Will Trump’s Denial Melt Away?
While in the face of the rapid climate change many politicians and other decision-making bodies have remained quite lethargic — or even infamously hostile — about the subject, more and more ordinary people of various backgrounds are coming together to think about what can be done. To deliver a statement and a warning — we don’t have much time left to save the life on our planet, and the future of humanity itself. No political representative has the right to gamble it all away.
Donald Trump’s stances on climate crisis, topped with the retreat from the Paris agreement, was a call to action for many environmentally-conscious individuals. One such group of individuals is The Melting Ice Association from Finland.
The Association consists of creatives and communication specialist who are passionate about environmental and political issues. To draw attention to climate change and the accelerating process of Arctic meltdown, they have come up with an amusing and eerie project called Trumpmore.
We all know about Mount Rushmore. Now, imagine a giant Rushmore-like sculpture of president Trump, made out of the rapidly-melting Arctic ice. If Mount Rushmore represents “key themes of (US) the nation’s history.”, then Project Trumpmore will surely represent the key theme of our times — climate change and denial of it.
We had an opportunity to talk to Nicolas Prieto, spokesman for the project. He gave us some interesting insight into the Project Trumpmore and the ideas it stems from.
First of all, we have to say that Project Trumpmore is really clever. Donald Trump has become a global symbol of defying and denying all the scientific evidence about climate change. Project Trumpmore plays on the grandiosity so characteristic of his entire presidency, giving it an ironic environmentally-conscious twist. Tell us — how was this great idea born?
Nicolas: [Our teammate] Aleksi had been working on different ideas about president Donald Trump’s political and environmental decisions. One day, he was having a drink when some ice melted in his glass, and that sparked the idea. We got working on the it, and eventually that led to the current situation.
You have gone fully public with your idea. Your website, projecttrumpmore.com is up and running. How has the feedback been so far?
Nicolas: The feedback has been overwhelming. People genuinely want to help in different ways and, in general, the idea has been received well.
You are still in search of a suitable location. How does a perfect spot for Trumpmore look like? What should be its main features?
Nicolas: The perfect spot would be in the Arctic — on the ice cap — in order to emphasize the symbolics of the project. We have envisaged a wall of ice that would be around 50 meters (around 160 ft) with a plateau in front of it. A steady ground in front of the plateau would make the construction easier because we could use lifts more easily.
We have also received some other suggestions for locations and we will look into them too.
Who are the artists you will be working with on the Trumpmore itself?
Nicolas: We’ll be collaborating with the ice sculptor Anssi Kuosa (http://www.icemagic.fi/en), who would work with a Mongolian crew and who has done projects like this one before. We’ve done the design ourselves, but lately we have been contacted with many suggestions, so the time will tell if we can choose from a few of them.
The Arctic ice is melting in an alarming rate. The ice caps have melted faster in last 20 years than in the last 10000 years (http://www.dw.com/en/polar-ice-sheets-melting-faster-than-ever/a-16432199). Does utilizing such a process for your artivism leaves you with a bitter-sweet feeling? Because the melting of Trumpmore should be the peak of your project, and at the same time a is sign of rapid, rampant climate change…
Nicolas: Obviously. Our long term hope is that the monument will work as a symbol of environmental revolution, of the fight against climate change. Multitudes could become interested in the cause and that should resonate with our leaders and politicians so that the environment would be taken into account in all decision making. It’s not about the individual — you or me — but it is the political decision making that can actually make a difference.
We have noticed that Trumpmore has also come to the attention of climate denialitsts (https://wattsupwiththat.com/2018/05/02/mt-trumpmore-eco-group-seeks-money-to-carve-trumps-face-into-glacier/ ) and is already recieving a lot of comments among them. Do you believe there is still a way of communicating with that group? How do you believe your project might help them wake up from their fantasy in which the scientists and the environmentalists “are making up” climate change?
Nicolas: To be honest, we haven’t had the time to look into it in detail. Often people only believe the things that they see with their own eyes. Maybe that could convince some. But then again, if people show interest in this, it means they are at least thinking of it — and in my book that is already a win!
Besides being a symbol of climate and science denial, Donald Trump has been described as narcissistic numerous times. Will Trumpmore be able to deliver the message as his face starts melting away, or will it just provide more narcissistic supply for him? It is a wild guess, but what do you think?
Nicolas: The various symbolic meanings are there to everyone to see. The US are a world leader in politics. Trump’s decision making and policies are the reasons why he was selected. I want to reiterate that this is a global issue and there is so much to be done everywhere. Also here in Finland — we should be doing so much more.
While climate change in some part of the globe is still tolerable enough to ignore, in the far North it has been rather drastic. Coming from Finland, perhaps you can tell us how has your environment changed in the last decade?
Nicolas: As a result of climate change, Finland’s temperatures have been on the rise, rainfall has increased, and snow cover duration has shortened. According to the calculations, the winter climate seems to be changing more than the summer climate. Maybe the romantic in me is reminiscing about the snowy winters of my childhood, but fortunately we still get plenty of snow.
But this is a global problem. Climate change involves each of us and all aspects of life in this planet. Our ecosystem just can’t bear our current pace. In president Macron’s words: “There is no Planet B”.
In your opinion, is there a way out of the crisis we are facing? What are your hopes? In two sentences, tell us the best-case and the worst-case scenario you have imagined.
Nicolas: Best case — people will wake up and our leaders will work together against climate change. Worst case — nobody cares and doing nothing will accelerate the destruction of the planet for future generations.
In the end, tell us how people can help Trumpmore come to life?
Nicolas: At this point we hope that people will follow us on our social media channels, including our web page, to keep up on the possible updates!
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