Orlando’s ‘Florida Humans’ sculpture brings attention to the state’s climate emergency to Central Florida

Florida Climate Crisis Campaign: Sculptures that may inspire change

Orlando was chosen as the city to unveil the third wax sculpture in Florida, where the Florida Climate Crisis campaign (#FLClimateCrisis) will launch Thursday.

Most of east-central Florida’s major weather stations landed in the Top 10 warmest on record in 2019, with many in the Top 5 spots. The hottest year on record was 2015 (with many stations' records dating back to the 19th early 20th centuries), and there has been a prolonged warmth above normal across Central Florida since then.

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This campaign started in early September involving scientists across our state, which included webinars and town halls for everyone to attend (virtually). The events' purposes were to get information about our changing climate, and to learn how these changes are already impacting our communities, health and finances.

In 2020:Orlando registered its fifth-hottest summer on record, with records extending back to 1892.

The wax sculptures placed in Tampa and Miami earlier this month melted within 3 to 5 days. They provided not only a visual message of how much the heat can damage our environment and overall health, but each of them also revealed a message.

“This year’s global temperature rise is expected to be one of the hottest recorded, manifesting across Florida,” commented Dr. Rachel Licker of the Union of Concerned Scientists. “Temperatures are expected to grow if we don’t act collectively to rein in global warming emissions. By working together and listening to the latest science, Floridians can limit days of extreme heat and sea-level rise to save the places they treasure.”

Melbourne registered its eighth-warmest summer on record, with records extending back to 1937.


THE FIRST SCULPTURE:

The Miami Lifeguard hut was placed at the Phillip and Patricia Frost Museum of Science. The message revealed: More Heat, Less Beach.

The Cleo Insitute partnered with ad agency Zubi and award-winning Los Angeles artist/inventor/director Bob Partington to show Floridians just how quickly Florida’s heat can melt a wax sculpture.
The Cleo Insitute partnered with ad agency Zubi and award-winning Los Angeles artist/inventor/director Bob Partington to show Floridians just how quickly Florida’s heat can melt a wax sculpture. (THE CLEO INSTITUTE/CLEO INSTITUTE/PR)

THE SECOND SCULPTURE:

The Florida Panther Family sculpture was placed in ZooTampa. The message revealed: More Heat, Less Wildlife.

The Cleo Insitute partnered with ad agency Zubi and award-winning Los Angeles artist/inventor/director Bob Partington to show Floridians just how quickly Florida’s heat can melt a wax sculpture.
The Cleo Insitute partnered with ad agency Zubi and award-winning Los Angeles artist/inventor/director Bob Partington to show Floridians just how quickly Florida’s heat can melt a wax sculpture. (THE CLEO INSTITUTE/CLEO INSTITUTE/PR)

THE THIRD SCULPTURE:

The Florida Humans, which is a sculpture of a grandfather and grandchild sitting on a bench in front of City Hall in downtown Orlando, was placed on September 23; by the evening, the colors had faded.

By Thursday, September 24th, the ice cream wax sculpture the grandfather was holding had melted away, and the colors were fading from the child’s clothes and skating gear.

The message revealed: More Heat, Less Health.

The Cleo Insitute partnered with ad agency Zubi and award-winning Los Angeles artist/inventor/director Bob Partington to show Floridians just how quickly Florida’s heat can melt a wax sculpture. This is Orlando's Sculpture located in Downtown Orlando at City Hall.
The Cleo Insitute partnered with ad agency Zubi and award-winning Los Angeles artist/inventor/director Bob Partington to show Floridians just how quickly Florida’s heat can melt a wax sculpture. This is Orlando's Sculpture located in Downtown Orlando at City Hall. (Loren Bray)

Sanford registered its fourth-warmest summer on record, with records extending back to 1948.

The CLEO Institute, a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization based in Florida, partnered with ad agency Zubi and award-winning Los Angeles artist/inventor/director Bob Partington to show Floridians just how quickly Florida’s heat can melt a wax sculpture.

Partington is well-known for hosting The History Channel’s “Thing-a-ma-bob”, and for his unique inventions that combine art, science, technology, math and engineering. He was challenged by the creative team at Zubi earlier this year to create visual experiences based on an idea the Miami ad agency had to put the state’s climate crisis in the spotlight for all Floridians to see.

In 2019, Leesburg tied its ninth-hottest summer on record, with records extending back to 1958.

The Florida Climate Crisis campaign has been made possible via a grant from the VoLo Foundation, a private, Florida-based philanthropic foundation led by Thais Lopez Vogel and David S. Vogel. The foundation seeks to accelerate change and global impact by supporting science-based climate solutions, enhancing education and improving health.

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