Category Archives: Celebrate

Oceanscapes – One View – Ten years; By Renate Aller

By © Renate Aller

“I have been photographing the Atlantic ocean for more then a decade from exactly the same viewpoint, our home on stilts on the South Shore of Long Island.

The ocean carries the whole history of our earth. The self-healing trace minerals of the ocean represent our collective memory. The ocean covers nearly three quarters of our planet. Water is the most important element on our earth and it is our duty to save it from ongoing destruction due to pollution.

The ocean is also a point for reflection and meditation. Engaging with the ocean from an elevated position is similar to the experience in front of a cinema screen. Our eyes and minds go beyond the horizon and come back to the bouncing waves at the shore, following the rhythm of the motion from “here” to “there.” We, as spectators of the scene, are “here” yet we are able to project ourselves to “somewhere else.”

The photographic project “Oceanscapes – One View – Ten years” supports my investigation into the relationship between romanticism, memory, and landscape in the context of our current socio-political awareness. Caspar David Friedrich placed the back of a person into the landscape, The Monk by the Sea, and that figure is thereby projected into the endless world of nature. By omitting the literal figure standing in the frame, I put the viewer of my pieces into the position of the spectator, and allow them their own way of “seeing.”

In the single image one can find longing and identity. In the serial representation one can be guided into their emotions (or their contradictions) – as in the construction of a musical piece. The movements and moods of the ocean are a composition. It appears to be random but it has its own structure. That is how I compose music: silence next to anxiety, like the moment just after an angry storm. In the anticipation of a moment yet to come, we can find all that makes up our imaginations, memories, reassurances and fears.

We do know, however, that these are just moments and seconds or minutes – after the picture was taken all these colors and shapes may change completely – we are aware of the transitory state of values and our perception of reality. And yet, it is always the same point of view and the same location that presents all this to us.

Our memories are based on repetition, ‘the recurring view toward the ocean’ – it is always the same and yet so different.”

Current Exhibitions at the Corcoran Gallery Of Art.

Dicotyledon, a book by Renate Aller, Radius Book

Oceanscapes – USA, a book by Renate Aller, Radius Book

Oceanscapes – Europe, a book by Renate Aller, Radius Book

Children’s Eyes On Earth 2012 Photography Contest, In Pictures

Photo source: ©© Muha


Thousands of young photographers worldwide submitted their images to the youth photography contest, which aims to raise awareness of environmental issues.

Children aged 17 and under were encouraged to illustrate the themes of ‘I love nature‘ and ‘I hate pollution‘…

Read Full Article and View Photo Gallery, Guardian UK

Children’s Eyes on Earth photography prize 2012, CNN

California Coastal Clean Up Day, 2012, Artwork

Photo source: California Coastal Commission Gov

By The California Coastal commission,

What is coastal clean-up day?
California Coastal Cleanup Day, an annual beach and inland waterway cleanup, is the state’s largest volunteer event. In 2010, over 82,500 volunteers removed more than 1.2 million pounds of trash and recyclables from our beaches, lakes, and waterways. When combined with the International Coastal Cleanup, organized by Ocean Conservancy and taking place on the same day, California Coastal Cleanup Day becomes part of one of the largest volunteer events in the world.

Why are beach cleanups important?
California’s coast and waterways have historically been collecting spots for annual accumulations of trash and debris. This debris, if not removed, can be harmful and even fatal to all manners of marine wildlife, can damage our state’s economy, and can even become a human health hazard. Coastal Cleanup Day is a great way for families, students, service groups, and neighbors to join together, take care of our fragile marine environment, show community support for our shared natural resources, learn about the impacts of marine debris and how we can prevent them, and to have fun!

The Coastal Commission is committed to eliminating the waste created at Coastal Cleanup Day. Please join our efforts by bringing your own reusable supplies to the Cleanup. Learn more on our BYO page.

Be part of the solution to marine pollution! Join us on Saturday, September 15, 2012, for the 28th Annual California Coastal Cleanup Day…

Read and Learn More, California Coastal Commission

Photo source: California Coastal Commission Gov

International Coastal Clean Up, 2012

Photograph: © SAF

Join thousands of your friends and neighbors today, for the 2012 International Coastal Clean Up.
Local actions, global changes!


