13 April 2014

Going to the Wall

Art imitates death too.

An artist known only as ATM uses graffiti to challenge a system that has brought bird species to the edge of extinction in England. TreeHugger shares some of the artist's work and the story behind it here.

To me, the choice of using graffiti serves to highlight the desperation of the birds' situation. While a painting could have received attention, it likely would not have communicated the full spirit of the problem. ATM's work makes a statement literally on the social structure that threatens the birds, and considering the nature of extinction, anything less would have been insufficient.

The story of ATM and England's declining birds provides a microcosm for the environmental issues we face as a planet. With extinction rates soaring and a climate system saturated by carbon dioxide, it's no longer enough to just paint pictures of what's happening. We have to go further and make fundamental changes to human society. For example, today's report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change showed the need for major, urgent action to address global warming.

Our backs are against the wall, from which ATM's birds stare down at us.

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