Ex-pilot creates ‘Extinction Garden’ to show impacts of climate crisis

Ex-pilot creates ‘Extinction Garden’ to show impacts of climate crisis
‘The aircraft is one of mankind’s most notable achievements, while also contributing to climate change and now ironically to the rapid spread of Covid-19,’ says creator

A former pilot has designed an “extinction garden” at the RHS Hampton Court Palace Garden Festival in order to illustrate the consequences of the climate crisis.

The display features an array of scattered shoes, children’s toys and holiday items tumbling out of a full-size passenger jet crashed into the ground that has suitcases spilling from the smoking fuselage.

Created by Felicity O’Rourke, the garden was designed to show how the world is crashing into a destructive future due to the climate crisis.

The garden won an RHS silver medal at the garden festival.

“The aircraft is one of mankind’s most notable achievements, while also contributing to climate change and now ironically to the rapid spread of Covid-19,” said O’Rourke.

“It addresses the sixth mass extinction threat to our planet, caused by our continual exploitation and destruction of its natural resources and ancient ecosystems.

“Climate change is not just about the extinction of the orangutans in the Asian rainforests and polar bears on the melting ice caps.

“As the recent extreme and unpredictable weather events around the globe are demonstrating, the survival of our own species is now at risk, too.”

The display features scattered clothes and suitcases.

O’Rourke went on to say how she wanted to “shock” people in realising the devastating impacts on the climate crisis with her garden.

“To see a crashed airplane instils a deep, visceral sense of loss,” she said.

“Without grief there can be no compassion – and without compassion there can be no motivation for change.”

While the garden might seem pessimistic, O’Rourke was keen to state that there is still time to prevent such devastating consequences from climate change.

“The agricultural, industrial and technology revolutions have brought huge achievements for humankind – but they have also impacted the planet adversely,” she said.

“Now the scientific revolution is giving us the ability to monitor how these ‘achievements’ have tipped the global environmental scales and threaten our future.

“The recent pandemic has highlighted our incredible capacity to change in the face of an imminent threat. We now need to tackle climate change with the same urgency.”

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