What to Know About the Climate Clock


Photographer: Ben Wolf/Washington Post

As I write this article, there are currently only 7 years, 15 days, 18 hours, 5 minutes, and 3 seconds until the effects of Climate Change become irreversible. After this period of time our planet will be in a state of disaster beyond repair, in accordance with scientific findings (Research Institute on Global Commons and Climate Change (MCC) which use data from the recent IPCC Special Report on Global Warming of 1.5°C.

“The Earth has a deadline!””

This statistic, along with the many others regarding the climate crisis, should scare you and prompt you to do something. In September of this year, an installation regarding this terrifyingly timely topic was installed within close proximity. Located just one hour away in New York City’s Union Square is The Climate Clock. The metronome digital clock is displayed right along 14th street on the front of a building owned by Stephen Ross (the chairmen of Related Companies, a developer that owns one Union Square South). It is approximately 62 feet wide, contains 15 crucial digits, and displays messages such as, “The Earth has a deadline!”. This combination collectively induces a sense of urgency and fear on the passerbyers of Union Square, which is highly needed. The installation was created by a team of artists and scientists, headed by Co-Creators Gan Golan and Andrew Boyd, and is backed by evidence from the Mercator Research Institute on Global Commons and Climate Change in Berlin.

“This initiative will encourage everybody to join us in fighting for the future of our planet.””

Their goal was to create a “large-scale clock [which] was influenced in part by the DoomsDay Clock” and it is “maintained online by the bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, and by the National Debt Clock near Bryant Park in Manhattan” according to their website (https://climateclock.world); which further explains the project and contains all the scientific evidence as well. In addition to the New York City clock, there is a similar one located in Berlin, and another one set to be installed in Paris in the new year. Stephen Ross, owner of the Union Square building, has commented on the installation saying how he hopes, “This initiative will encourage everybody to join us in fighting for the future of our planet.” Perhaps we shall all take from this wisdom, and actively join and participate in the fight for not only our planet’s future, but for ours as well!

Emma Connolly pictured above, standing in front of The Climate Clock on 14th street.
Photograph of The Climate Clock taken by Emma Connolly.