The following images were photographed at the PowerShift 2013 conference in Pittsburgh. I was searching for a different way to look at a conference, something that was unique to the individual, but at the same time consistent. In my opinion, by highlighting the issues that matter to them, the stickers on a laptop provide a more complete picture of each individual. At least this was my reasoning behind it, let me know what you think in the comments below.
Over 300 people gathered today to rally in support of action on climate change, social justice and environmental justice at Oka, Quebec in Canada. The rally was part of a national day of action organized by a group of organizations in Canada called Defend Our Climate. The purpose of the rallies was to draw attention to the worsening climate situation and the increased fossil fuel activity in Canada.
It was a beautiful day to be out photographing and capturing these moments.
I have just finished documenting Powershift in Pittsburgh. This is the third time I have covered a Powershift, the first in 2009 in Washington and the second was in London. There is no doubt in my mind that over 6000 young adults (and some teenagers) left Pittsburgh yesterday ready to change and fight for a diversity of issues. The most important aspect of this conference was the range of speakers and panels that highlighted the intersectionality of the climate crisis and the social and environmental justice movements in the United States and the world.
I worked with Project Survival Media to document the conference for the Energy Action Coalition. We did the important job of covering the speakers and the attendees and then stayed up late working with social media experts to push the images and memes out to world.
Below is my selection of the 25 top images from the weekend. I hope they inspire you to work a little bit harder than ever before to help solve the climate crisis.
The following story is cross-posted from Project Survival Media where I am part of the team on the ground helping to document the largest gathering of youth for action on climate change in the US.
This evening TransCanada held their one and only open house in the vast city of Montreal. The open house was situated in the middle of nowhere in the east industrial area and almost everyone visiting got lost. Surprisingly, for a massive infrastructure project there were few ‘regular’ citizens to be seen. In fact there were more blue shirts in the room all night than ‘regular’ citizens.
But that statement doesn’t tell the whole story. It was clear that the majority of those blue shirts and regular citizens were actually concerned citizens. Save-Canada.com has been attending these events, dressed in almost exactly the same fatigue as the TransCanada representatives and handing out more information about how this pipeline will impact Canadians and the world. It seems that the TransCanada people don’t know what to do with them. Throughout the evening Save Canada, and SansTransCanada, their Quebec counterpart, engaged with citizens and even played a little game of ‘pin the spill on the pipeline’.
From my perspective it looks like TransCanada has a long uphill battle ahead. There are a lot of concerned citizens, few actual jobs and they are building an export pipeline. If you are looking for some more information here is one source. The visual story is below.
In 1994 over 1000 people from the Netherlands gathered to protest the expansion of Schiphol airport in Amsterdam. They planted trees in the planned path of the new fifth runway forcing Schiphol to reconsider and move the runway. Although the protest was eventually unsuccessful in halting the construction, those trees grew into a forest known today as the Bulderbos (roaring forest).
This constructed landscape is a lasting symbol of people putting environment over development. The small photo series brings the Bulderbos into the homes of five key supporters and tree planters nearly 20 years later.
- The Bulderbos
- Mary Lauw – Zoetermeer
- Wijnand Duyvendak – Amsterdam
- Leo Langeveld – Ede
- Jeroen Warmerdam – Nieuw Vennep
- Ad & Gerda Roset – Hoofdorp
Today I have been experimenting with Stipple. This program allows me to add more information and links to static images. This is tremendously exciting because the storytelling potential from a single image just got hit out of the park. I have included here three images from an Occupy protest in Durban during COP 17. You can scroll over the images and listen to what the individuals were saying at the time (sorry the sound was recorded on a phone and isn’t great) or click on links to see more related material.
This is quick and dirty but think of the possibilities…..
This post originally appeared on the EWEA website. It is a part of my Force series focusing on the stories behind wind energy.
Mayor of Progresu and Fácáeni
Rosu Nuti was born in Progresu and has been the mayor here for 10 years. Her ambitious spirit is apparent the moment she walks in a room and if you need proof of how hard she works, one glance at her overflowing desk should help.
When Rosu first heard about the plan to construct a 44 turbine wind farm in the community, she immediately saw the benefits. However, as is always the case with something new in a community, there was some confusion and pessimism among the citizens.
