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Climate change, bikinis, climate change, bikinis

Written By: - Date published: 10:19 pm, July 14th, 2010 - 16 comments
Categories: blogs, climate change, Environment, Media - Tags:

Guardian blogger, Leo Hickman, examines what it takes to sell the climate change message. The July-August issue of Up Here magazine features 10 women posing in their swimwear in the Canadian wilderness to ‘raise awareness’ of climate change. Leo Hickman says of the bikinis:

Well, it got your attention, otherwise you wouldn’t be reading this now. And that was precisely the point, claim the editors.

Up Here, a Canadian magazine focused on “northern culture, lifestyle, arts and travel”, has produced a climate-change special this month featuring its first-ever swimsuit photo spread. Ten women are snapped in their swimwear posing in the Canadian wilderness. And it’s all in the name of, er, raising awareness about the threat climate change presents to Canada’s northern landscapes. The magazine explains its logic in the editor’s introduction:

It wasn’t long ago that you’d never see a bikini up north. But if our territories keep warming a degree per decade, swimsuits will one day replace parkas. What may be jarring now won’t be jarring soon.

Speaking to the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, Aaron Spitzer, Up Here’s editor, added: “We are always, as communicators, striving to come up with some new way to grab people.”

Strangely compelling…

16 comments on “Climate change, bikinis, climate change, bikinis ”

  1. butnahyeahnah 1

    How about we tackle the fact that any global climate change happens as a direct result of uncontrolled population expansion and that any attempt to address “man made climate change” with out raising and dealing with this issue is not only hollow, but leads people down the garden path of distraction?

    • Zorr 1.1

      How about we just tackle climate change, full stop? Population growth is a part of the greater issue but by choosing to raise it as a single issue is exactly what you are claiming to want to stop – the focusing on only one part of the issue while ignoring others. I don’t think you will find anyone who is about finding a solution to the issue stating that population isn’t a concern – but we deal with the situation we have, not the situation we wish we had. The timeline we are looking at is over the next, what, 20-40 years as far as taking action (if not sooner) – what do you want us to do? Draw straws?

      • ZombieBusiness 1.1.1

        Oil is energy dense, new oil reserves are not being found, peak oil is here
        or will be soon. What does this mean? Well if you want to raise a seawall
        because of rising seas then you have to use oil in big bulldozers. Which
        will now cost more, now a barrel of oil cost more that $70 and when the
        world economy gets going again $100?

        But wait its worse! Many of the impacts of pollution don’t show up
        immediately, and only when the abatement of pollution become uneconomic
        due to the energy resource running down, that we start becoming concerned.
        Because cleaning up pollution costs megadollars, look at New Orleans,
        or the Mexica Gulf spill. Its costs more now to clean up than it did 10 years ago!
        And in 10 years it will be cheaper to let it the oil degrade naturally!
        And I’m not saying more in finance money, I’m talking in oil barrel money.

        So economies that grew did so because new oil reserves came on tap, allow
        more people to have cars, have lavish lifestyles, grow more motorways for
        yet more cars. But wait! No more growth will come from more oil since
        all major reserves have been in production for years, our growth has to come
        using oil more efficiently! But it won’t be enough, because out sprawling
        surburbs were costed by people driving in car running oil at cheap oil prices!

        The only reason corparates are finally taking climate change seriously is
        because the money is in doing more with less, bringing alternative energy to
        the market. But it will never be enough, since it takes energy to pull
        rocks out of the ground and turn them into cars. You see pollution isn’t
        the only phenomia you start costing to much when peak oil is hit! Its our whole
        way we waste energy, and its not until the oil peaks do we see how
        utterly over populated we are! And we were not going to see the
        tipping point until we passed it. And its not just climate change,
        excessive population, oil peak, its one whole majestic kluster-up.
        The way we work, we live, we do everything is wrongly costed,
        wrongly built, prohibitively expensive by the cost of a barrel of
        oil in a decades time.

        Welcome to the tipping point.

    • Pascal's bookie 1.2

      as a direct result

      Indirect result actually. And it’s an indirect result of lots of things.

      • Butyeahbutnahyeahnah 1.2.1

        Yes Zorr, draw straws – or fill as many brown countries with Depleted Uranium as possible, encircle, divide and conqcer then biggest offenders all the while pretenting that carbon emmissions have nought to do with population. (I’ll restate as a question then – can you please tell me of any enviromental f’up that doesn’t have a whole bunch of greedy people of either side of it?)
        If we had zero population growth world wide for a couple of generations we wouldn’t have this problem at all as the less people you share resources with, the longer they will last and the less pressure you put onto said system.
        If we are going to cap and trade anything, it should be peiople. Salvery is the only sytem we have invented that lasts milliena. – Full Spectrum Dominance – thats what I’m talking about, the militaries of the Anglo-Saxon 5 and their allies are already about half way through. Next all you need to do is close down open society, (give the police restrictive power and guns), while running diversions based of the three great human motivators; ‘greed, fear and apathy’.
        Spam word: implemented

    • Quay 1.3

      ‘uncontrolled population expansion’ is just one factor, but one that could be more prominent in the future. Shifting the global warming blame to poorer countries, who have current high growth rates, is what I’d call a distraction from the real issues. eg, uncontrolled industrialisation

      • Butyeahbutnahyeahnah 1.3.1

        You need a certain population density to have effective industry. Et Arcadia Ego

  2. Carol 2

    So climate change is an issue for heterosexual men to attend to? Or is it because such men are the ones responsible for global watming?

    • Lanthanide 2.1

      Sex sells, yes, but I think that women and others would still be surprised about seeing other women scantily clad in the normally-frozen north.

    • jcuknz 2.2

      Hetrosexual woman play their part too
      We can only hope that ‘nature’ in its wonderful way will cause us stupid humans to produce more gays to combat the population explosion.

      • Butyeahbutnahyeahnah 2.2.1

        The falling sperm count of the western world will probably be more prevalent in it’s affect and if it not the current economic system birthing an idiotcracy surely will.

        • jcuknz

          I you are correct Buty I would give nature the credit for both. A side note, I find it fascinating how the security words here so often seem to have a relevance to the subject under discussion 🙂

          • Macro

            The falling sperm count in Western countries is attributable to increasing estrogenic like compounds in our environment leaching from plastics. It is also causing girls to reach puberty much earlier. In some cases as early as 6 years old.

    • Bill 2.3

      “So climate change is an issue for heterosexual men to attend to?”

      Yup. Leave it to the experts. Run along now. Shoo! We’ll soon bring nature to heal.

  3. QoT 3

    I think Carol’s hit the nail on the head. If the real underlying message is “grab people’s attention” and “jarring” imagery, why are there only swimsuit-clad women? Hardly an unexpected image in any context given modern advertising …

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