(Photo credit: Matthew Modoono/Northeastern University)

If you time-travel 100 years into the future, what will your town look like? How will climate change have affected it?

That’s what artist and Northeastern University professor Thomas Starr asked when creating his recent installation, “Remembrance of Climate Futures.”

Using local climate reports, he imagined climate-related events that might happen in Essex, Massachusetts, and Durham, New Hampshire.

Then he marked those events with official-looking plaques. For example, one notes that a boathouse was wrecked by storm surge in 2032.

He says the idea is to make people think about climate change as “something that will affect them, right where they’re standing, right where they’re reading the sign.”

But not all the signs mark disasters. Some show how to adapt. For example, one mentions Durham’s switch to renewable energy. Another notes that the causeway in Essex was raised to prevent flooding.

QR codes on each plaque link to information on local climate change planning and how residents can get involved.

“The aim of the project is really quite simple: to get people to engage with their town’s effort,” Starr says.

So his imagined future may move people to act now.

Reporting credit: Stephanie Manuzak/ChavoBart Digital Media.

Diana Madson

Diana Madson has been a regular correspondent with Yale Climate Connections since April 2014. She enjoys exploring American stories about unexpected and innovative solutions to climate change. In addition...