Rosu spent a lot of energy organising and convincing the village that this was a good idea. Eventually they came around and ground will be broken on the project this year.
For Progresu and Fácáeni the money injected into the local economy will have a clear benefit. Infrastructure here is underdeveloped: roads are poor and horse-and-cart is still the mode of transport for many. Any local jobs that are created will be welcome in a village with an unemployment rate of 45%.
“The earth won’t be able to give us fossil fuels for eternity, and when we take into account the nuclear plant nearby, we prefer to have a field of turbines,” says Rosu.
Mayor of Pestera
Valentin Vrabie is the most popular mayor in Romania. He was awarded a prize for best mayor in Romania and was re-elected with 95% of the vote. He has achieved this distinction not on his own, but with the help of the wind blowing through Pestera.
When wind energy developers came to Pestera, interested in building a 30 turbine farm, Valentin Vrabie seized the opportunity. He immediately opened the doors and did what he could to streamline the process. He understood that the revenue from this project could turn Pe?tera around.
Valentin didn’t believe that the taxes from the wind farm should go to the county office in Constan?a. He successfully lobbied to have the laws changed and the taxes are now flowing into the Pe?tera commune coffers.
The results of this legislative change are apparent everywhere in Pestera. There is a beautiful new park, a new mosque, a new school complete with fibre optic line and new laptops, and a renovated church. Every year large light shows and celebrations attract tens of thousands of people. All this in a period of global crisis mentions Valentin.
Valentin and the community are excited that there is another wind farm coming to Pestera this year. It will make this commune one of the richest in the country. As for Valentin, when he has finished his term in Pe?tera commune he has his political sights set on the county.
Mayor of Saligny
Beiu Ion was the vice-mayor of Saligny,when the turbines were built. 19 in total, they stand on unused agricultural ground on a hill above the village, surely a sight prettier then the nuclear reactors over the hill in Cernavoda.
Beiu and the villagers were very supportive of the project to build the turbines when initially proposed. The construction was smooth and although there were a few small disputes, when the money started to come in, those concerns were quickly overcome.
That money, approximately €300,000 a year, goes a long way in this little community. When Beiu was elected mayor last year he inherited a community that is transforming. First on Beiu’s list is to ensure all the houses have running water and to pave the roads in Saligny. With a life span of 25 years on the wind farm, the community is looking forward to a future with the wind.
The Force project was born from my belief that by providing examples of positive personal and community stories, we can help grow the renewable energy sectors and avoid the worst consequences of a climate crisis. Force is a series of photographic essays that highlight that wind energy solutions are not an aspect of the future but are a lived reality right now for people and communities all over the world.
This project has proven to be an important and timely vehicle through which to communicate wind energy solutions. Force has been supported by the European Wind Energy Association and the Global Wind Energy Council.
Leading up to Global Wind Day on June 15, 2013, the EWEA will publish one or two new stories each week from the Force project and then exhibited the stories at the European Parliament in June, 2013.
There are two ways to discover the Force stories, explore the map below or visit the image gallery.
A couple of years ago I started the Force project, a photographic body of work that highlights the social, cultural and human stories behind wind energy. The Force project was born from my personal conviction that by providing examples of positive personal and community stories, we can help grow the renewable energy sectors and avoid the worst consequences of a climate crisis.
Throughout my travels I have met some amazing and inspiring people and this project has proven to be an important and timely vehicle through which to communicate wind energy solutions.
I am very proud of the most recent development in this project. Force has inspired the subject of the Global Wind Day and European Wind Energy Associations (EWEA) 2013 amateur photography contest. Everyone is now invited people to submit and share their wind energy stories for a chance to win.
This is a wonderful development because it gives many people the opportunity to share their stories and help inspire change. Do you have a wind energy photograph and story? Drop by their site to enter.
I will be sitting on the jury panel and I look forward to judging the results. The winning images will be displayed in Brussels at the European Commission on June 15.
Furthermore, I will be working with the EWEA over the next few months to expand the Force project. If you want to stay on top of these developments, follow me on twitter, sign up for my newsletter or watch this blog!