Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Poster of the Week

Stop Global Warming
Peggy White
Ultrachrome print, 2009
Kansas City, Missouri

The unfolding disaster in the Philippines is evoked by CSPG’s Poster of the Week.  Super Typhoon Haiyan, aka Yolanda, one of the strongest storms in recorded history to make landfall, slammed the Philippines, killing an estimated 10,000 people in the city of Tacloban alone. Sustained winds of up to 195 miles per hour with gusts of up to 235 mph, generated huge, tsunami-like waves—from 10 to more than 30 feet high (some reports say up to 45 feet high)—that battered the island, destroying 70-80% of the buildings and roads. 1/6th of the entire population is without food, clean water and shelter. 

Jeff Masters, director of meteorology at the Weather Underground, said, “Typhoons take their energy from the heat of the oceans, and they convert it to the energy of their winds. In a storm like this that gets wound up to Category 5 status, it’s going to pile up a huge area of water that will then come ashore with it as it makes landfall. And that’s what happened in Tacloban. The wall of water that came in, probably at least 10 or 15 feet high, was pushed by these Category 5 winds right into the heart of this downtown area… rising sea levels caused by global warming increased the size of the storm’s surge, while the heating of the oceans threatens more extreme storms that could form into typhoons.”

Peggy White appropriated Katsushika Hokusai’s iconic The Great Wave off Kanagawa (1832) to call attention to global warming.  Hokusai’s Wave, one of the best known Japanese art works in the world, has been used to denounce pollution of the air, land, and seas, and relate this to global warming, flooding and other ecological disasters.  In the Hokusai, nature is the primary power; in this adaptation, human interference has caused nature to become even more destructive.

Poster artists have used Hokusai’s wave for a variety of topics since the 1970s if not earlier, but its use has increased over the last decade as awareness of climate change continues to grow. Unfortunately, as long as governments and corporations put profits over people, the environmental pollution that causes climate change continues to escalate. 

SIGN PETITION To UN Climate negotiators
Governments are meeting in Warsaw the next two weeks for the annual UN climate negotiations. This ritual has dragged on for years without conclusion, largely because the great powers have done so little. On days like these, their inaction amounts to mockery. So Bill McGibbons and setup a page— —where you can add your name to a petition that their staff will hand-deliver to negotiators at the UN climate summit. In short, we need to let world leaders know that their inaction is wrecking the world, and the time is long past for mere talk -- we need action, and we need it now.  Please sign and pass the page on.


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