August 18, 2007

Aren't They Making The Glacier Melt Faster?

Spencer Tunick has made a career out of photographing nudes en masse, both for artistic taste and for social causes. His latest effort put hundreds of naked people on a Swiss glacier to protest global warming:

Hundreds of people posed naked on Switzerland's shrinking Aletsch glacier on Saturday for U.S. photographer Spencer Tunick as part of a Greenpeace campaign to raise awareness of global warming.

Tunick, perched on a ladder and using a megaphone, directed nearly 600 volunteers from all over Europe and photographed them on a rocky outcrop overlooking the glacier, which is the largest in the Alps.

Later he took pictures of them standing in groups on the mass of ice and lying down. Camera crews were staged at five different points on the glacier to take photographs.

Greenpeace organized the event, which should surprise no one. They want to publicize the reduction of glaciers as a symptom of global warming. Greenpeace also wants to highlight the "symbolic relationship between the vulnerability of the melting glacier and the human body."

What's next? I think it's obvious. The touring show will start in the US this fall, and Greenpeace will call it "Naked Environmentalists On Ice!" At least it will get them to quit melting the ice in Switzerland.


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Comments (26)

Posted by john pearson | August 18, 2007 12:04 PM

Are you sure it's the glacier that's shrinking?

Posted by john pearson | August 18, 2007 12:07 PM

Are you sure it's the glacier that's shrinking?

Posted by john pearson | August 18, 2007 12:09 PM

Are you sure it's the glacier that's shrinking?

Posted by john pearson | August 18, 2007 12:15 PM

Are we schizophrenic?

Posted by unclesmrgol | August 18, 2007 1:30 PM

How did the 600 get to the glacier? Did they walk? This is definitely a Leonardo DiCaprio moment.

Posted by frequent flier | August 18, 2007 1:33 PM

"Naked Environmentalists on Ice?" Is that kind of like "Hitler on Ice"--the "coming soon to a theatre near you!" postscript to Mel Brooks "History of the World"? (sarcasm)

Posted by Del Dolemonte | August 18, 2007 2:10 PM

As long as they don't feature Helen Thomas.

More global warming:

PINKHAM NOTCH, N.H. (AP) - Sleet, rime ice, 72 mile per hour wind gusts and temperatures hovering around freezing this morning forced organizers to cancel a bike race up New Hampshire's tallest mountain.

Organizers said they considered postponing the 35th annual Mount Washington Auto Road Bicycle Hillclimb until tomorrow, but weather conditions weren't expected to be much better.

Posted by Roger | August 18, 2007 3:45 PM

I seem to recall that the mummified remains of a man was discovered somewhere on the Alps between Italy and Austria in the early 1990s. It was 3,000 years old. It was only discovered when the glacier that had hidden him for a few thousand years, melted. From what I recall, scientist observed that the climate was glacier free at the time the man was walking through that area 3,000 years ago. Glacier free 3,000 years ago, how could that be?

Posted by Leslein | August 18, 2007 4:36 PM

The funny thing is that research by the Jungfraujoch (at the northern end of the Aletch glacier) indicates that glacier tongues in Europe are on average at least 300 meters longer than they were in Roman times.

Posted by jaeger51 | August 18, 2007 4:39 PM

Maybe they went to the glacier because then they can use the same photos in case they decide to go back to global cooling again. Socialism by any means necessary, komrade!

Posted by chris edwards | August 18, 2007 5:33 PM

wont all those hotter than ice bodies melt more ice? do they really care? what do bodies full of left wing shit do to ice?

Posted by marc | August 18, 2007 5:44 PM

Is that Paris Hilton I see center left?

Posted by unclesmrgol | August 18, 2007 6:27 PM


It could not have been glacier-free. The man would not have been preserved "on ice" in that case.

Posted by jr565 | August 18, 2007 6:33 PM

How come these publicity stunts always end up involving naked people in photo shoots? Because whenever I think about global warming I always picture naked people on glaciers.

Isn't this kind of trivializing the issue just a bit? It reminds me of the gay pride parade they have every year in NYC. Here we are supposed to respect gay issues and gay civil rights and people are walking around in assless chaps on leashes. Ok, so obviously I should take the issue more seriously, what with all the naked people in bondage gear.

Hows about if you want to treat an issue seriously you don't resort to cheap stunts and gimmicks to get your point across.

Posted by daytrader | August 18, 2007 7:40 PM

Really look at the photo and examine it.

This naked people photo guy is hitting the edge with more and more guys per photo than gals.

