Earth Day, April 22, is less than one week away. The theme of Earth Day 2013 is The Face of Climate Change. This campaign seeks to harness the power of Earth Day to personalize the massive challenge that climate change presents, while uniting people around the globe into a powerful call to action.
Earth Day Network is collecting images of people, animals and places affected by climate change, as well as images of people doing their part in the fight against climate change. On Earth Day itself, an interactive digital display of all the images will be shown at thousands of events around the world. The display is also available online to anyone who wants to view it, show it or read the stories.
Although climate change still seems a remote problem to some people, the reality is quite different. This past year marked many climate-change milestones. Arctic sea-ice cover reached a record low in September. The United States experienced its hottest year ever; this after the World Meteorological Organization announced that the first decade of this century was the hottest on record for the entire planet. Public perception of extreme weather events as “the new normal” grew, as unusual super storms rocked the Caribbean, the Philippines and the northeast United States; droughts plagued northern Brazil, Russia, China and two-thirds of United States; exceptional floods inundated Nigeria, Pakistan and parts of China; and more. Meanwhile, international climate change talks stagnated.
But as these Faces of Climate Change begin to multiply, others are multiplying, too: people stepping up to do something about it.
“The goal is to depict the very real impact that climate change is having on people’s lives and to unite thousands of Earth Day events around the world into one call for climate action,” said Franklin Russell, director of Earth Day at Earth Day Network. “The more people who participate, the more of an impact it will have.”
Earth Day Network is encouraged by the level of participation in this year’s activities.
Examples of stories collected so far include a mountaineer in New Zealand whoreported on receding glaciers and an organization in Thailand who installed solar panels at a refugee camp on the Myanmar border. With more than 1 billion people across 192 countries participating in Earth Day-related activities each year, the potential is enormous.
People can also post photos to Twitter and Instagram using the hashtag #FaceOfClimate for inclusion in the mosaic. To view The Face of Climate Change photo display, go to www.earthday.org/faces. To learn more about Earth Day 2013 and The Face of Climate Change, go to www.earthday.org/2013