10 April 2016
by Karen Olson Johnson
The striking photos of the experience of climate change bring feelings of anguish and the accompanying words well, utter disbelief. A coral reef bleached white and lifeless, a mother polar bear and her lone cub on a small piece of ice surrounded by vast open seas, and morbidly obscene piles of trash through which children search for gain, are frequent photographic visitors to the screens of information consumed by millions. These images are tied to statistics detailing trends and projecting a harrowing future. Having seen so many of these photos and read so many of these words, is there any message, any image that can get through and turn the tide?
The Lumad Indigenous people and 6000 farmers demonstrated in the Philippines recently. The problem? They have nothing to eat and are literally starving because of drought. The government reaction was to open fire on the demonstrators, killing and injuring many. The photo of this wounded farmer, his blood covered hands held by one, while another tries to attend to his wounds, is yet another picture and story of what we are doing to each other. His is a story of pain at the hands of a government and a world of indifference to climate change. His is a photo of the experience of utter disbelief. Read the article.