Climate Change Portraits is a personal project about the climate movement and our fragile Earth.
I have been photographing environmentalists, advocates of sustainability, people affected by the fossil fuel industry and climate change activists since February 2017 in a series. Each portrait subject has been asked to provide me with a statement or quote that sums up what they are thinking about in their sphere of expertise.
All the portraits are produced in black & white and are presented as squares. The provided quote is also presented as an adjacent square and provides context to the image. These pieces have been posted as banners on social media.
As I have been executing this series the story being told to me, about global warming and rapid sea rise, is worse than most inhabitants of the developed world, or for that matter the globe, care to know about. Here are some of the portraits.
I broadcast Science Show No.1 in August 1975 and it contained a remarkable statement from Lord Ritchie Calder a British Energy expert. He told me that they were extremely worried about the vast volumes of waste gases from burned fossil fuels being poured into the atmosphere. He said there was a real danger of catastrophic effects on weather systems – and then he added “we’ve been warning people about this danger since 1963 and here we are in 1975 and STILL nothing has been done!”
And here we are 41 years later.
Dr Elizabeth Farrelly:
Many people consider me forthright, provocative and (worst of all) brave. That’s not how I feel. I’ve always felt stamped with a yearning for truth and beauty, from which I think justice, the third principle, flows. I think we’re born to love these things.
So when – as with climate change – we willfully and collectively destroy them, it strikes me as a spiritual malaise. We are, all of us, constantly torn between our primate self and our angel self. I believe we’ll need to address climate change at the level of spirit that finds some access to our angel selves, or face catastrophe.
Our family have farmed on this property for over 100 years. We now face our biggest challenge yet, with a thermal coal mine set to cut our farm in half, destroying productive farm land and threatening our livelihood like never before.
The sick irony for me surrounding the energy crisis, is that our farm is about to be destroyed by a thermal coal mine and our power bills will keep on rising!
Do we really need more coal mines? I don’t think many Australians think we do; yet after 105 years it looks as though I’ll be the last of our family to farm this land. If the coal miner’s flagship project is granted approval, our family farm will never be the same again.
In an age of such heightened awareness of the environmental impacts by fossil fuels it seems crazy that this could actually occur.
Unfortunately, it is all too common in this part of Queensland.
I believe that most of our global problems will simply disappear, when enough of us love ourselves, others and our planet.