Garth Lenz: Images of Beauty and Devastation

“The boreal forest is perhaps our best defense against global warming and climate change. The boreal forest sequesters more carbon than any other terrestrial ecosystem, and this is absolutely key. So, what we’re doing is we’re taking the most concentrated greenhouse gas sink – twice as much greenhouse gasses are sequestered in the boreal per acre than the tropical rain forests – and what we’re doing is we’re destroying this carbon sink, turning it into a carbon bomb. And we’re replacing that with the largest industrial project in the history of the world which is producing the most high-carbon, greenhouse-gas-emitting oil in the world.” – Garth Lenz, photographer

9 thoughts on “Garth Lenz: Images of Beauty and Devastation

  1. It really is so sad what damage we continue to do. I cannot get my head around how big those trucks are. Funny to think of all the focus on saving the rainforests in the last 2 decades and yet the destruction of the boreal forest was ignored.

  2. Interesting subject. We Americans have an insatiable appetite for oil. I am not sure that getting oil from Canada is worse than getting it from places like Nigeria without any regulations at all. There seems to be a lot of NIMBY-ism when it comes to oil production in North America. We all need to consider the impacts when we gas up our car, or hop on a jet and fly around the world. Before blaming others, we need to look at our own actions first. If you don’t like the impacts of oil production, then reduce your consumption.
    http://ngm.nationalgeographic.com/2007/02/nigerian-oil/oneill-text/2

    1. Good point. I’ve driven my truck once in the last month. But… that doesn’t mean that the Keystone Pipeline plans will be abandoned.

      These things that Garth is talking about are huge operations happening very quickly on a grand scale. The political decisions determining the fate of these plans are happening now, or probably in the next year. So no matter how conscious we are of our own personal consumption, it doesn’t really matter much in the face of the immediate politics, and the immediate threats to the environment.

  3. I recently read that the Keystone XL would be “game over” for climate and Garth does a great job of showing us why. There’s just no good reason to help Canada bring the world’s filthiest fuels to global markets via the $%&#@! pipeline. I’m inspired by Garth’s work and hope that more people feel compelled to use their voice for responsible energy policy. There will be enormous pressure to drill in every corner of the earth due to rising gas prices. Are we really entitled to $3 gas? Really?

    1. I’m not sure that we are, Dave. The one nice thing when gas prices soar is that people start talking about alternative energy. When gas prices drop, so does the discussion.

      I have no doubt that we humans have the brainpower and technology to successfully create an entirely new energy infrastructure. It seems we lack the willpower, though, and I’m afraid that we won’t move forward until our backs are pushed against the wall, or until the shit hits the fan so to speak. Until then, we’ll just keep tearing up the earth, polluting the air and water, and killing off species until we finally extract every last drop of that oil. It’s not sane.

  4. Newt wants to guarantee us $2.50 gas 🙂 and yeah, the discussion stops when it drops to 3 bucks. Beyond willpower to bring a new infrastructure online is the matter of political will to make some places off limits, to value functioning, intact ecosystems – even if they don’t happen to be within imaginary national park boundaries. Which is a nice metaphor that begs the question: What are our boundaries?

  5. What a sobering video, Jack. Right now, my seniors are giving persuasive presentations and the majority of them have focused on the various over-argued and cliche arguments: legalizing marijuana, abortion, capital punishment. There were three today, all in one class in fact, that focused on the destruction of the environment, and one of my students mentioned the very subject of Garth’s talk. I truly feel more and more younger people are understanding the devastating consequences of our insatiable appetite for our world’s resources, particularly coal and that we need to reverse it. What’s cool to watch is that these students recognize that this problem isn’t generational. It affects everyone, now. Thanks for sharing this, Jack.

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