Charred, drained or swamped, built up, dug out or taken apart, blue or green or turned to dust: this is the Earth as seen from above.
As the world commemorates Earth Day on Saturday, the footprints of human activity are visible across the planet’s surface. The relationship between people and the natural world will have consequences for years to come.
In Iraq, lakes shrivel and dry up as rain fails to fall, weather patterns altered by human-made climate change. In Florida, the opposite problem: too much water clogs roads and neighborhoods, trapping cars and stranding people, with the burning of fossil fuels again partially to blame for erratic conditions.
In megacities, like the rapidly growing Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia, skyscrapers shoot upwards while in Guyana excavators dig deep into the earth for deposits of gold.
In California, surfers straddle waves in the ocean. In New Jersey, solar panels float in ponds, and in India, fishing nets sink into the lakes. Residents of neighborhoods in Utah meanwhile, find water where it shouldn’t be – coursing through their streets and homes. [Continue reading…]