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Stunning photos bring environmental change into view at the Paris negotiations

Terra Mia (Image 1 of 7)

In the last few years the Italian region of Campania has become known as the “new triangle of death” or “The Land of Fires.” The region has recently experienced an increasing number of deaths caused by cancer and other diseases connected with the introduction of harmful substances into the environment. It is thought that the rise in cancer-related mortality is caused mainly by pollution from illegal and hazardous waste disposal.

Photo and caption by Yvonne De Rosa

Paradise Lost (Image 2 of 7)

The streets are covered in a dirty layer of ash, and the horizon is dominated by factory chimneys and slag heaps that are more like mountains. The 140,000 people who live in Enakievo, a city in the east of Ukraine, have grown used to their bleak surroundings. The steel plant may plague the air with black, yellow and blue smoke from its 14 chimneys, but it also provides jobs and income. The coal mines and chemical factories are important drivers of the local economy, too, though the recent financial crisis has hit the region hard.

Photo and caption by Espen Rasmussen

The Evolution of Ivanpah Solar (Image 3 of 7)

“Changing Perspectives – The Evolution of Ivanpah Solar” is an aerial survey of the construction of Ivanpah Solar in the Mojave Desert, California. Completed in February 2014, it is the world’s largest concentrated solar thermal power plant with a capacity of 392 megawatts  — enough to power 140,000 American homes.

Photo and caption by Jamey Stillings

Melting (Image 4 of 7)

This photo was taken in a narrow ice cave near Exit Glacier in Seward, Alaska. The entrance was so narrow I had to crawl in carefully without damaging the structure. The melting of glaciers around the world is speeding up due to the worsening of the global warming.

Photo and caption by Po Chun Huang

Ghosts of Hurricane Sandy (Image 5 of 7)

The Princess Cottage, located at 705 Front Street in Union Beach, New Jersey, was severely damaged by Hurricane Sandy. During the storm, few were spared in this working-class town of 6,200. More than 500 houses were damaged, and over 110 were destroyed. The 13-foot storm surge is an example of what may, by mid-century, be the “new norm on the Eastern seaboard,” says Harvard geologist Daniel P. Schrag.

Photo and caption by Aristide Economopoulos

The Coal Question (Image 6 of 7)

Indonesia is the fifth largest coal producer in the world today and one of the world’s leading exporters. This archipelagic nation only uses approximately 13 percent of the coal it produces for domestic consumption. The remaining 87 percent is sold to the rest of the world.

Photo and caption by Kemal Jufri

Baku, Azerbaijan, 1993 (Image 7 of 7)

The burning of fossil fuels not only impacts the global atmosphere, but in Azerbaijan, dilapidated and leaky pumps of oil rigs create viscous pools of runoff. With forests of rigs in their back yard, the children of suburban Baku have learned to use them as sad substitutes for missing playgrounds.

Photo by Gerd Ludwig


We often talk about environmental change in terms of numbers — 2 °C or 400 parts per million, for example. But what does global transformation look like to people on the ground?

An exhibition on display at the COP 21 climate conference in Paris is bringing our changing environment to life through a collection of stunning photographs.

Curated by award-winning photographer Henry Dallal with support from the Lucie Foundation and the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, the images show human’s impact on the natural world and vice versa.

The collection here highlights just a few of the 89 images on display in the UNFCCC Blue Zone — the nerve center for the negotiations — through December 11, 2015. View Ensia homepage

Add Your Comments
  • Bill Heller Dec. 12th, 2015
    I live in Union Beach, NJ. We can see Manhattan, Staten Island and Brooklyn across Raritan Bay from the beachfront. The half-a-house (aka The Princess Cottage) photo in the article was taken just down the street from my home. I was home when Superstorm Sandy came ashore and our home was flooded with 3 feet of water, and our ground floor was heavily damaged. We were fortunate as many homes in UB were destroyed.

    That being said, global warming was not a factor, and to claim so is fraudulent. The Atlantic had already cooled down from summer. Sandy was the result of three stroms converging and a long-feared unlikely turn of winds and surge into New York Bay.

    NASA has labeled Sandy a once in a 700 year event: http://www.natureworldnews.com/articles/3012/20130717/hurricane-sandy-rare-1-700-year-trajectory.htm
    It could happen again next year, or not for a few thousand years. However, even Obama (at the time) said analysis shows it was not the result of global warming. However, the climate alarmist crowd has spun the truth once again to fit their agenda. If they're going to argue for catastrophic warming, at least use facts, not photo-ops.
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