Although the first Climate Change Museum in the United States is in the initial planning stages, it looks as though it will become a reality in three – five years. The challenge in building a brand new museum is to raise millions of dollars and to find a location for a new building. And since the location will be in New York City, that presents another another difficult task.
But Climate Museum Director, Miranda Massie, has no doubt that the museum will happen. Massie, 48, lives in New York, and is a lawyer who took on civil rights cases in Detroit. She initially conceived of the Climate Museum project in 2012, a few weeks after Hurricane Sandy. Massie announced her plans for the Museum a few months ago. The museum’s goals and objectives, clearly spelled out on its website, states that the museum will be a “solutions-focused hub for climate science,” to be combined with art and programs to promote dialogue. The museum’s target audience wide including school aged children, teens, and the general public who will attend the museum to better understand the impacts of climate change and global warming and the possible solutions. Only two other climate change museums exist in the world: the Jockey Club Museum of Climate Change in Hong Kong and the Klimahaus, in Bremerhaven, Germany. In July, the Board of Regents of New York State gave the Climate Museum a five-year provisional charter to create a climate museum in New York City. Danish artist Olafur Eliasson has designed a building and the museum’s fiscal sponsor is the FJC Foundation of Philanthropic Funds. An impressive team has joined Massie to support her project. Joining Massie on her newly appointed five-member board of trustees is Dominique Browning, Founder and Director of Moms Clean Air Force, Hector Gonzalez, Partner and Member of the Policy Committee at Dechert LLP, James Stewart Polshek, Founder of Polshek Partnership and former Dean of the Columbia University Graduate School of Architecture, Cynthia Rosenzweig, Senior Research Scientist at NASA GISS/Earth Institute at Columbia University, and Co-Chair of the New York City Panel on Climate Change and Joel Towers, Executive Dean of Parsons School of Design. Included in the museum’s 26 member board of trustees are Nisha Agarwal, New York City Commissioner of Immigrant Affairs, Eddie Bautista, Executive Director of the New York City Environmental Justice Alliance and Visiting Professor at Pratt Institute, Fung Tung, Associate Vice President of the Chinese University of Hong Kong (housing the Hong Kong Museum of Climate Change), Michael Gerrard, Professor and Director of the Sabin Center for Climate Change Law at Columbia Law School, and Chair of the Faculty of the Earth Institute, Frank Niepold, Climate Education Coordinator for the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration’s Climate Program Office and the Climate Education Interagency.