The year 2017 was, in many ways, stormy. It brought more storms super-sized due to global warming and more people, including scientists, taking to the streets in response to the political climate.
This year for DeSmog I continued documenting a range of issues related to climate change, from extreme weather enhanced by it to the expanding industrial landscape contributing to it.
This year I shot the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey, a storm researchers have shown was intensified by climate change, and the protests of people determined to protect the environment — a renewed movement kicked off with the Women’s March in Washington, D.C., following Trump’s inauguration.
In the mix I captured moments in the battle against Energy Transfer Partners’ Bayou Bridge pipeline, which only last week secured its last permit before construction can begin in Louisiana, and events in the ongoing struggle for clean air in the communities of Louisiana’s Cancer Alley.
I’ve included photos taken in West Virginia and Ohio of coal power plants, a visual reminder of the need to transition to clean energy and the people living in the shadow of an industry in decline, despite President Trump’s promise to revive it. Also in the mix you’ll find documentation of the slow recovery for victims of last year’s record-breaking floods in Louisiana.
In December thousands of scientists descended on New Orleans for the world’s largest annual gathering of Earth and planetary scientists. While walking the halls of the convention center, I wondered if anyone had invited Louisiana’s Democratic governor, John Bel Edwards, who has stated that he is unsure of humankind’s role in climate change. At the conference, the researchers presenting their work made it clear to me that the debate over climate change has long since passed. For those who accept science, the debate has shifted to climate solutions.
With a president and administration packed with climate deniers doubling down attacks against science, it was no wonder scientists themselves left their labs and took to the streets of Washington, D.C., this April to defend and celebrate the method and people exploring and explaining our world. And little surprise that we would see the largest ever march for climate action shortly thereafter.
I look forward to contributing more photos and stories in 2018 here at DeSmog, an outlet that continually debunks misinformation on environmental issues. This mission feels more vital than ever for those who care about the preservation of the planet as we know it.