If guerrilla street artist Banksy ever designed a climate change campaign, it might look something like The Tideline Project.
In 2010 Canadian conservationist David Suzuki and his team gathered hundreds of discarded mussel shells from local eateries and displayed them on city lamps and light posts. Above each display, a sign was posted: “Global Warming Is Closer Than You Think.”
“Carbon dioxide fills the air, our thin layer of insulation becomes a thick heat trapping blanket,” explains the video. “This heat melts our glaciers causing sea levels to rise and landscapes to change forever. As glaciers continue to recede at record-breaking rates, world water supplies are threatened as well as the habitats of endangered species. Can you imagine your city underwater?”
Wait, an entire city underwater?
Given the state of Greenland, the mother of all ice sheets, it could happen—which is why, despite its three-year shelf life, the Tideline project is actually even more relevant today than it was back in 2010.
One of the world’s foremost authorities on all things ice, glaciologist Jason Box, recently told Mother Jones that if Greenland melts, all bets are off.
"Those who claim it's all cycles just don't understand that humans are driving the cycle right now, and for the foreseeable future," Box says. And the coastal consequences of allowing Greenland to continue it’s melting—and pour 23 feet's worth of sea level into the ocean over the coming centuries—are just staggering. "If you're the mayor of Hamburg, or Shanghai, or Philadelphia, I think it's in your job description that you think forward a century," says Box. "They're completely inundated by the year 2200."
As for Suzuki’s video, stick around until the end and watch the unsuspecting pedestrians behold the mussels.
It’s worth the wait.