My father, Dennis Holdsworth, who was one of the principle developers of airborne radar in England during the war, introduced me to the concept of global warming in the late 50's. In those days it was called 'the greenhouse effect'. The long term effects were not as clear then as they are today, but the scientific community was already aware of an impending crisis.
So with more than fifty years notice, why has the world's preeminent power still not grappled with this issue? Why have we, who have benefited the most from science and technology dragged our feet on the issue of Global Warming?
Saul Landau tackles the issue in a hard hitting piece in the 'progresso weekly' titled 'The crisis unseen'. He asks rhetorically if "...President Obama need(s) a 'Department of Future Planning and Office of Dealing With the Crisis of Climate Change' to assemble a team of thinkers to put questions to the public and challenge lawmakers to deal with the overarching crisis that threatens the future of life?" I think the answer to this question is a resounding 'yes!'
But we need more than a government agency guiding policy at the top. In an age where science and technology are changing the fabric of life on this planet, citizens need to be educated in science and alert to the effects of our technology. Clearly science needs to be placed front and center in our public education and national discourse.
But there is another dimension. Artists, whose role it is to open peoples eyes, need to address this issue in a way that will awaken people to the emerging reality. My Global Warming Triptych is my first effort in this direction. I'm following it up with Global Warming Triptychs for Oakland and San Jose.