Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Nature Always Wins

I heard a news bit on the radio, linked above, about how Harvard is measuring how much carbon the forests absorb from the air. I have been painting forests, inspired by Al Gore, I have been thinking about the earth alot lately. Also just assigned my design class to do an illustration of this excellent article in the New Yorker "Death in the Forest" which is about how an invasive bug, hitching a ride on the legs of migrant birds, is decimating the hemlock forests on the East Coast from Georgia to Maine. Hemlock forests are habitat for many rare songbirds [who are already in trouble].

[One of the students told me he was sick of this global warming stuff. "It's all bogus." I didn't say anything. I was thinking about assigning him to watch the Al Gore movie. But also thinking "We'll see." Another student asked if he could title his illustration "Death to the Forest". I said it was ok.]

And yesterday I heard that the grain supply is sort of endangered. At any one time we only have 2 months supply of grain for the entire world.

I guess I tend to be an alarmist, but whoa!
I like to eat. I've seen the Central Valley where the orchards are being cut down as fast as can be, where the farms are being replaced by houses. I've been to the Silicon Valley where the orchards do not exist anymore. What the hell are the politicians doing if we are in such a precarious state?

But I think nature will win afterall, somehow. Some fail safe, some feedback loop.
A mighty wind that blows us all off the planet or something.

Here I have spent my entire career trying to make archival art that will last centuries under the right conditions. I never planned on an ice age or a mighty wind or a vast famine or whatever. Nature is out of whack. Some small animal was probably eating viruses, and was eating the invasive species in their hometown.

And is it totally elitist to be just painting when all this is going on? What to do? And we drive around .... and one town outlaws plastic bags...yes it's a nice step but we need more. And they are killing each other in Sudan and fighting everywhere.

And us artists...we can cut our emissions and work sustainably. Science and politics will deal with global warming and the big issues. But coming up with creative ideas to solve problems is what I am best at. I know how to think outside the box, way outside the box. I wish I wasn't so sidelined.

Everything is madness.
What to do?

Labels: , , , , ,