuvalu government.

“They sent a message” of willingness to jointly launch an arts project during a U.N. climate change conference set to take place in Doha Nov. 26-Dec. 7, Bloom said after meetings with top government officials in Tuvalu.

During a four-day stay in Tuvalu that began Sept. 17, Bloom set up an installation that featrured his YouTube video titled "A Virtual Graduation Speech to the Class of 2099 at Tuvalu High School."

It symbolizes the end of the world's reliance on oil and a move back toward a life of simplicity, Bloom said, adding that he is not even sure if there will be a class of 2099 at Tuvalu High School in the future.

Bloom said he wrote the speech and created the video  inspired by oil giant Royal Dutch Shell's plan to drill for oil in the Arctic.

Oil exploration causes environmental damage and continued global warming could put Tuvalu in an even more precarious situation as a result of rising sea levels, the 65-year-old climate activist with a stent in his heart said.

Governor-General Sir Iakoba Taeia Italeli of Tuvalu expressed gratitude for Bloom's concern on the issue of climate change and his efforts to draw attention to the fact that Tuvalu would be one of the first victims of a rise in sea levels as a result of global warming, and long before 2099.

“I think this kind of assistance is so important to us,” the governor-general said in a video in which he commented on Bloom's speech.

Bloom's video speech project in Tuvalu coincided with a visit to the islands by the UK's Prince William and his wife Sept. 18-19, which the activist said would help his graduation speech to the class of 2099 gain more international media attention. It already has over 10,000 hits on YouTube.

During a previous trip to Tuvalu in 2010, Bloom said that we have just 30 more generations of humankind left to turn the climate troubles around, or it's curtains for the human race. "30 more generations and I hope we can do it," he said. If not, the human species will become extinct. Bloom's "30 Generations Project" and his "Polar Cities Project" dovetail very nicely with his 2099 class graduation speech, he said.

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