Credit: Kris Krug

Vancouverites assembled into a giant green footprint in Yaletown's David Lam Park on November 21, 2010, as part of the city's contribution to the 350 eARTh project ahead of UN climate meetings in Cancun, Mexico.


Vancouver leaves its footprint on the first-ever global climate art project in an effort to compel politicians heading into Cancun climate talks to take real action on climate change


One Sunday morning in November, the Vancouver Public Space Network, a group focused on preserving and celebrating public space in Vancouver, partnered with 350.org, an international organization creating a new sense of urgency in reversing climate change, to form a giant human footprint made of approximately 100 green-clad participants in Yaletown's David Lam Park. Vancouver was the only Canadian city to participate in 350 eARTh.


The installation was part of 350.org's worldwide eARTh art exhibit featuring massive, colourful displays around the world as an illustration of global unity in finding creative solutions to climate change. 350.org's name is based on the level of CO2 (350 parts per million) that scientists believe can be safely present in the atmosphere; we're currently hovering around 390.



Although satellite images could not be taken due to cloud cover, Vancouver's Kris Krug

captured the scene from a seaplane.


"Given that it was a difficult time for anyone to be out of bed on a Sunday morning during the arctic snap that hit the city, we were all very pleased to have pulled together so many great folks to take part in an iconic piece of public art," says Jaspal Marwah, event coordinator.


"Moreover, it's a piece that speaks to the weight of the climate change crisis, and one that we hope will bring more attention to Canada's role and lack of leadership in this area."


"We'd like this to mark a turning point in which we see Canada stop stalling and seize the opportunity to adopt a position of leadership in the upcoming UN climate negotiations taking place in Cancun, Mexico."



A young neon green Vancouver activist raises an umbrella against climate change. (Image: Jill MacIntyre Witt)


On the eve of the United Nations climate meetings in Cancun, Mexico, on November 28, 2010, a group of 20 cities came together through 350 eARTh to provide politicians with the will to follow through on proposed measures to protect the planet, such as The Kyoto Protocol. Participating cities included Cairo, Los Angeles, Mexico City, Reykjavik, Bejing and Mumbai.


350.org's art installation in Cancun consisted of an artificial reef made of 400 concrete casts of real people by Jason de Caires Taylor—which will also provide a coral reef habitat for marine life. When viewed from the sky, the work of art resembles a human eye to simulate the ocean watching us.



Jason deCaires Taylor's "Silent Revolution", part of the new Museo Subacuatico de Arte

in Cancun, Mexico. (Image: Jason deCaires Taylor)


“Art can convey in a different way than science the threat that climate change poses to our planet,” says 350.org founder Bill McKibben.


“The world’s best scientists have tried to wake-up politicians to the climate crisis, now we’re counting on artists to help.”



Activists brave the cold winds to create this polar bear near the Langjokull Glacier outside Reykjavik, Iceland. (Image: Christopher Lund)



3,000 New Delhi children join aerial artist Daniel Dancer in creating an actual elephant in the room. (Image: DDancer)


The face of a young girl, created In Delta del Ebro, Spain. (Image: Jorge Rodriguez-Gerada)




Michelle Kay is a citizen of the world. Aside from creative writing, she has an affinity for activism, concept art, film and choreography. Read one of Michelle's short stories here.