For more than a quarter of a century, volunteers with Ocean Conservancy’s International Coastal Cleanup have picked up everything imaginable along the world’s shorelines: cigarette butts, food wrappers, and even the proverbial kitchen sink.

These passionate ocean lovers not only pick up trash that endangers the health of humans, wildlife, and coastal economies, they count every item as well.

The resulting item-by-item, location-by-location Ocean Trash Index provides an invaluable snapshot of just what’s out there, and helps inform lasting solutions…

Read and Learn More, Ocean Conservancy International Coastal Clean Up, 2012

Ocean Conservancy’s International Coastal Cleanup : 2011 Report
Ocean Conservancy’s International Coastal Cleanup has become the world’s largest volunteer effort for ocean health. Nearly nine million volunteers from 152 countries and locations have cleaned 145 million pounds of trash from the shores of lakes, streams, rivers, and the ocean on just one day each year.

The Cold Edge

Image source: © Dave Walsh Photography


“The Copper House Gallery presents The Cold Edge an exhibition of stunning polar images by photographer, writer and environmentalist Dave Walsh. Walsh’s ethereal photographs of the unforgiving wilderness, wild animals and blue icebergs question our romantic relationship with remote, harsh and pristine environments. The images resonate with a quiet tension; all may not be right in the Garden of Eden…”The Copper House Gallery.

Dave Walsh’s photographs, at the Copper House Gallery in Dublin, show what it is like to be truly on the edge. The images taken during Greenpeace expeditions to the Arctic and Antarctica, between 2007 and 2010, question our romantic relationship with remote, harsh and pristine environments of the polar regions…

The Cold Edge exhibition runs from September 13th to September 29th, 2012.

View Images Gallery and Learn More, The Copper House Gallery

The Cold Edge: Exhibition, 16 Images; Dave Walsh Photography

The Cold Edge: the Book, Dave Walsh Photography

Read Full Article, Guardian UK

Going to the Arctic to witness history, Greenpeace

Indian sand artist wins prize in Denmark

Copenhagen International Sand Sculpture Festival 2012. Photo source: ©© Aeter


A sand sculpture on marine conservation created by Indian sand artist Sudarsan Pattnaik has won the prestigious audience prize at an international sand art competition held in Copenhagen, the artist said Wednesday.

Pattnaik’s 20-feet high sculpture ‘Save the Ocean‘ got as many as 23,000 votes from a total of 80,000 cast by visitors at the Copenhagen International sand sculpture championship and festival, which began May 31 in Denmark…

Read Full Article, IANS

Copenhagen International Sand Sculpture Festival, 2012

Inside Climate Change and Our World’s Beaches with Dr. Orrin Pilkey

By Clayton Moore, The Kirkus Review

There is a vivid and glorious history of writing about the environment, ecology and the world around us. In the seminal book Walden; or, Life in the Woods (1854), the great transcendentalist Henry David Thoreau chronicled his spiritual journal but also described in magnificent detail the richness of life in the woods.

When John Steinbeck decided to voyage down the coast of California with his friend Ed Ricketts in 1940, little did he know they were leaving behind incredible insight into both their philosophies about the world in The Log of the Sea of Cortez (1951). We still read works like A Sand County Almanac (1949) to delve into the relationship between people and their environs.

The fact is that these books continue to be important not only for armchair scientists but for the rest of us to contemplate our place in this tense, fragile world. Dr. Orrin H. Pilkey (Useless Arithmetic, 2007, etc.) offers two decidedly different takes on the genre in his latest works.

The World’s Beaches (2011), written with three fellow scientists from around the world, is a comprehensive but relatable guide to the science of the shoreline, teaching readers precisely how beaches work and how to read the “character” of any given shoreline.

His second book, Global Climate Change: A Primer (2011), offers an accurate, comprehensive introduction to a controversial subject, written with his son Keith Pilkey and richly illustrated through batik art by Mary Edna Fraser.

Pilkey, professor emeritus of Geology and of Earth and Ocean Sciences at Duke University, is unusual in his willingness to advocate for changes in policies that affect the environment. “Scientists, in my view, have a responsibility to spread the word,” he told Kirkus. “Part of the problem is that we scientists tend to be dullards when it comes to selling our case. Those who work in science tend to be very unsuited for spreading the word—that’s why they’re scientists. But although we should have opinions about policy, scientists should not determine policy per se, but should provide the basis for policy decisions.”

