Art + Climate Change: Call to Action

Please don’t show us a photograph of a polar bear on a sinking piece of ice. Not interested in sickening images of smoke stacks, nor of fallen trees, or drought in Africa. Not even a piece about traditional livelihoods in a remote Andean valley where a glacier is melting. We’ve seen it all and we still slumber. If we care at all, we are also
confused. Many of us don’t believe it. Some of us don’t care. Some of us changed our light bulbs. Eat local food. Leave us alone.

But stir the waters of our minds, stagnant and laden with facts and doubts, statement and counter-statement. Infuse them with the fear of what if we sleep, and with the thrill of what if we awake. Reach beyond our confused minds and imprint it on our hearts that this is not just about polar bears or science, but that it is a last warning and a golden opportunity for the world to come together and do something as a community. Show us that the tools are here, the path lies clear before us, but only the will is lacking. The imagination. The vision. Force our hearts to identify with those who are far from us in space or time. Force them.

You have done it with AIDS. You have done it with WAR. This is a social issue, an injustice if there ever was one. You have yelled the voices of the unheard into our ears and shook us many times before. There are no voices more silent than those of the unborn. Voice them loud and clear.

You can do it. You are artists.

— Mukul Ram Fishman

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