Striking lesson from Antarctica thunder

An exhibition to inspire change: Minister for the Environment and Water Resources Masagos Zulkifli at the opening of "Changing Course", a film and photography exhibition which tells stories about the impacts of climate change. With him is Jessica Che
An exhibition to inspire change: Minister for the Environment and Water Resources Masagos Zulkifli at the opening of "Changing Course", a film and photography exhibition which tells stories about the impacts of climate change. With him is Jessica Cheam, managing editor of Eco-Business.ST PHOTO: KHALID BABA

It was just a few days into a two-week expedition to Antarctica when Miss Jessica Cheam heard what she thought was the loudest thunder in her lifetime. It turned out to be the sound of a giant iceberg sinking.

"The sound was so loud and everyone on the ship was really taken aback," she told The Straits Times. "To witness an iceberg sinking right before your eyes was a really unforgettable moment for all of us.

"We hear about climate change all the time but when you really see such an event happening, it really strikes you," she added.

Miss Cheam, 34, was part of an expedition involving about 90 people from around the world who journeyed to Antarctica to learn more about the continent and understand why its fate is tied to humanity's.

Aimed at raising awareness about the global climate crisis and the urgent need to shift to more sustainable ways of living, the March expedition was led by Sir Robert Swan, 61, the British environmentalist and explorer who was the first man to walk to both the North and South Poles.

On Monday, an exhibition entitled "Changing Course", featuring about 70 photos and a short film documentary on the group's journey, was launched at the Singapore Botanic Gardens. It was organised by Eco-Business, which describes itself as a leading digital media company serving the Asia-Pacific's clean technology, smart cities, responsible business and sustainable development community. Miss Cheam is its founder and managing editor.

Minister for the Environment and Water Resources Masagos Zulkifli, who was guest of honour at the official opening of the exhibition, told the 150 people present that images had an important role to play in fighting climate change.

He said: "When used well, a bold image and film can provoke deep reflection and help drive across climate change issues and messages far more effectively than words."

The minister also called on individuals, industries and households to join the Government in playing an active role to tackle climate change, saying: "Every positive step, no matter how small, will contribute to a sustainable future for Singapore. I encourage everyone to do your part for climate action, for us and our future generations."

The event also celebrated United Nations World Environment Day, which is on June 5 every year . The free exhibition is on until July 12.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 05, 2018, with the headline 'Striking lesson from Antarctica thunder'. Print Edition | Subscribe