Please Don't Do This

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Image: Project Trumpmore/Emily Lipstein

The world is full of resistance grifters preying on people’s fears about the death of democracy, equality, and a whole host of other things being chipped away at by President Donald Trump. Given the Trump administration’s climate denial, it’s shocking we haven’t had a scheme tied to climate change. But that niche is now filled, thanks to Project Trumpmore.


In an attempt to own our climate-denying president and spark intelligent conversations, a group is attempting to crowdsource a half million bucks to go to the Arctic and carve Donald Trump’s head on an iceberg. It will fail in both those regards, but that hasn’t stopped multiple news outlets from covering it. And of course, the inevitable Kickstarter/Indiegogo/GoFundMe campaigns are coming, according to the group’s site. Do not give them your money.

Nowhere on the site does it say who is responsible, though a press page (complete with a typo announcing the April 16 “Lsunch Event”) identifies the Finnish group Melting Ice—which appears to have little to no web presence—as the responsible party. Their goal, according to their site:

“We think that in its intangibility, global warming lacks a concrete symbol. One that would prove it exists, or not.”

Please God, take my life now.

The entire site is light on details about where Trump’s unsavory visage will be carved, how they’ll pull it off, what the “movement” will do afterwards, or how they are “working hard to minimize all our C02 emissions caused by traveling and other actions related to the project.”

Their press release does say the quiet part out loud, though (emphasis ours):

“Project Trumpmore’s goal is to generate conversation and hopefully catch the eye of anyone who is willing to fund our project.”


Even if we’re being generous and assuming something got lost in translation from Finnish to English, the biggest issue with this project is that there is nothing about Donald Trump’s head on an iceberg in the Arctic that moves the needle on any issue whatsoever. It is a totem to bad ideas.

You want a tangible symbol of global warming? Send me half a million dollars and I will build myself a beach cottage in the Hamptons for the ocean to consume. I can also go livestream a wildfire from out West this summer, if you prefer.


Or, keep your money and take a trip to visit with people rebuilding in Houston after Harvey, Puerto Rico after Maria, or Santa Rosa after last year’s horrific Wine Country Fires. If people impacted by extreme events aren’t your thing, there are oyster farms in the Northwest impacted by ocean acidification, crumbling permafrost in Alaska, and Miami flooded at high tide. Visit a goddamn oil refinery. Hell, fill up your gas tank.

The point is the world is full of actual, concrete evidence the climate is changing and harming people right now. You do not need to manufacture the world’s saddest Mount Rushmore in the Arctic in order to see it.


Then there’s Trump himself, with his ridiculous views on climate change and energy, which themselves are the product of decades of fossil fuel industry propaganda. That propaganda and the attendant harm it has done to this and future generations is why counties and cities are suing the fossil fuel industry for damages, a smart use of resources to address climate change.

By comparison, defacing one of our planet’s already-degraded glaciers with the likeness of a narcissistic 70-year-old who really doesn’t need another statue serves only to extract money from pockets. It won’t make an iota of difference in how we talk about climate change or how politicians consider changes to our system to solve it.


I never thought I would agree with RT about anything but here we are.


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Don’t worry, my Swedish great gramma already warned me about Finns and their interest in carving things up. Something about Finns’ love for knives. Sorry, I apologize to the entire country of Finland and all people of Finnish descent for that comment.

Snake oil comes in all flavors and can be a good and/or service. There are essential elements to environmental protection such as communications, policy, science and engineering. Environmental silliness is not an essential element. It is actually a huge negative to “keeping it clean and cleaning it up.” Unfortunately enviro silliness gets funded by highly enthusiastic people and corporations looking for image turd polishing - over say proper waste management practices.