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34 posts categorized "Green Watch"

Mar 31, 2010

Going to War Over Oil

Obama Green Hornet.jpg

First thing you need to know is that different versions of this scene, by different photographers, were all over the media yesterday. Second, most captions dutifully reflected the Administration's mixed metaphor, Obama announcing his off-shore drilling proposal against this militaristic backdrop in the name of America's "energy security."

Is America so sold on endless war that a terrifying piece of military hardware (and/or a humongous flag) becomes the automatic choice to sell just about anything? And, If Obama is going to use a fighter plane to sell off-short drilling, isn't the visual media just as entitled to call him out on it by "pointing the prop" back at him?

(photo: Luke Sharrett/The New York Times. caption: President Obama inspected a new biofuel F-18 "Green Hornet" after delivering a speech on energy security at Andrews Air Force Base outside Washington. Mr. Obama proposed to open vast expanses of American coastlines to oil and natural gas drilling in his remarks.)

Mar 26, 2010

The New Oil

Hans Strand Nat Geo.jpg

by BNN contributor John Lucaites

Oil, we are often told, is the lifeblood of late modern, industrialized civilization (here, here, and here) and certainly there is plenty of evidence that we behave as if we believe it. But as the photograph of Iceland’s Kolgrima River shot from somewhere in the heavens suggests, the real lifeblood of any civilization on earth is water. I say shot from the “heavens” because it is less realistic than William Ander’s iconic Earthrise, a clearly mechanically produced image that implicitly foregrounds the technology that enabled it.  

Here the image has something of an abstract expressionistic quality to it that nevertheless underscores the naturalistic blending of land and waterways, a surface manifestation of an underlying essence accented by the soft contrast of the muted pastels. One can almost imagine the earth as a living entity, the blue veins throbbing in unison as they work to carry the nutrients necessary to bolster and sustain the ground. It is a beautiful and compelling—almost utopian—God’s eye view. 70% of the earth is covered by water, but 97% of that is found in oceans and seas, with another 2.4% in glaciers and polar ice caps. That leaves very little fresh water for all of its various needs, including most importantly consumption, sanitation, and agricultural production.

Continue reading "The New Oil" »

Mar 01, 2010

Cracking Up

Giant Iceberg Headed for Trouble

The consequences of the Copenhagen climate talks going to pieces? Be afraid. Be very afraid.

(photo: Neal Young, Commonwealth of Australia via National Geographic)

Dec 18, 2009

Copenhagen From the Ground Up

Climate Conference Shame.png

After two weeks of high expectations and, ultimately, dashed hopes, the major development coming out of Copenhagen turned out to be the powerful and overwhelmingly peaceful impact of NGO's and intercontinental climate activists. While world leaders -- particularly from the G-20 -- were drowning in politics, activists successfully strengthened the case for action -- both from inside the Bella Center as well as on the street -- through the appeal to conscience.

The result, if not an immediately satisfying one for the planet, is that the grassroots -- stepping into the leadership vacuum -- scored a strong social victory. Quite possibly, what we're witnessing (as captured above) is the stirring of a worldwide populist movement capable of moving the political process simply through the leveraging of morality.

(image: AFP. From the BBC slideshow, In Pictures: Final hours of Copenhagen)

Dec 15, 2009

Burn, Baby, Burn


Approaching the climax of the Copenhagen conference, I offer you this pictures from a Spiegel article and slideshow questioning U.S. resolve on climate change.

The take-away is that burning oil, and consumption in general, is simply the American way.

(photo: Getty Images)

Dec 06, 2009

Copenhagen and the New Activism


One thing we've debated quite a bit here at BNN is the limited effectiveness of traditional public protests and demonstrations -- insofar, at least, as the resulting media pictures go. At the same time however, perhaps that limit is as much the signal of a paradigm shift, and the maturing of the internets and social media and the visual web into a limitless platform for creative mobilizing and the amplification of concerned attention.

Continue reading "Copenhagen and the New Activism" »

Dec 05, 2009

Copenhagen: Greenpeace's Ole' Bama


Just days away from Copenhagen, Greenpeace and have created a series of posters for the Copenhagen airport visioning world leaders, now past their prime, having missed the chance to act. Subverting Obama's good looks and vitality (same, particularly, with Sarkozy) and exploiting the fact that time goes by faster than most of us like to think, the concept -- playing the "mortality card" -- hits home.

Greenpeace billboard slideshow + Merkel. More stills at current.

Sep 23, 2009

UN Climate Change: Pics of the Day

Rice Clinton UN.jpg

The presence of Susan Rice and the absence of Condi Rice at this year's General Assembly meeting speaks volumes about the shift in style and the decrease in hysteria in conducting U.S. diplomacy.

Continue reading "UN Climate Change: Pics of the Day" »

Sep 03, 2009

BAGnewsOriginals: Fire Watching


I wanted to share this photo with you from BNN contributer Nina Berman. Nina has been working on a project about the consequences of climate change.

The image "British Columbia Fire watching, Notch Hill" represents one of the hundreds of fires that have been burning across the province this summer. According to Climate Ark, over 1,700 square kilometers have burned this fire season, more than double the average over the past seven years. Global warming not only contributes to more fires by causing disease, drought and even spawning plant life that fuel flames but, in a vicious cycle, fires themselves account for a sizable amount of the carbon dioxide being released each year into the atmosphere.

With climate change contributing to more intense and disastrous environmental conditions around the world, including intense and free burning firestorms or "mega-fires", what's haunting about the image, perhaps prophetic, is how it simultaneously connotes a feeling of "nuclear winter" and also a sheep-like sense of "come what may."

(image: ©Nina Berman/NOOR, August 2009)

Jul 27, 2009

Bush/Cheney Suppressed Global Warming Images

when the evidence of global warming (courtesy of their own spy satellites) was staring them in the face, not one speck of evidence ever informed Bush and Cheney's behavior

(click for full size)

With the availability of all that whiz-bang U.S. security technology, the paranoid team of Bush/Cheney couldn't produce one speck of credible evidence of Iraqi WMD. But then, when the evidence of global warming (courtesy of their own spy satellites) was staring them in the face, not one speck of evidence ever informed their behavior, let alone leaked out to the American people ... until the Obama Administration declassified these photos last week. It's right there in black-and-white. Or, enveloping black and memory of white.

And then, adding to the saccharine of what you can-and-can't see from certain states of the union, these images were taken of the Alaskan port of Barrow.

The Guardian has the backstory.

(h/t: Terry. images: NOAA)

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