Rising sea levels have overtaken some of America’s most iconic landmarks in a series of mock travel posters released by a Boulder, Colorado-based marketing agency this week.
The project offers a dark prediction of the country’s future if U.S. lawmakers ignore climate research. Designers at Walden Hyde created the posters for purchase a few years ago and re-released them on the firm’s website for free this week in anticipation of this weekend’s nationwide March for Science.
Lucia Robinson, co-founder of Walden Hyde, designed the posters with the company’s art director, Stephanie Sizemore. She said activists are welcome to use the “fun free art” during demonstrations and hopes the project will drum up support for federal funding of climate science.
“Climate change can be a really scary topic,” Robinson said. “It’s an issue that will increasingly impact every part of our lives both environmentally and socially.”
The Environmental Protection Agency’s estimates for sea level rise by the end of the century range between 1 and 4 feet, with an uncertainty range of 0.66 to 6.6 feet. Some researchers argue that earlier predictions don’t sufficiently account for Antarctica’s melting ice and that a more accurate estimate is over 6 feet of sea level rise if greenhouse gas emissions don’t decrease.
In one poster, a kayaker paddles his way through Utah’s iconic Arches National Park, while scuba divers in another surreal scene explore a submerged Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C.
The posters may be a dramatic representation, but the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has provided a tool to map what could actually happen to our coastlines and landmarks if sea levels rise up to 6 feet.
Thousands of people are expected gather in Washington and other cities across the country during the March for Science this Saturday, which is Earth Day. Participants in the nationwide day of action will call on U.S. lawmakers to embrace and form policies based on scientific evidence.
“Climate action initiatives introduced by the Obama administration are at risk of being rolled by back right now,” said Robinson, who plans to attend Denver’s science march this weekend. “We’d like to see those left in the place, and for the U.S. to take a leadership role in climate science.”
Environmentalists have spoken out against President Donald Trump and his administration’s regressive stance on climate change. Trump has vowed to “revive” America’s coal industry and signed an executive order last month to review the Obama administration’s signature program to combat climate change.
Meanwhile, EPA head Scott Pruitt, who sued the agency he’s now running over a dozen times during his tenure as Oklahoma’s attorney general, has denied that human activity is the principal cause of climate change ― dismissing a theory that 97 percent of climate scientists agree on. Last month, Pruitt intensified his anti-science stance, claiming that carbon dioxide doesn’t play a major role in global warming.
Pruitt, along with Trump adviser Stephen Bannon, has been a driving force behind the administration’s reluctance to support the 2015 Paris climate accord, in which nearly 200 countries pledged to cut back their carbon emissions to limit global warming.
Walden Hyde called its posters a “contribution to climate science advocacy” in a statement to The Huffington Post. You can download them for free on the agency’s website.