World View of Global Warming -- a ten year perspective and accomplishments
World View of Global Warming, which began 11 years ago in Antarctica, is the only dedicated climate change science and response documentation project independently undertaken by a photojournalist. It is funded by donations, grants, image and book sales and assignments; donations and grants are accepted as tax-deductible contributions through Blue Earth Alliance which passes through 96 percent of all funds.
Books - include Earth Under Fire: How Global Warming is Changing the World (University of California Press, 2007, updated 2009) and How We Know What We Know About Our Changing Climate: Scientists and Kids Explore Global Warming (co-author Lynne Cherry; Dawn Publications 2008). For info, reviews and the many accolades, see www.earthunderfire.com; www.howweknowclimatechange.com.
A major print exhibition at the American Assn for the Advancement of Science, "Climate Change in Our World, " was on view from November 2009 to May 2010.
During 2010, the efforts by Gary Braasch resulted in the following achievements:
Travel to Miami and the Keys in Florida, Maryland and Outer Banks coastal towns of North Carolina to photograph the damage to eroding shorelines made new sets of repeat images of change. In Nevada and California I documented new solar and wind energy installations spreading across the landscape – as well as the loss of water in Lake Mead to record levels below 1090 feet, with comparison photographs.
The middle of the year was dominated by coverage of the BP Gulf oil disaster. Two strong points of this work were an alliance with Southwings for important aerial photography and an assignment for Vanity Fair about the plight of endangered sea turtles. Many contacts with victims of the disaster formed the seed for connections between our energy choices and the effects on environment and, tragically, on people's lives. Images are available for energy policy work and a follow up trip is planned.
My "Climate Change in Our World" exhibition at the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) was extended twice and remained on view in the Capitol until May. The giant prints were seen by White House, Congressional, agency and NGO leaders, as well as being a centerpiece for meetings of the National Council on Science and the Environment.
I presented at the Phoenix Art Museum in connection with an Ansel Adams exhibit; at the Frye Art Museum in Seattle sponsored by Blue Earth Alliance; had three prints of the Gulf spill included in a group show of landscape photography masters at the Brush Museum at St Lawrence University, NY; and had a prominent exhibit in the EPA's 40th Anniversary celebration during Earth Day on the National Mall.
Five images from my March rephotography trip to Florida and North Carolina coasts were chosen as a featured display for the newly redesigned Koshland Science Museum at the National Academy of Sciences in Washington DC (opens in early 2011). I have a featured portfolio from the Gulf Oil spill on the "Ocean-Oil" pages of Encyclopedia of Earth. Other collaborations include a chapter for Nancy Baron's new book on science communication; images for Solutions Journal, edited by Robert Costanza; and work with NGOs to provide photography for their political and conservation work, notably WWF.
I began a partnership with the International Environmental Law Project at Lewis and Clark Law School, Portland OR, focused on small island nations threatened by rising sea level, and contributed to their booklet distributed at the Cancun climate talks.
My children's book How We Know What We Know About Our Changing Climate won its 16th top award, this time from the American Meteorological Society. Earth Under Fire is now available as an e-book from University of California Press.
In December I was named as a River Warrior by the Resource Renewal Institute and by Outdoor Photography magazine as one of the world's 40 most influential nature photographers.
What influence I have has its source in my career in environmental photography going back 30 years – but it has reached a pinnacle with my decade of climate documentation. I have been called "the man who made global warming visible" by Bill McKibben and "the Ansel Adams of climate change" by John Topping of the Climate Institute. The power of my work may be also judged by the continuing urgent requests to publish photographs like those from Bangladesh, Alaska and Tuvalu. They carry a strong message from humans who are faced with threats now to their very existence.
The photographs and research reach a new audience with the feature begun in 2010, "Climate Photo of the Week," I publish new images regularly along with large portfolios from each trip, totaling more than 200 pictures newly available in 2010 to the 15-17,000 visitors per month on Worldviewofglobalwarming.org.
This website - established in 2002, is the archive of the project in a totally non-commercial information format. Many months it has 18-25,000 unique visits, is frequently listed near the top of Google searches for "global warming" subjects, and is a leader in K-16 education as well as linkage by NGOs and public websites serving adults.
Image library - contains tens of thousands of color photographs and digital files of climate science, effects and solutions, made under the direction of scientists and experts, or responding to their work. Combined with my large urban, ecosystem and symbolic photography, it is an important resource. Throughout the project, images showing climate change have been made available at low or no cost to teachers, students, small NGOs and community organizations around the world, expanding the reach of this crucial information beyond the commercial publishing world.
