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That giant clock in Union Square now has a fascinating new feature

The doomsday countdown clock has a positive (really!) new addition.

Anna Rahmanan

You may recall that, less than a year ago, the giant clock overlooking Union Square that used to count the hours, minutes and seconds left in a day, turned into a climate crisis countdown. And now, "Metronome"—as the original public art project was dubbed—has yet again morphed into something slightly different.

As of this week, passerby will notice an alternating second set of numbers on the Climate Clock, this one a bit more optimistic and hopeful than the original. According to the New York Times, the additional countdown represents "the increasing percentage of the world’s energy that comes from sources like the sun and wind." As of this weekend, that number was about 12%. Sure, that's not a lot, but here's to hoping it will go up soon.

Based on information sourced from the Our World in Data project, the new "count up" will alternate with the the numbers highlighting the countdown to the time remaining to prevent global warming from becoming irreversible. 

Photograph: Jake Ratner for

"Our new LIFELINE shows the % of global energy generated by renewable sources," reads an official Instagram post about the project. "Climate Clock joined forced with activists to amplify this message and remind us that there is still a window of hope."

The update's, well, timing, isn't coincidental: this Thursday marks Earth Day, when a whole lot of environmental events are set to take over the streets of New York in upcoming weeks.

Speaking of eco-conscious projects in Union Square: have you already read about the $100 million project to create a completely car-free area in the neighborhood? The "Vision Plan" would create a town square of sorts... and we're here for it.

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