In what might be the saddest postcard ever, children from all over the world have expressed the wish to stop climate change once and for all. The giant postcard was compiled from 125,000 individual postcards with drawings and messages and says, in giant letters: “#1.5°C. STOP GLOBAL WARMING. WE ARE THE FUTURE GIVE US A CHANCE.” Organised by the WAVE conservation agency in partnership with the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC), the postcard was mounted at an altitude of 3,400m on Switzerland’s melting Aletsch Glacier in hopes of stimulating a youth climate movement ahead of the upcoming COP24 global climate meeting in Poland. It has set the Guinness world record for largest postcard.
The 1.5°C refers to a report released by the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change in October, which found that the planet will likely reach the tipping point of 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels as soon as the year 2030. This means large swathes of the planet can expect more droughts, wildfires, floods and famines. In the 2015 Paris Agreement, state leaders agreed to try to keep global warming below the 2°C threshold. Anything higher than 2°C and we can kiss goodbye to the coral reefs and prepare for critical food shortages and drastic rising of ocean levels.
© Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation
The heartbreaking postcard reminds us that while many of us will still be around by the year 2030, the people who will be most affected by the imminent climate disaster are our children. To heighten the impact of this message, the SDC will create mini-versions of the postcard to be sent to critical decision-makers around the world, including participants in December’s COP24 climate change meeting: the Secretary General of the UN, the Executive Secretary of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change and select Members of Parliament from the 34 countries whose children contributed postcards. The postcards will be sent out from the highest post office in Europe, at the Jungfrau Region, aka the ‘Top of Europe’. In order to offset the irony of creating a giant wasteful postcard in protest of climate change, the organisers are reducing their eco footprint with myclimate.org.
It’s no coincidence that the postcard was displayed on a glacier in the Swiss Alps. If you’ve been paying attention to the snow reports over the last decade, or even if you’ve tried to book a ski holiday in shoulder season, you’ll have noticed that snow cover is dwindling as the years go by. Yes, we still get freak snowfalls in early autumn and late spring, but the arrogant certainty of knowing that the glacier at Tignes will be covered in snow all year long is no longer a thing. As skiers and snowboarders, we should be the first to take a look at our carbon footprints and push for eco-friendly initiatives!
Born and raised in the ski paradise of Vancouver, Canada, I learned to ski before I can remember, balancing precariously on my parents’ skis as they sailed down the hill. I started snowboarding in my teens and am now delighted to be exploring everything Europe’s ski scene has to offer!
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