The Importance of Visuals in Making Climate Change Personal
The climate movement lost a key player yesterday. As the Mashable article below reports, award-winning environmental photographer Gary Braasch died while documenting the effects of climate change on the Great Barrier Reef.
Braasch was a passionate campaigner for climate action, and his “before and after” photos offered some of the earliest visual evidence of the impacts of climate change, from the shrinking ice of the polar regions to the disappearing beaches of North Carolina’s Outer Banks.
As MomentUs leader Katharine Hayhoe said in a Facebook post, “One of the greatest challenges in communicating climate change – a phenomenon that happens slowly, over decades – is finding that visual image, that striking picture we can look at and say, ‘Wow! I see what you’re talking about now!’ That is what photographer Gary Braasch was so good at.”
Braasch will be sorely missed – but his indelible images help remind us of the power of visuals in making climate change real, tangible, and personal, and inspiring people to take action.
By Andrew Freedman, contributor to Mashable
Gary Braasch, a pioneering photographer who traveled the world to document the increasingly rapid and far-reaching effects of global warming, died on Monday while taking pictures of the Great Barrier Reef in Australia, according to Reuters.
The reef, like many reefs throughout the world right now, is experiencing a coral bleaching event, which may be the longest-lasting such episode ever documented in modern times.
Reuters reported that Braasch, who was 70, was snorkeling with a companion at the Australian Museum’s Lizard Island Research Station. “He was documenting the effect of climate change on the reef,” the agency said.
Queensland police are investigating the cause of death.
Braasch was one of the earliest photographers to provide visual evidence of how global warming is reshaping the world, from retreating mountain glaciers to beach erosion in Alaska.
Image credit: Gary Braasch/Getty