Image credit: Te Kawa Robb
Wainuiomata High School
A nationwide, photography project for young people, focussing on climate change.
Good storytelling can change minds. The power of a photograph lies in the way it engages our imagination and involves us in an unfolding story.
Te Kawa Robb
Te oranga o te waonui – The health of the forest.
When we need inspiration for wellness, we need not look any further than a healthy natural environment, be that a sheltered, damp and diverse forest floor, or a nutrient dense, unpolluted and interdependent marine ecosystem. Our disconnected modern lives, for the most part, don’t replicate this anymore. We no longer see the critical importance of diversity, or collective wellbeing, of our roles as tuakana and teina, and the intergenerational responsibilities to descendants we will never meet. But getting out of our modern lives, back to nature, to observe, feel, and be inspired may just give us the chance we need to face the challenge of climate change.
Tiakina ngā uri o taiao – Care for the descendants of the environment.
While exploring taiao – the natural environment – during our photography field trip, students from Bishop Viard College displayed great interest and care for the amazing creatures they saw at Titahi Bay, including this small Kōurara (Glass Shrimp). This natural desire to care, to tiaki, to enact manaakitanga, is inherent in all our young people, and it is these values that we must all follow, on this challenging journey of halting climate change. Let our tamariki inspire us with their compassion and heart.
Whilst collaborating with Track Zero, the children and the climate scientists for this project I couldn’t stop thinking about the data in relation to the aspects of the environment that I am drawn to within my work. This image is made from multiple with the data overlaid – we have created this link – this relationship and it isn’t a healthy one.
The graph line, in white, shows carbon dioxide (CO2) levels in parts per million measured at Baring Head, near Wellington. This station has been running since 1972 and is home to the longest running continuous CO2 measurements in the Southern Hemisphere.
1972 – 328 ppm
27th October 2011 the reading was 389.2 27th October 2020 the reading was 411.4 27th October 2021 the reading was 413.1
For comparison, the pre-industrial level of CO2 in the atmosphere was 280 ppm. The Paris Agreement, signed by 197 countries, is aiming to keep global average temperature to well below 2°C above
pre-industrial values. Scientists estimate that there is a 50% chance of attaining this if CO2-equivalent emissions stabilise next century at 450 ppm. However, CO2-equivalent emissions are different to CO2 levels as they also take into account other greenhouse gases such as methane.
Data and information source NIWA.co.nz
Generation Zero is a nonpartisan, youth-led climate organisation that champions solutions towards a thriving, carbon-neutral Aotearoa – for local projects you can get involved with go to www.generationzero.org