Climate change is a very real and present danger that’s already affecting some of New York City’s communities. President Donald Trump’s recent action to remove the United States from the Paris climate accord may hinder the country’s ability to fight this issue, but here at home, Mayor de Blasio and Governor Cuomo have stepped up. They’ve vowed to hold both the city and state accountable to the standards of the pact to lower carbon emissions, one of the major causes associated with climate change.
This is in part because New York, and New York City has a ton to lose. Camera Obscura columnist Nathan Kensinger recounts how climate change is already affecting the city:
In reality, sea-level rise and climate change are not part of some distant future version of New York City, but are already radically reshaping the urban coastline, especially in Staten Island, Queens, and Brooklyn. Here, neighborhoods like Edgemere, Oakwood Beach, and Ocean Breeze are being demolished to make way for a managed retreat from the rising waters, while in Sea Gate, Breezy Point, and Broad Channel Island, large-scale projects are underway to build coastal defenses, elevate homes, and raise streets levels.
Reducing our impact on climate change is something not just governments, but every individual can be active in. But what if we don’t do enough to curtail the irreversible impacts of climate change at this critical juncture? French filmmakers Menilmonde imagine just that in their new short film two°C, which depicts a New York City ravaged by rising waters (h/t ArchDaily).
A two-degree Celsius—or 3.6 degree Fahrenheit—change in global temperature has long been held by the scientific community as an irreversible tipping point. Though it doesn’t sound like a lot, the video depicts an eerie New York City ghost land where the Hudson and East rivers meet, where the ads of a deserted and underwater Times Square flicker for no one, and where the main concourse of Grand Central Terminal, normally alight, is submerged. It’s climate fiction visualized, and it’s scary as hell.