Feb 5th, 2018, 04:24 PM

Zouave says: "Get Ready for Global Warming"

By Leona Caanen
Image Credit: Leona Caanen
Water levels of the Seine warn Parisians about climate change.

The snow-covered Zouave statue underneath the Pont de l'Alma bridge is drawing a lot of onlookers, as Zouave is dressed in a bright orange life vest. Foundation GoodPlanet are the ones responsible for the attention the statue is getting. The life vest, which was put up on Sunday, February 4, is accompanied by a poster that says "Get ready for Global Warming." Right now is the perfect time to draw awareness to climate change, as the Seine has recently risen to 5.84 meters or 19.2 feet, which is as tall as a large adult male giraffe. It is the second time in two years that the Seine has grown higher than its banks.

#ParisAgainstGlobalWarming is the hashtag that Foundation GoodPlanet has been using to spread their activity online. The organization uses their large social media platform to spread information about the world and how the climate is constantly changing, with their Instagram showcasing the Zouave statue. the members of the team explain how the flooding of the Seine has caused concern on the effects of climate change, not just in nature, but in civilizations as well. The significance of the Zouave statue is that, historically, it has always been a way for Parisians to measure the height of the Seine. If the water reaches the feet of Zouave, then it implies that the Seine has reached a dangerously high level.

Image Credit: Leona Caanen

The creator of the campaign is the Foundation GoodPlanet, founded by Yann Arthus-Bertrand, who seeks to raise public awareness to environmental issues, as well as enforce protection. The foundation "encourages a way of life that is more respectful of the Earth and its inhabitants." They invite, as stated on their website, for people to think about the planet they live on and the way it is constantly changing.

"[The goal is] to bring ecology into people’s hearts and conscience."

Foundation GoodPlanet is not the only organization that is eager to make a change in the environment. Besides the circa 14 organizations in France that are concerned with the well-being of our planet, there is also the input of the government. France has been placed in the "high" category of the Climate Change Performance Index (CCPI). The CCPI was formed to highlight the positive changes made in a country's energy consumption, renewable energy, and climate change policies, among others.

Image Credit: GermanWatch / Climate Change Performance Index

Both government and non-governmental organizations are working on limiting climate change. However, according to Climate Scientist Professor Myles Allen, from Oxford University, the government makes decisions too late: "The crucial thing is decisions... they get made in the aftermath of these events when minds are focused on the impacts." There is a need to preemptively act on how we treat nature so that we do not risk potentially affecting our world irreversibly.

The overflowing Seine is just one visible effect of climate change. The more we affect and alter our environment to suit our lifestyles, the worse climate change is going to get. Heat waves, overflowing rivers, tsunamis, hurricanes, and other natural disasters will occur more frequently if we do not make the necessary changes.

Like Zouave says: "Get Ready for Global Warming."

Image Credit: Foundation GoodPlanet