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From the exhibit Mysteries of the Ice Ages. Photo: Taymaz Valley.

Exhibition: Planet Ice at the Museum of Nature—until January 3, 2021

By Taymaz Valley on October 6, 2020

A new exhibition at the Canadian Museum of Nature opened on October 2 and will be on until January 3, 2021. It’s one of the most well-represented examples of Canadian ingenuity we could have asked for. No less than a world-premiere exhibition, which will travel the world afterwards, Planet Ice: Mysteries of the Ice Ages, developed by the Canadian Museum of Nature, takes visitors across 80,000 years of Earth’s history to show what the ice age we are currently experiencing has meant for our planet’s contemporary era.

Indeed, ice ages are nothing new on Earth, and date back billions of years in the planet’s history, however what you will observe through this exhibition, and what is so important, is that unlike the ice ages that came before, our Earth is experiencing a unique climatic event that can only be the result of an Anthropocene Epoch and the industrial civilization we have created.

From the exhibit Mysteries of the Ice Ages. Photo: Taymaz Valley.

Through our action, consumption and waste, we have created a condition where greenhouse gases (GHGs) emitted by us and accumulating in the Earth’s atmosphere, are causing the sun’s energy, which would usually escape after reflection, to linger and heat up the Earth. This, in turn, has caused unprecedented global warming, which has reduced the sizes of the ice sheets. Due to the melting of this ice, which would have otherwise aided the reflection of the sun’s energy away from the Earth, global warming is accelerating, making a dire situation even worse.

A changing climate means more extreme weather, more floods, and more wildfires, examples of which we have been seeing throughout the globe in recent years. So, yes, it seems we are dealing with a climate emergency resulting from a catastrophe that is overtaking our home planet.

However, the good news presented in this exhibition is that we can do something about it. We can reverse our wasteful ways. We can be more conscious of our consumption. We can be more aware of our lifestyles, and we can start investing in more green technology.

From the exhibit Mysteries of the Ice Ages. Photo: Taymaz Valley.

We can become better global citizens. We can be more compassionate towards our fellow human beings and to other species of life on this planet, and more mindful of our actions. It’s too late for the woolly mammoth, mastodon, cave bear, giant beaver, American lion, and the Neanderthals, bones of which are on display in this exhibition as a reminder. But we have a diverse, amazing and beautiful biodiversity on this planet now that we can protect.

These kinds of educational exhibition go a long way toward putting us in touch with the reality that sometimes gets lost during our modern lives. Bravo, Museum of Nature.

The Planet Ice: Mysteries of the Ice Ages world premiere exhibition is now open at the Canadian Museum of Nature and will remain open until January 3, 2021. Please make sure to book your tickets online prior to attending the exhibition, as in this time of COVID-19, precautions must be taken.