While the books may appear academic to the everyday reader, Pilkey warns that beaches remain one of the best indicators of things to come with global warming. “I believe that the first truly global crisis will be sea-level rise and the movement of beaches retreating into cities and other places requiring massive changes of one kind or another,” he says. “Understanding how shorelines work will be critical to our response to sea-level rise.”

As one of the world’s foremost experts, Pilkey also remains steadfastly at the eye of the hurricane when it comes to the political debate over global climate change. “The most common misconception is that put forth by ‘deniers,’ who argue that we scientists are biased and even incompetent. In trashing global change science, they damage science in general,” he says.

Pilkey believes the United States in particular is divided into two camps with radically different outlooks. “Simply put, there are those who believe that global warming is happening at that humans are responsible, and those who don’t,” he says. “I personally believe the level of education is greater in the first camp, but the rule is complex. One of the nation’s most prestigious papers, The Wall Street Journal, generally opposes the human connection and the idea of doing anything about global change. The New York Times, on the other hand, supports the concept of human involvement in climate change.”

Despite his immersive knowledge about beaches in particular, Pilkey admits that there’s more to learn. “In a broad way, we know a great deal about how beaches evolved,” he says. “When I look back, I find it embarrassing to think about what we believed were the principles of beaches. But there are still things we don’t know, like exactly what happens to all the sand that is disbursed from beaches during storms. Why do some beaches recover from storms, and others not?

“Part of the purpose of The World’s Beaches is to get people to love and appreciate beaches on a different level. They are the most dynamic geomorphic feature on the surface of the Earth.”

To the audience for Global Climate Change, Pilkey has a message, especially for those who remain burdened by doubt. “I want to tell the world that they should not read thermometers to determine warming,” he says. “They should read the Earth. Look at melting ice sheets, melting mountain glaciers, melting permafrost, warming oceans, rising seas, changing plant and animal patterns. There are many uncertainties about the future of global climate change, but the general trends are very strong. The public should not consider uncertainties to be a sign of weakness, but rather a sign that scientists are making careful statements. Strong, unbending statements about global change made with certainty are a sure sign of bad science.”

Food for thought.

Perhaps there’s something to be said for staring into the abyss and thinking about our place in it. As Steinbeck’s friend Doc Ricketts once wrote, “There are good things to see in the tide pools, and there are exciting and interesting thoughts to be generated from the seeing.”

Both The World’s Beaches and Global Climate Change are available now.

The World’s Beaches : A Global Guide to the Science of the Shoreline: A book by Orrin H. Pilkey, William J. Neal, James Andrew Graham Cooper and Joseph T. Kelley

Published by University Of California Press
” Beaches are the most dynamic features on Earth, constantly changing shape and providing vital ecological functions and a home to environments of amazing biodiversity. Understanding the importance of the beach’s role vis-a-vis the land, the nearshore and the ocean and its biodiversity is crucial to its protection and preservation.”
—Santa Aguila Foundation

Global Climate Change: A Primer; A Book by Orrin H. Pilkey and Keith C. Pilkey, Illustrated with batik art by Mary Edna Fraser

Published by Duke University Press

An internationally recognized expert on the geology of barrier islands, Orrin H. Pilkey is one of the rare academics who engages in public advocacy about science-related issues. He has written dozens of books and articles explaining coastal processes to lay readers, and he is a frequent and outspoken interviewee in the mainstream media. Here, the colorful scientist takes on climate change deniers in an outstanding and much-needed primer on the science of global change and its effects.

After explaining the greenhouse effect, Pilkey, writing with son Keith C. Pilkey, turns to the damage it is causing: sea level rise, ocean acidification, glacier and sea ice melting, changing habitats, desertification, and the threats to animals, humans, coral reefs, marshes, and mangroves. These explanations are accompanied by Mary Edna Fraser’s stunning batiks depicting the large-scale arenas in which climate change plays out.

The Pilkeys directly confront and rebut arguments typically advanced by global change deniers. Particularly valuable are their discussions of “Climategate,” a manufactured scandal that undermined respect for the scientific community, and the denial campaigns by the fossil fuel industry, which they compare to the tactics used by the tobacco companies a generation ago to obfuscate findings on the harm caused by cigarettes.