Activists are known to do whatever it takes to get noticed, some by demonstrating, some by other means. The activist group Extinction Rebellion decided to make an important statement about climate change that would surely get noticed – they floated a typical suburban house in London’s Thames River. This dramatic action sent the UK government a strong message with an unorthodox visual imagery.
Sinking House, as it was called, was built by Rob Higgs and Katey Burak. This is just the latest in a series of high-profile actions by the activist group. Flooding has become a harsh reality around the world, causing many deaths and destructions to property. With the Tower Bridge appearing in the background, the image of the “flooding” of the home sent chills down the spines of people witnessing the event.
Stephan Harrison, head of the Climate Expert Committee, said, “We may be close to passing a tipping point for at least some of the large outlet glaciers draining the West Antarctic Ice Sheet, and this would commit us to significant sea-level rise whatever we decide in terms of reducing Greenhouse Gas Emissions.” It seems that even reducing greenhouse gas emissions at this point may not be enough to reverse the damage. Considering that the Greenland ice sheets were melting at a rate of 140,000 metric tons per second during summer, this prediction by Harrison is quite alarming. This was not supposed to happen until about 2070. It is equivalent to the capacity of about 200 River Thames.
Yet, some people just don’t get it, it all seems too abstract to comprehend. This move by the activist group was intended to open the eyes of these people. “When I hear the facts about climate change my brain can scarcely comprehend them, they are vast and scary. We wanted to make something that people can visually connect to, whilst leaning on the government and the experts to make the changes that need to be made. Until they make the big legal and financial changes, it’s very hard for people like me or you to make significant changes to protect ourselves and the world around us,” Burak and Higgs explained.
The threat of flooding is no joke, and people living in coastal areas are all too aware of the damage it causes. The recent record floods in Venice are a testament to the problems of climate change. It can happen when you least expect it, by then it may be too late.