GOOD

Artist Fights Unsafe Streets With Dick Graffiti

Wanksy’s phallic art is forcing officials to take action.

Social good, thy name is penis graffiti. An anonymous British street artist is on a crusade to make Manchester streets safer, raising awareness of the area’s crumbling roads with giant dick pictures. The BBC reports that the artist, who goes by the nom de guerre Wanksy, uses his phallic flair to draw attention to potholes, which are often soon after fixed.


“The roads of Manchester are in an appalling state…I have cyclist friends who have been hospitalized,” said the artist, speaking with the Manchester Evening News. “They damage vehicles. Sometimes it’s hard to know which pothole caused the damage because there are so many.”

While drawing dicks all over the place is not usually considered socially constructive behavior, Wanksy’s campaign has reportedly been making a difference, with many of his targets, “filled in within 48 hours.”

“They’ll be there for months,” Wanksy told the BBC. “People will drive over the same pothole and forget about it. Suddenly you draw something amusing around it, everyone sees it and it either gets reported or fixed.”

A filled-in Wanksy work.

The press and the public have seized on the activist’s inspiring story, and Wanksy has been called a “superhero,” a “dick pic vigilante,” and “the only artist in 2015 that matters.” “Silly billy’s art willies help fill in potholes,” read one headline. Yet, perhaps unsurprisingly, not everyone is thrilled by all these dicks.

“The actions of this individual are not only stupid, but incredibly insulting to local residents,” said one local official. “Has this person, for just one second, considered how families with young children must feel when they are confronted with these obscene symbols as they walk to school?”

But Wanksy is having none of that “think of the children” crap. “There are sculptures that don't wear clothes,” he told the BBC. “It's artistic expression. To be offended by that, you must be very prudish.”

You can follow Wanksy’s adventures in civic vandalism on his Facebook page.

Articles
via GOOD / YouTube

Last Friday, millions of people in 150 countries across the globe took to the streets to urge world leaders to enact dramatic solutions to combat climate change.

The Climate Strike was inspired, in part, by Greta Thunberg, a 16-year-old girl from Sweden who has captured worldwide attention for her tireless work to hold lawmakers responsible for the climate crisis.

The strike gave people across the planet the opportunity to make their voices heard before the U.N. General Assembly Climate Summit in New York City on Monday.

Keep Reading Show less
The Planet
Julian Meehan

Young leaders from around the world are gathering at the United Nations Headquarters in New York Saturday to address arguably the most urgent issue of our time. The Youth Climate Summit comes on the heels of an international strike spearheaded by Greta Thunberg, the 16-year-old climate activist from Sweden, who arrived in New York via emissions-free sailboat earlier this month.

Translated from Swedish, "berg" means "mountain," so it may feel fated that a young woman with Viking blood in her veins and summit in her name would be at the helm. But let's go out on a limb and presume Thunberg, in keeping with most activists, would chafe at the notion of pre-ordained "destiny," and rightly so. Destiny is passive — it happens to you. It's also egomaniacal. Change, on the other hand, is active; you have to fight. And it is humble. "We need to get angry and understand what is at stake," Thunberg declared. "And then we need to transform that anger into action."

This new generation of activists' most pernicious enemy is denial. The people in charge — complacent politicians and corporation heads who grossly benefit from maintaining the status quo — are buffered from real-life consequences of climate change. But millions of people don't share that privilege. For them, climate change isn't an abstract concept, but a daily state of emergency, whether it comes in the form of "prolonged drought in sub-Saharan Africa…devastating tropical storms sweeping across Southeast Asia, the Caribbean and the Pacific…[or] heatwaves and wildfires," as Amnesty International reportsare all too real problems people are facing on a regular basis.

RELATED: Greta Thunberg urges people to turn to nature to combat climate change

Keep Reading Show less
The Planet
Climate Action Tracker

In 2016, 196 countries signed the Paris Agreement, pledging to combat climate change by taking action to curb the increase in global temperatures. The Paris Agreement requires countries to report on their emissions and what steps they're taking to implement those plans. Now that the countries are coming together again for the U.N. Climate Action Summit in New York City, it's worth taking a look at what kind of progress they've made.

The Climate Action Trackerkeeps tabs on what each country is doing to limit warming, and if they're meeting their self-set goals. Countries are graded based on whether or not their actions would help limit warming to 1.5 degrees C.

According to a recent article from National Geographic, The Gambia, Morocco, and India are at the head of the class. "Even though carbon emissions in The Gambia, Morocco, and India are expected to rise, they'll fall short of exceeding the 1.5-degree Celsius limit," the article reads. Saudi Arabia, Russia and the United States, on the other hand, get a big fat F. "Projected emissions in Saudi Arabia, Russia, and the United States are far greater than what it would take to limit warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius."

Keep Reading Show less
The Planet

September 20th marks the beginning of a pivotal push for the future of our planet. The Global Climate Strike will set the stage for the United Nations Climate Action Summit, where more than 60 nations are expected to build upon their commitment to 2015's Paris Agreement for combating climate change.

Millions of people are expected to take part in an estimated 4,000 events across 130 countries.

Keep Reading Show less
The Planet
Ottawa Humane Society / Flickr

The Trump Administration won't be remembered for being kind to animals.

In 2018, it launched a new effort to reinstate cruel hunting practices in Alaska that had been outlawed under Obama. Hunters will be able to shoot hibernating bear cubs, murder wolf and coyote cubs while in their dens, and use dogs to hunt black bears.

Efforts to end animal cruelty by the USDA have been curtailed as well. In 2016, under the Obama Administration, the USDA issued 4,944 animal welfare citations, in two years the numbers dropped to just 1,716.

Keep Reading Show less
Science