The Climate Change exhibit at the American Museum of Natural History is open now and runs until August 16, 2009. Tickets are $24 for adults (cheaper for kids, students and seniors). Check out the ANMH website for more info: www.amnh.org/exhibitions/climatechange
Read on to find out whether I think it’s an exhibit worth checking out!
Recently, I got invited to a thing last night at the American Museum of Natural History–they opened up the Climate Change exhibit and their Butterfly Sanctuary for families and media (like me!) to come check it out sans crowds. They fed us and let us have at both exhibits.
In the shadow of a dinosaur skeleton they fed us. :)
Now, if you’re wondering if it’s worth it to check out an exhibit on Climate Change, don’t doubt it–it’s worth it. Especially Climate Change which is now open at the American Museum of Natural History until August 16, 2009. Now you may be wondering how I can fairly say that since I didn’t have to pay to get in–well, just keep readin’ tough guy!
It’s easy to assume that you know everything there is to know about Global Warming and Climate Change, but have you seen what a fricken’ 1 ton piece of coal looks like in person?
Have you ever seen a timeline, right in front of you, that chronicles the temperature of the Earth from the dawn of man through to present day? This isn’t some cinematic Powerpoint presentation (not that there’s anything wrong with that)–this exhibit allows you to get up close and personal with the facts–the seemingly endless stream of facts that all point to one thing–the climate is a-changing.
Maybe you’re a naysayer or know someone who doesn’t “believe” in Climate Change. This is an exhibit for the naysayer, too–I’m a healthy skeptic myself and while I knew the evidence is overwhelming, I found all of the evidence in one exhibit to be pretty damn persuasive. I think if people are unsure or even think Al Gore’s movie is just propaganda they should check out the Climate Change exhibit at the AMNH. The amazingly long stack of evidence that Climate Change is a real and growing threat will help those on the fence get off of it.
Check it out–one of the things they have in the exhibit is a bank of three touchscreen computers that connect to one large projection screen. Each of the touchscreens allow you to work out just how much CO2 you spew into the sky due to the car you drive or the light bulbs you use or how many trees you don’t plant. As you work through your answers, they show up on the bigger projection screen in one of the three rows. The thing that I found most interesting about this part of the exhibit was, that for me, the one with the cars was useless since I don’t drive (I sold my car back in 2003 and now I’m a New York City resident). So first, I told it my commute from back, before I sold my car: 45 minutes into Hollywood and 45 back to Westwood, every day.
It told me my car and I were responsible for over 22,000 metric tons of CO2 for each year I drove. Then it asked me how much I could cut back–I told it I’d cut back to zero miles driven, the reduction in CO2 was obvious–but then, on the bigger screen in front of us, it showed us how much CO2 would NOT be in the atmosphere if everyone in America cut back to the same level:
Yeah, man–that’s right–if everyone stopped driving we’d stop nearly 1.3 billion metric tons of CO2 from getting into the air.
See, I think it’s these (not-so-)little facts that really put things into perspective.
Sure, you can sit around searching Wikipedia all night for this stuff, or you can go check these facts out in person.
There’s plenty more to see there, too–videos, murals, and an actual-size model of one metric ton of coal. There are also plenty of things for kids to be entertained and educated by, as well. They can play with little wooden ice-shelves, learn about weather patterns on cool spherical video screens (I want one of these for home!!) and check out this poor polar bear:
I actually heard one little girl ask her mom why the polar bear was sad. Turns out that as Climate Change messes with the weather, the eating habits of polar bears are being changed, too. As a result they’re moving further south in search of food and end up stumbling into areas where we humans live. I’m guessing that bear has just trashed an Inuit’s summer home (the placard wasn’t specific for what was in front of us, just saying the poor furry white guys sometimes end up in people’s trash).
There’s one last thing I want to point out to people about the Climate Change exhibit at the American Museum of Natural History, whether they go or not–it’s this picture:
That’s a chart they had on display that makes one of the most important points there is to make about Climate Change and Global Warming and oil, coal and all of this stuff.
There is not just one solution–there are several. We all need to change in many different ways. Something else to note about that great chart is that most of that stuff isn’t up to you and me to do–it falls on the doorstep of big business and government. We can’t make sure that nuclear power or renewable energy sources are used by our power companies. What we can do is contact businesses we deal with, like our electric companies, for instance, and ask where they get their power from. Is it coal? Nukes? Solar? Hydro? What? If they’re not talking alternatives, then see if you can find another supplier for your electricity.
But there’s a lot more we can all do on our own and there’s a lot more we can pressure big business and even government to do to help save the world. A fact that I wish the exhibit had included was the fact that too much pollution is created by factories, refineries, plants and even just buildings. One other note, I’m against nuclear power of any kind–it’s ultimately unsafe and if we spent the money on developing solar, hydro or wind technology, we wouldn’t ever have to worry about meltdowns. :)
But aaanyway, so it was a pretty fun exhibit. If you’re in NYC or are planning a visit sometime before August 16, 2009, and have a spare $24 per person, it’s definitely worth stopping in and hey, with that price you can check out the rest of the American Museum of Natural History while you’re there. For twice the price of a movie ticket you can get yourself some knowledge–which is probably a heckuva lot more than you’d get at the movies. ;P
But here’s a tip–if you’re not able to make it or want to get a better sense of what’s at this thing, check out the AMNH website for the Climate Change exhibit: www.amnh.org/exhibitions/climatechange
It’s got a lot of great stuff right there. Of course, it’s no match for being at the museum in person.
You can also check out my Flickr photoset here: flickr.com/photos/thepete/sets/72157609325527271/
Is it the perfect exhibit? Probably not, but pound-for-pound you really are going to get your $24 worth.
Just my Â¥2, as always!