Nov 17, 2023 - Things to Do

Natural History Museum of Utah debuts climate change exhibit

Natural History Museum of Utah's latest climate change exhibit. Photo: Kim Bojórquez/Axios

The Natural History Museum of Utah unveiled a new exhibit last week aimed at inspiring optimism about fighting climate change.

Why it matters: Americans, particularly youth, are growing increasingly anxious about climate change and the ways it's impacting the planet's habitability.

  • Climate anxiety can become debilitating at times and cause feelings of dread, according to mental health professionals.

Details: The 2,000-square-foot exhibit, "Climate of Hope," includes interactive features, a life-size representation of an aspen grove and examples of how some Utahns are reducing emissions.

  • One effort highlighted is Provo's tree-planting initiative, which aims to keep neighborhoods cool and lower energy use.
  • The exhibit is on the fifth floor and includes panoramic views of the dwindling Great Salt Lake, which reached its lowest level on record for the second year in a row last year as a result of a megadrought and water diversion.

The intrigue: This is the museum's first permanent exhibit in more than a decade.

Context: The new presentation replaces a smaller climate display that contained outdated graphs and figures, Lisa Thompson, exhibit developer, told Axios.

  • Thompson said research has increasingly found that presenting data and charts about climate change doesn't necessarily help people learn about the issue or change behaviors.

Of note: A museum representative declined to disclose the cost of the exhibit but said it was "supported by community and private donors."


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