As you may have noticed from, say, all the wildfires, floods and unbearably hot temperatures that we’ve been graced with this past year, and of course, yesterday’s report by the United Nations panel, climate change is no longer a futuristic, scientific discussion, but an all too real challenge facing humanity.
A new exhibition at the Steinhardt Museum of Natural History in Tel Aviv called “Global Warning: The Climate, the Crisis and Us” sets out to illustrate the climate crisis, its impact on Israel and around the world how we can all help stop its escalation.
Museum staff, scientists and experts worked together for over a year to put together the exhibit, which presents visitors with the latest scientific findings on climate change and walks them though interactive stations that highlight core issues and fundamental concepts.
A station on greenhouse gases features photos taken using high-tech equipment that highlight the levels of greenhouse gas emissions across different locations in Israel. A station on rising sea levels illustrates how water levels have changed since the Industrial Revolution in relation to the visitors’ own height.
In the station on carbon footprint, visitors can calculate the carbon footprint of their daily activities or habits using an online personal carbon footprint calculator created for the occasion.
Throughout the exhibition, its producers encourage visitors to become agents of change, explaining how the crisis can be mitigated and offering tips on how to make simple, everyday changes for the benefit of the environment.
“The museum sees great importance in exposing the data on the climate crisis and in making this burning issue accessible, despite its complexity, to the widest possible audiences in order to place it in the center of public discussion here in Israel,” says the museum’s director, Alon Sapan.
“The medium of a museum creates an opportunity to illustrate and simulate a complex reality and the processes that cause it, alongside forecasts for the future, all while considering the visitors’ experience and encouraging curiosity.”
Sapan said he hopes that this exhibit “raises questions, but that it will also offer possibilities for changing personal habits.”
The museum is part of Tel Aviv University, which recently launched the multidisciplinary Center for Climate Change Action under the auspices of the Porter School of the Environment and Earth Sciences. The center will collaborate with partners from industry, academia and government, in Israel and abroad, in an effort to develop technological solutions, raise public awareness, and promote environmental legislation and policy.