“Antarctica… a place where it’s possible to see the splendours and immensities of the natural world at its most dramatic and, what’s more, witness them almost exactly as they were, long, long before human beings ever arrived on the surface of this planet. Long may it remain so.” ― Sir David Attenborough
Changing Course is a climate change campaign by Eco-Business, launched at the start of the ClimateForce: Antarctica 2018 expedition led by Robert Swan, a renowned British environmentalist and explorer who was the first man to walk to both North and South Poles.
Eco-Business founder and managing editor Jessica Cheam was part of a 14-day expedition to Antarctica — held from 26th February to 14 March — which aims to raise awareness about the global climate crisis and the urgent need to shift to more sustainable ways of living.
As the last pristine wilderness of our planet, Antarctica signifies both humanity’s past and future.
A giant landmass about half the size of Africa, Antarctica averages more than a mile thick, and its existence is under siege.
Rapid collapse of the Antarctic glaciers — brought about by climate change — could flood coastal cities by the end of this century. In recent years, scientists have identified marine ice-cliff instability as a feedback loop that could trigger the disintegration of the entire West Antarctic ice sheet, at a speed much quicker than previously thought.
The collapse of these giant ice sheets would spell disaster for humanity: Instead of an estimated three-foot rise in sea levels by the end of the century, scientists are predicting that six feet is more likely. And if the world continues business as usual, with carbon emissions growing at the current rates, a full 11-feet of ice locked in Antarctica could free up.
Higher tides will bury every shoreline across the globe, and flooding coastal cities could create hundreds of millions of climate refugees. This change could happen at a rate too quick for the human race to adapt.
This is why Antarctica matters.
Some 80 ambassadors from around the world was part the ClimateForce: Antarctica 2018 expedition, which took them through a leadership programme and equipped them with resources and actionable solutions to become a part of a global force for change.
As part of the campaign, Jessica and videojournalist Fraser Morton embarked on a mission to document the beauty of this inhospitable continent, its fragility, its rich ecosystems, and to tell the stories of those defending it.
A photo collection and short documentary from this journey will be the highlight of the Changing Course exhibition to be held from 1 June to 12 July at the Singapore Botanic Gardens.
At its heart is the belief in the power of media to inspire change and change the course of history.
The exhibition will feature photos that tell the story of the greatest challenge of the 21st century and humanity’s response to it.
The campaign is also in support of Singapore’s 2018 Year of Climate Action, and will also feature events in the city-state and around Asia to raise awareness and track progress on climate action.
This year-long initiative will focus on the themes of renewable energy, zero waste, natural capital and youth.
Eco-Business is launching a global photography challenge on climate action, where three winning photos will be selected for display at the Changing Course exhibition. It is also running a youth contest on Instagram, where three winning photos with the tag #changingcourse will be featured at the exhibition.
Going beyond the exhibition, Jessica and Fraser are also separately producing a documentary with Asian broadcaster Channel NewsAsia on climate change, told for the first time through an Asian lens. Channel NewsAsia is viewed in 28 territories across Asia with a satellite footprint across the Middle East, South Asia, Southeast Asia, Northeast Asia and Australia.
Jessica was selected for the expedition after winning City Developments Limited’s (CDL’s) E-Generation Challenge 2017 last November, organised in partnership with the Global Green Economic Forum. Competition participants were tasked to write a 3,000 word essay with their proposed solutions for climate change and finalists had to deliver a 20-minute presentation to a panel of distinguished judges from the sustainability sector.
Readers can also follow Jessica’s Antarctica journey on a special photo-blog, where she will be posting pictures and updates regularly. All the photographs and videos taken on this journey are shot entirely with Sony equipment.
Renewable energy partner:
This campaign is in support of: