MELBOURNE, Australia (Reuters) — An ‘indestructible’ black box will be built in 2022 to hold the world accountable for the Earth’s future, by recording humanity’s handling of the climate change crisis.
The “Earth’s Black Box” will be a self-powered data storage device to be built in the remote west coast of Tasmania and was first conceptualised by a creative agency in Australia. The University of Tasmania has come on board to collaborate on the project which was inspired by an aeroplane’s flight recorder.
“[The] Earth Black Box is a structure and device that will record every step that humanity takes towards or away from the impending climate catastrophe,” said Jim Curtis, the executive creative director at Clemenger BBDO, which came up with the idea for the black box.
He said not only will the box provide the world with a wealth of data on the climate change situation, but the information records will also help hold leaders accountable and leave lessons for future generations.
“If the worst is to happen and as a civilization, we crash as a result of climate change, this indestructible box will be there and will record every detail of that… so whoever’s left or whoever finds it afterwards learns from our mistakes.”
The project comes after U.N. climate talks in Glasgow ended in November with a deal that kept alive hopes of capping global warming at 1.5 Celsius.
The 10-metre-long steel monolith has been designed to withstand natural disasters and will be powered by solar and thermal energy. The device, which will be connected to the internet, will use an algorithm to regularly scrape data relating to climate change and will be filled with storage drives containing climate-change related data such as average temperatures and global energy consumption.
Curtis said the world is at a critical junction at the climate catastrophe, adding that the Black Box will serve a multitude of uses.
“The first one, just like an aeroplane black box flight recorder, if the worst is to happen and as a civilization, we do crash as a result of climate change, this indestructible box will be there and will record every detail of that, every inaction and action that we take towards that, so whoever’s left or whoever finds it afterwards learns from our mistakes and doesn’t make them again.
“The second reason is to hold our leaders to account, so making sure they know that every decision or indecision they make is being recorded and the third hopefully is to inspire action. We’ve seen so many projects and campaigns trying to get people to realise how close we are to a catastrophe so a concept as potent as this hopefully will inspire people to really take action before it’s too late.”
All the data that’s being recorded is open-sourced and available to everyone online to look at, Curtis said. All the data will also be used as an educational tool at schools and universities.
“[The Black Box is in] an area that is extremely stable when it comes to environmental factors and disasters,” Curtis said. “It’s also extremely stable compared to the rest of the world politically, so it’s somewhere where we are confident that the box can safely sit and not be interrupted with its core purpose.”
That being said, the Earth’s Black Box is very tough as it’s made out of three-inch steel.
“There’s no way to get inside,” Curtis said. “It’s completely self-powered with solar energy, battery-powered and it’s there living on by itself.”
Click here to be taken to the Earth Black Box website where you can find more information.