Greenery is typically considered a sign of life. But in Antarctica, it could presage the opposite. Two flowering plants there, Antarctic Pearlwort and Antarctic Hair Grass, are growing at frightening rates—more unsettling evidence that the world is warming at unprecedented rates.
Environmental Leadership Canada and agency Zulu Alpha Kilo have seized on this phenomenon in creating “The Planet’s Scariest Bouquet,” a project that uses Antarctica’s flourishing flowers as a warning to political leaders about climate change as the COP28 environmental conference gets underway today.
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The campaign includes a real bouquet—made with replica flowers—that will appear on site at the conference in Dubai. The experience scales through a digital tool at ScariestBouquet.com that allows anyone (in Canada and beyond) to send a digital bouquet to their political leaders.
“As an organization committed to building a new generation of environmental leaders for the health of our planet, this campaign is about inspiration and action,” said Beata Rasitsan, communications director at ELC. “We want this campaign to inspire people to push for action from elected leaders. A physical bouquet of these flowers should never exist, and sending a digital bouquet shows your expectation for urgent and ambitious leadership at COP28 and beyond.”
“When the team found this insight about flowers thriving for the first time in Antarctica, we knew right away that was the story that needed to be told to the world at COP28,” said Zak Mroueh, founder and creative chairman of Zulu Alpha Kilo.
“It was frightening to think that due to changing temperatures these flowers are growing in a way they normally wouldn’t,” added Tim Gordon, chief creative officer of Zulu Alpha Kilo New York.
This month, United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres visited rapidly melting Antarctica ahead of COP28. “We are witnessing an acceleration that is absolutely devastating,” he said. “The Antarctic is waking up, and the world must wake up.”