Look back at his work and see the trend.

Count the gals in this foto and tell me if you get over 30.

The air is going out of his balloon and all are standing on pieces of rock that are near a glacier so what's the deal of being an impact.

So Bogus.

Posted by Scrapiron | August 18, 2007 7:50 PM

This has nothing to do with the global warming frenzy that resulted from a NASA mistake (or lie by one of their employees). It has to do with some guy conning hundreds of idiots to take off their clothes and be photo'd in the nude so he can sell the photo's to every weirdo in the world. The people make an a** (an ugly one in most cases) of themselves and the con man makes millions. Nice job if you can get it.

Posted by Mora | August 18, 2007 9:08 PM

Anyone notice how old and rippled most of those butts look? This naked picture is less a statement on the environment (and come on! Glaciers melt in August!) than it is on Europe's aging demographics. They probably had them facing backwards to spare them embarassment from their shriveled other parts, but the aging cellulite was there for all to see.

Posted by Arne Saknussen | August 19, 2007 12:54 AM

When all the local hospitals are filled with people suffering severe puncture wounds from wayward nipples, they'll be sorry.

Posted by Cooltom | August 19, 2007 1:20 AM

My comment to those who point to pictures of ice falling into the sea from glaciers is 'the reason that the icesheet calved off is that there is a big honking glacier behind it pushing it off the cliff.'

I once went to a website that was lamenting the reduced size of some of the glaciers in Glacier National Park. They showed a present day map of one in particular with an red line denoting the expanded area in 1850. In a tiny footnote they mentioned that 1850 was the end of the 'Little Ice Age.'

So basically, they are trying to prove there has been a massive shrinkage of the glacier by setting the baseline for the glacier's area at a maximum point of expansion.

BTW, if you wish to really cheese off an environut, agree with them that there really is climate change occuring -- by stating that the climate is indeed changing -- for the better. Gee, more warmth, longer growing seasons, more CO2 for plants to eat, etc. Pretty damn terrific!

Their minds explode.

Posted by Jim C | August 19, 2007 2:11 AM

Yeah, well like the NASA farce showed... it's actually cooling.

These meteorologists can't reliably tell me whether or not it's going to rain tomorrow. Why should I belive them when they tell me it's going to be warmer in 40 years because I drove my SUV to work today?

Jim C

Posted by jfm | August 19, 2007 2:14 AM

This is truly a case of the ends never justifying the means...or the means never justifying the ends...or something.

Posted by Clyde | August 19, 2007 5:23 AM

Back in Otzi the Frozen Caveman's day, a naked person on a glacier was simply a bad hunter who couldn't provide himself with furs or animal skins to wear.

Posted by Roger | August 19, 2007 8:46 AM

unclesmrgol the iceman was traveling in in snow which preserved him. The snow was eventually converted to a glacier.

Posted by swabjockey05 | August 19, 2007 8:49 AM

Jimmy C,

Who right you are...

Last week my 13K pound plane was almost blown out of the sky by lightening...lightening that wasn't in the forecast. The rain pounded so hard it pealed much of the paint off the leading edges of the wings and nacelles. Did I mention the rain wasn't forecast either?

Wasn't the first time I was almost killed by the meteorologists who couldn't tell me what the weather was going to do in three can anyone let them get away with pretending to know what will happen in 100 years? Much less what HAPPENED 100 years ago?

But you’re not allowed to question them…or their hysteria.

Posted by TokyoTom | August 20, 2007 8:34 AM

Ed, thanks for your serious contribution to discussion of this issue.

It would definitely be too much of a challenge to your readers for them to check out the frivolous crap on climate change coming from libertarian like Ron Bailey over at Reason Magazine - so I urge them (and you) to avert your eyes and avoid cliking the link:

You should also definitely avoid reading about where George Bush and the administration are heading on this issue:,22606,22262708-5005962,00.html.

And last but not least, you and blog readers should certainly not trouble yourselves to think about what happens to open-access resources that are unowned (or where users have no responsibilty for external effects). Who needs cod or tuna, and we can deal with whatever curveballs mother nature cares to throw our way, so why should we worry ourselves about the lack of any feedback mechanisms?


Posted by MarkW | August 20, 2007 11:57 AM

The glaciers have also uncovered a number of roman era mines. It was as warm or warmer during the roman era than it is today without an SUV in sight.

1000 years ago was the mideival warm period.
2000 years ago was the roman warm period.
3000 years ago was the minoan warm period.

Hmm, I'm starting to see a pattern here.

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