by Bob Geary
Raleigh photographer-videographer Art Howard's work (we have some examples below) is at the heart of a major new project on global climate change called "Earth: The Operators' Manual." I wrote about it this week in the Indy (link coming when the story goes online, with a slideshow.). ETOM is a public television series, a book, a school curriculum and a website, all underwritten by the National Science Foundation. Its goals: 1) To show why climate change (global warming) is is real and worsening problem with potentially catastrophic consequences for mankind; 2) To illustrate that solutions to the problem are within our reach, technically and financially, if we can muster the political will to act on them — now.
The first hour of the ETOM television series will air on PBS stations this week. UNC-TV will show it Tuesday, April 12 at 8 p.m. (If you get the UNC-EX channel on cable or satellite, you can watch it Sunday, April 10 at 10 p.m.)
Five science museums around the country are participants in the ETOM project, including our own N.C. Museum of Natural Sciences. The museum will host a special preview showing of the television program tomorrow (Thursday, April 7), with a panel discussion to follow. Howard will be on the panel along with N.C. State's Walt Richardson, professor of atmospheric sciences, and Jeff Brooks, a Progress Energy executive.
The program starts at 7 p.m. (doors and refreshments at 6), which means the panel will begin around 8.
[Note: The show, re-edited since I saw a work-in-progress awhile back, is excellent, with Art's videography a key — the key — ingredient. Catch it if you can. The Museum of N.S. is selling the book and DVD in their gift shop — $27 and $24, respectively.]
ETOM pairs Howard's videography with a star turn by Richard Alley, a renowned Penn State geoscientist who was part of the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change that won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2007. Together, they show "how we know" that the earth is warming — using the science of ice cores — and "why we know" that the problem is due to the fossil fuels we burn for energy that are filling the atmosphere with ruinous amounts of carbon dioxide.
This is not a doomsday project, however. Alley and Howard also show the great efforts underway all over the planet to free ourselves from fossil fuels and move instead to power generation from clean, renewable sources — solar, wind, biofuels and hydropower.
Nor is this Art Howard's first effort in the field — far from it. He's been principal videographer and photographer on a series of National Science Foundation-funded projects that have taken him in recent years to the Arctic, all seven continents including Antarctica, and 3,000 feet down to the ocean floor. I should say that Art is a good friend, so I can also say from first-hand observation that he is incredibly hard-working, unduly modest and although basically strong and fit, from time to time he's endangered his health hauling camera equipment up and down mountains, over deserts and across polar ice.
Art was good enough to share some of his images with us. Indy staff are making them into a slideshow to go with the online story. In the interim, I've posted these:
FROM THE BERING SEA, NEAR ALASKA, WHERE THE LOSS OF SOLID ICE ENDANGERS A WAY OF LIFE:
30 YEARS AGO, TASMAN LAKE, IN NEW ZEALAND, DIDN'T EXIST — BUT TASMAN GLACIER IS MELTING.
ICE CORES TAKEN FROM GLACIERS ARE STORED AND STUDIED IN A U.S. LAB IN DENVER
AN URBANIZING PLANET IS BURNING MORE AND MORE FUEL
ANOTHER VIEW OF SAO PAULO
WHAT ARE THE BRAZILIANS DOING TO GENERATE CLEAN POWER
THE RAIN IN SPAIN FALLS ON AN ENORMOUS SOLAR PANEL ARRAY OUTSIDE OF SEVILLE
WIND POWER CAN TAKE THE PLACE OF FOSSIL FUELS AND HEAD OFF GLOBAL WARMING
SUGAR CANE IS A FAR MORE EFFICIENT OF ETHANOL THAN CORN — AND HELPS BRAZIL PROSPER
THE EARTH IS IN JEOPARDY —
THE CHINESE GET IT AND ARE INVESTING HUGE SUMS IN TRANSIT, WIND, SOLAR AND CARBON CAPTURE