The photo, above, shows a tundra in its natural state. Although Inuit hunt and trap on these lands, there are no worn footpaths, other than those made by musk oxen and caribou. Yet, even these northern lands are changing due to global warming and the mining of natural resources. As the permafrost begins to melt, methane gas is release from the soil, adding to ever more global warming, threatening our planet.
We are nearly to the point where the only areas in the world not yet vulnerable to “development” lie in the national and state parks. We see the results of development in East Africa. The current issue of Black & White Photography has an article about Nick Brandt, an internationally known photographer who has photographed wildlife in East Africa over the past twenty-five years. His images of the animals are dramatic; his photographs of their former landscapes show how humans have destroyed both their beauty and their ecological value. His latest exhibition, Inherit the Dust, is now on display at Stockholm’s Fotografiska.
These photographs show life-size images of the animals on giant posters set up within the scene of the degraded landscape they once roamed. These photographs are giant panoramas composed of several photographs, all done with film.
This exhibition, along with the work of countless wildlife and landscape photographers around the world, begs the question, how long can we continue to develop land before the environment collapses? Taken from an ecological point of view, we humans are an invasive species, ultimately contributing to our own demise. Dinosaurs lived for two hundred million years–it took a giant meteor strike to wipe them out. Our earliest ancestors only go back about 200,000 years, how much longer can we last?