My photographs have also played a major role in recent books by Sterling Publications, Time Home Entertainment and W.W. Norton. In 2007-8 Earth Under Fire was presented to more than 550 leaders, including 200 key Members of Congress, thanks to generous donors and in-kind by NRDC.
Film project - is inspired by the How We Know book and produced by Lynne Cherry, bringing the climate actions and projects of middle school youth to a national audience. "Young Voices on Climate Change" maintains its own fundraising with website at www.youngvoicesonclimatechange.com.
Current activities of World View of Global Warming, for which funds are sought and allocated:
Provide proactive support for education and information about climate change and its solutions: speaker slides, exhibits, briefings, presentations
Response to document climate events and emergencies.
Rephotography of the locations pictured in the book and other places from my project, which have changed in the ten years or less since I first photographed them. Travel in 2011 is planned to Tuvalu, Kiribati, Australia, Hawaii, Alaska, and other locations. Please email or call for information.
Photography of new science, solutions and infrastructure changes, because we must be able to visualize the future.
The beginning of World View of Global Warming
I am an environmental photographer who during more than 20 years into the late 1990s reported on natural history in many parts of the world. In the course of many of these assignments, scientists mentioned changes occurring over long time spans that might be due to global warming. Very few of these changes were being photographed
"There is compelling evidence from all over the world that our planet's weather and climate patterns are changing rapidly," began my initial proposal in Fall 1998. "Droughts, receding glaciers and ice caps, extreme storms, rises in ocean temperatures and sea levels, shifts in distribution of organisms and diseases - scientists tracking these events overwhelmingly believe that global climate change is a fact. Many think human activities are a significant contributing cause. But this is not the message getting to the general public, nor is our political, industrial and environmental superstructure dealing well with the reality.
"This project began in noticing that the details of scientific evidence for global warming, and the publicity and policy actions reported about it, were incongruent. This is a generally misunderstood and muted issue. It is a serious challenge to journalists, photographers, and public interest publications. Helping to correct this, to illustrate the changes and research and publicize our stake in and possible responsibility for global warming, are the goals of this project.
"Gary Braasch will photograph areas on all continents that illustrate documented results of climate change. He is also seeking to repeat historic photographs to show the changes. He will work with environmental groups, scientists and editors to educate the public, urging government and corporate sectors to more directly address the reality of climate change."
In December 1998, this proposal received backing secured from Blue Earth Alliance, and initial funding was secured from the Wiancko Family Fund. Early in 1999 I sought advice from Dr. Ray Bradley of University of Massachusetts (a co-author of the 1000 year temperature chart) and arctic climate change expert Dr. Bruce Peterson of the Marine Biological Lab in Woods Hole MA. I began seeking private grants and magazine assignments and other scientific contacts (see Advisors and References).
By the end of 1999, I had crossed both the Antarctic and Arctic Circles accompanying field researchers. The first photography specifically for this project took place on a Discover Magazine assignment to a National Science Foundation geologic research cruise to Antarctic Peninsula ice sheets and glaciers.
Through hundreds of scientific contacts generously given by many advisors, I have endeavored to focus on shrinking glaciers around the world, coral bleaching, insect and animal range changes, rising sea level, and other effects. As often as possible my photographs actually show changes (or comparisons with old photographs), and all focus on locations where scientists are studying change.
In 2004 and 2005 I completed the first stage of photography thanks to renewed grants from the Wiancko Family Trust and a book advance from University of California Press. This book was published in October 2007 under the title Earth Under Fire: How Global Warming is Changing the World. It features not only reports from scientists on our changing world, but also an extended chapter on what is being done now to keep global warming under control. See the Actions page for more information on this. To view the book, please visit EarthUnderFire.com.
World View of Global Warming will continue with return trips to document changes in landscapes over these 11 years, and increasing focus on the techniques and initiatives being used all over the world to cut fossil fuel emissions and usher in a new age of energy use and efficiencies. I am very dependent on continued private, institutional and publication funding for this ongoing documentation. I thank all my donors, advisors and supporters, including website designer and manager Ancil Nance.
Read article by Gary Braasch about his journey to Antarctica, from E Magazine.
See also Advisors and References.
Photographs from the World View of Global Warming are available for license to publications needing science photography, environmental groups and agencies, and other uses. Stock photography and assignments available.
Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or Gary Braasch Photography (503 860-1228.
Use of photographs in any manner, in part or whole, without permission is prohibited by US copyright law.
© 2012 These photographs are registered with the US Copyright Office and are not in the Public Domain.