I think as humans we are pretty good at adapting, and no matter what state the world may be in, we always seem to be able adapt to a new level of bad and make it the new normal.
The corals are being bleached, the arctic is burning, and smoke from wildfires are blotting out the sun for days on the entire west coast of the United States. Our planet is moving towards a future that seems increasingly hostile to life. What will the world be like for our children and grandchildren?
I wanted to explore this idea through photos I’ve taken over the years. A dried lake bed, a treeless valley, endless undulating sand dunes. These landscapes were once covered in water and life and they are now soothsayers of what may be in our near future.
With these images I’m trying out a thought-experiment. I want to convey a powerful sense of loss. By exploring the juxtaposition everyday activities such as my daughter playing with her truck or taking a walk, but against a dystopian backdrop, I think it can be just as powerful as apocalyptic imagery when I convey it through a lens of normalcy. Just imagine your kids waking up in a world where there is no green, no flowers, just dirt. They play and grow up and learn to survive without knowing the beauty that they have lost.
I want to convey that this sense of normalcy that we are able to bring into bad situations can have consequences for our children. If we continue to accept things and just go on with our lives, we may began to lose the beautiful green earth to the effects of climate change. I think it takes bringing our children into the picture to help us shift our focus away from the present and into the not-so-far-off future.
No water, no life, no blue, no green. -Sylvia Earle