I write this just two hours after IPCC's press conference on the publication of their "Mitigation of Climate Change" report, and the main points from their document has already reached the headlines of national newspapers. If the journalists have got it right, the effort needed to halt global warming in the short term is a 3% reduction in global GDP, which is a surprisingly small figure in my opinion. However I'm sure this figure will be fiercely debated in the next weeks. James Lovelock (the Gaia-guy) has already announced that doom is imminent no matter what we do. Politicians (eg. Bush administration, Norwegian government, Hugo Chavez, etc.) and scientists backed by fossil fuel industry will predictably criticise the report and try their best to destroy its credibility. The more time they can bargain for, the more money they'll make. But I digress. As my friend Frank Thériault stressed in his blog two days ago: Act locally!
So, can my blog help *me* to protect global environment? Or is it just a rhetoric question to justify my masochism?
A lot of good things can be said about photographing locally instead of travelling far and wide. Reducing car emissions is a big one. The big question, however, is whether local activity replace expeditions or simply add to them.
In my case, it's an add-on. As I stated in one of the first posts in this blog, regular photographic exercise is necessary to maintain skill. What I should have added is "for when you really need it". Which in my case means dedicated photo trips. Since january, I've been planning a fortnight's trip to Northern Norway, which means more than 2000 km driving. Yes, 2000 km. Norway is pretty stretched-out. I hate to think about the emissions in my wake, but I'd love to get those pictures.
In fact, my targets for the trip are areas that will be altered by climate change. One is an archipelago that will disappear completely with a two meter rise of sea level. The other is a glacier. Both are protected by legislation; the archipelago is a UNESCO world heritage site and the glacier a national park. Does this make my trip a moral dilemma?
To me, yes. And my solution?
As most people do, to find a justification (or excuse, if you like) ranking "higher" than the environmental cost. I won't insult your intelligence by explaining how.
Instead, I'll keep telling myself my expedition pictures better be damn good!