I’ve been wanting to make these sorts of things for a very long time, and finally I have the opportunity to do so. I’m really excited to do two things at once: one, create something that people can use to promote protecting the environment; two, educate with a real example. A sample of the products:
ABlyth Art Series, Burning Skies & Yokkaichi Skies products
This photo of the ventilation towers was taken in Yokkaichi Japan, which was once the most polluted cities in the country. The most prominent problem was in the 1960’s to 1980’s was “Yokkaichi Asthma”. The cause was SOx being released from the petrochemical plants at the harbour where this photo was taken. Today, Yokkaichi people enjoy cleaner air and water, because of a change in government and corporate policies; a change that can be done anywhere in the world. Japan’s major petrochemical companies, oil imports, and petrol refineries are still in Yokkaichi, and are still in operation, but with filters, cleaners, and improved operation standards. There were really three groups involved, the public, government, and corporations, and it was the public that forced the government and corporations to re-align their priorities.
The message has been made into t-shirts for both men and women, into bags that can be worn over your jumpers/sweaters, and with and without text. Consider getting the no-text version, and write your own message over the top with white paint.
Fall of Nature is an art and an awareness raising project. Of course the viewer is free to interpret the images as he or she wishes, but the intention is to highlight how nature is being replaced by commercialism, consumerism, and suffers from urban encroachment. The collection is currently available on my PhotoShelter portfolio at Fall of Nature. You can order prints and products of the digitally scanned versions of the images at my PhotoShelter portfolio, but at extra cost of money and time, you can order organic, analogue prints direct from the film (unframed). That is to say, none of the images have had any digital manipulation, and may contain dust specks, grain, scratches, and other charisma. The images you see are about exactly as they print from the 35mm negative. These images were shot on Kodak Ekta 100, with a Minolta Alpha 7, on two different days at Tado mountains in Mie prefecture, and Meieki & Sakae wards in Nagoya city of Aichi prefecture.
The Hatoyama Government has made a very public pledge to reduce carbon emissions by 25%. Ambitious, but possible. However, this was made amid a very serious economic downturn, and still the Japanese economy is fragile, and many tens of thousands factory workers are still unemployed. To maintain the economy, keeping money floating and changing hands, the ordinary people are not being asked to pay out so much. Public education is set to become free (a bill will be submitted later this month to parliament), but two important points are being made public in Japanese media. National highway tolls will be cut to just one-thousand yen per section, and “eco-points” (ie: government cashback offers) for all new “ecologically friendly” televisions and other appliances bought.
In previous holidays, we saw that with a decrease to one-thousand yen highway tolls, that there was a significant increase in traffic. Meeting the 25% carbon reduction appears more difficult to attain. However, can eco-points assist in this? Perhaps not. The offer ends on March 31st, 2010.
Our previous television used about 190 watts per hour, and it was an older, 36″ cathode-ray type. The new “eco-friendly” television, at 40″, bought second hand (ex-shop display) uses 170 watts per hour. Hardly a reduction at all. But we do get twenty-thousand yen back from the government, which should cover the electricity bill for the times when I accidentally leave a 40 watt desk lamp on while watching my environmentally friendly television.
Why offer cheaper highway tolls, cash back on electronic products, and free education? Not really to keep the economy turning (at least artificially), but because there’s an upper house election later this year. But a High Definition LCD TV is so much nicer than the previous cathode ray tube.