Pattaya Daily News

25 August 2007 :: 15:08:51 pm 20802

Hundreds of People Strip to protest Global Warming

August 19, 2007 12:00am, hundreds of people posed naked on Switzerland‘s shrinking Aletsch glacier today for US photographer Spencer Tunick as part of a Greenpeace campaign to raise awareness of global warming. Chilling message from wear-nothing activists to do-nothing politicians.
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Parental warning: the story and pictures below contains nudity.An emergency provokes extreme responses: human beings in danger will abandon social niceties, etiquette, and the norms of acceptable behaviour to raise an alarm any way they can when lives are in danger. Today, six hundred people shed their clothes on a glacier in the Swiss Alps to bodily cry out for help against a planetary emergency: global warming.

Without clothes, the human body is vulnerable, exposed, its life or death at the whim of the elements. Global warming is stripping away our glaciers and leaving our entire planet vulnerable to extreme weather, floods, sea-level rise, global decreases in carrying capacity and agricultural production, fresh water shortages, disease and mass human dislocations.

Tunick, perched on a ladder and using a megaphone, directed nearly 600 volunteers from all over Europe and photographed them on a rocky outcrop overlooking the glacier, which is the largest in the Alps.

Later he took pictures of them standing in groups on the mass of ice and lying down. Camera crews were staged at five different points on the glacier to take photographs.

Glaciers are sensitive to climate change and have been receding since the start of the industrial age but the pace of shrinkage has accelerated in recent years.

The environmental group Greenpeace, which organised the shoot, said the aim was to “establish a symbolic relationship between the vulnerability of the melting glacier and the human body”.

The Aletsch descends around the south side of the Jungfrau mountain in the Upper Rhone Valley. Alpine glaciers have lost about one-third of their length and half their volume over the past 150 years. The Aletsch ice mass has retreated by 115 metres in the last two years alone, said Greenpeace.

Tunick has staged mass nude photo shoots in cities across the world, from Newcastle in Britain to Mexico City, where a record 18,000 people took off their clothes in the Mexican capital’s Zocalo square in May.

Speaking to Geneva’s Le Temps newspaper in an interview published before the shoot today, Tunick said his photographs were both works of art and political statements.

“I will try to treat the body on two levels. On an abstract level, as if they were flowers or stones. And on a more social level, to represent their vulnerability and humanity with regard to nature and the city and to remind people where we come from.”

Switzerland has about 1,800 glaciers and almost all of them are losing ground.

Greenpeace said if global warming continues unabated, most glaciers will disappear from the earth by 2080, leaving nothing but valleys and slopes strewn with rock debris. Over the last 150 years, alpine glaciers have reduced in size by approximately one third of their surface and half of their mass, and this melting is accelerating. The Aletsch Glacier retreated 115 meters (377 feet) in a single year from 2005 to 2006.

Reporter : PDN staff   Photo : Internet   Category : Society

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