The Iceberg

42.0 x 59.4 cm, Ink, 2021

Icebergs have long been feared by seafarers for their inconspicuous silhouette above the water, hiding an often catastrophic mass beneath. Icebergs are powerful images in history and in literature, one must look no further than the fatal end of the Titanic and Freud’s analogy to the human mind and the subconscious.

Being made of freshwater in a salty ocean, they stay afloat, showing approximately one tenth of their mass above sea level while the rest is submerged. The image of the iceberg is thus also a very apt metaphor for the current climate crisis (ICEBERG, RIGHT AHEAD!).

Popular discourse around climate change and global warming in that sense can easily be construed as the visible, inconspicuous part of it. It does not look too frightening, when you think that all it will entail is some parts of the world getting a little warmer (Why, summer all year round would be swell) and the loss of some ice sheets somewhere far away. The part that is going to sink us though, is the dangerous mass of feedback loops, run-away effects and irretrievable damages. Those ice sheets that we’re not gonna miss actually help to keep the earth cooler through the Albedo effect, and once we lose them, warming will intensify. Those same icesheets will enter the oceans en masse in the form of freshwater influx, disrupting the natural channels of circulation that the oceans move in and disrupting much needed movements of water bodies. Melting will further cause extensive release of arctic methane and formerly trapped carbon dioxide, increasing their content in the atmosphere. The worse it gets, the worse it gets. We are rapidly approaching the point where we have to pull the ship starboard, because we are not just going to get a dent, we re hitting a giant that can and will sink us.

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