“OK, change your light bulbs — BUT then change the laws.”
“We have so many tools – hundreds of technologies that can reduce our dependence on fossil fuels. What we are missing is the political movement.”
“Each person needs to talk to their neighbors; get involved in politics; learn basic facts about climate change and how it affects their community and the nation; and be willing to talk about it.
“The history of environmental protection is a HISTORY OF SUCCESS. We are all living healthier lives; the air is cleaner; and the water is cleaner, despite all the issues we still have. That’s because of the laws we put in.”
As Gary said, each of us must believe we can make a difference.
NY/NJ Baykeeper is a strong voice fighting an LNG terminal (see definition below) that would threaten the biodiversity and water quality of the Hudson and Raritan River Estuary, one of the largest ports in the world. LNG usage, which furthers greenhouse gas emissions, is also a concern.
WHAT is Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG)?
Liquefied Natural Gas is natural gas that has been super-chilled to minus 260 degrees, turning it into a liquid that is 1/600th the original volume of gas. It is clear, colorless, odorless, and extremely volatile. This gas is compacted so large volumes can be shipped overseas. LNG should not be confused with gasoline or compressed natural gas.
LNG is Expensive. The intensive energy use required to liquefy natural gas and shipping costs makes LNG up to three times more expensive than domestic natural gas.
LNG is Dirty. It results in up to 40% more greenhouse gas emissions than domestic natural gas due to a life cycle that requires super-cooling, transporting overseas in giant tankers, and heating back to gaseous form.
WHAT is Port Ambrose?
As proposed by Liberty Natural Gas (confusingly also called “LNG”), “Port Ambrose” would be an offshore port for importing or exporting LNG to or from the coasts of New York and New Jersey. This port would allow two LNG vessels (which are as long as the World Trade Center Tower is tall) to directly connect to the region’s natural gas system, with a capacity that could be expanded.
PROTECT THIS ESTUARY and OUR OCEAN by supporting “The New Jersey/New York Clean Ocean Zone Act,” which is bi-partisan, bi-state legislation to permanently protect the waters off the NY/NJ coast from polluting activities and facilities, such as LNG ports.
*North American Nature Photography Association newsletter.
I’ve always enjoyed water. I grew up on a small rural stream with frogs, moss, trout, rocks and fog. Years later, copiloting over sub-Sahara Africa, I saw clearly that where there was no water, there was no life. Thus, No Water No Life ® (NWNL) became the title of my quest to combine the powers of photography, science and stakeholder information to raise awareness of the vulnerability of our fresh water resources.
The following are my daily mantras:
African proverb: “You think of water when the well is dry.”
Leonardo da Vinci: “Water is the driver of nature.”
The Dalai Lama: “The first medicine on this planet was water.”
Words are powerful.
But, if one photograph has the power of 1,000 words, then a photograph that is captioned must be worth 100,000 words.
NANPA award recipient James Balog said, “Science gave me a new lens through which to see the world… a more holistic view and appreciation of the natural environment.” I too relish having science and NWNL goals attached to my lenses, endowing my images with greater impact.
In eight years NWNL has completed 22 expeditions to six case-study watersheds in Africa (Nile, Omo and Mara river basins) and North America (Columbia, Mississippi and Raritan river basins). Resulting imagery, research and blogs are on our website (http://www.nowater-nolife.org) — and those of International Rivers, American Rivers and others. NWNL documentation is further shared via social media, lectures, exhibits, and in books and magazine articles.
We’ve focused on glaciers and tarns (in the Columbia, Mississippi and Nile basins), lakes (including Kenya’s Lake Turkana, now imperiled by Ethiopian hydro-dams on the Omo River), meadows and Texas playas, wetlands (half of these naturally-filtered nurseries are already gone), tributaries, forests (disappearing from Earth at a rate of 36 football fields per minute), riparian corridors, flyways, estuaries and delta lands (disappearing from the Mississippi Delta at the rate of one football field per hour).
NWNL has interviewed hundreds of scientists, stewards and stakeholders. These commentaries, which we call “Voices of the River,” discuss pollution, climate change, fracking, population growth in Africa, dams and levees, water usage by agriculture and industry, and tropic cascades of predators—anything impacting the health of watersheds. NWNL has recorded solutions from Canadian glaciologists, Maasai wilderness guides, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, historians, farmers and others on how to protect riverine corridors and ecosystems and ensure freshwater availability and quality.
The overall NWNL goal is to transcend boundaries, bridge divisions and differences, suggest the shape of the future, capture imagination, stir consciences and create change. At NANPA’s 2002 Jacksonville Summit, art critic Vicki Goldberg described the power of photography to meet these objectives: “A photograph is like a lobbyist who sways a legislator.” Apollo 17’s “Blue Marble,” probably the most widely distributed image in human history, is a great example of imagery awakening a global awareness of our unique watery bonds. The connection with Earth’s beauty, which that image evokes, mirrors a comment by Terry Tempest Williams at the October 2014 observance of the 50th anniversary of The Wilderness Act: “We have no choice but to stand for what we love… We the people must walk with the river.”
NWNL will be collating and publishing many more images, videos and essays in online and print media. Upcoming NWNL photoessays will assess and compare water issues in developed and developing worlds, rural and urban regions, upstream and downstream. NWNL will also continue its newly initiated “Spotlights” on critical water issues such as the devastating drought in California.
NWNL appreciates the voluntary contributions of student interns’ research and guest photographers on our expeditions. We also thank photographers working in our case-study watersheds who share their images and findings with NWNL.
NWNL fiscal support comes from individuals, family foundations, grants and generous in-kind donations. To support NWNL in raising awareness of the vulnerability of our freshwater resources, checks to No Water No Life can be sent to Alison Jones, director of No Water No Life, 330 East 79th Street, NY, NY 10075 or via PayPal offered on the NWNL website http://nowater-nolife.org/supportUs/index.html).
Alison M. Jones is a conservation photographer who has documented ecosystems and resource management for more than 25 years in Africa and the Americas. She is the director and lead photographer at NWNL.
No Water No Life applauds Dr. Judy Auer Shaw on the publication of her new book, “The Raritan River: Our Landscape, Our Legacy.” For 8 years, NWNL has observed the power of Judy’s outreach upstream and downstream along the Raritan. Her personal passion for this river and local stewardship has brought together residents, scientists, industry and other stakeholders in a ground-breaking effort to restore the services and legacy of the Raritan River to the State of New Jersey for future generations.
About the Author: Judy serves as an Advisor for NWNL. She is a researcher at the Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy, Rutgers University, where she also leads the Sustainable Raritan River Initiative. This initiative earned the Somerset County Regional Planning Award in 2010. In addition, Shaw has received the Elwood Jarmer Award for Environmental Leadership. Read her full bio here.
USA: Louisiana, Aerial photo of Atchafalaya Basin area, St Martin Parish, bald cypress standing in water (Taxodium distichum, aka baldcypress, bald-cypress, cypress, southern-cypress, white-cypress, tidewater red-cypress, Gulf-cypress, red-cypress, or swamp cypress), a deciduous coniferalong northern shore of Lake Martin (30.13.62 N, 91.55.41 W approx)
Water Lilies, Adirondacks SP, NY
USA: New York, Adirondacks State Park, beaver path through reeds
USA: New Jersey, Upper Raritan Basin, Tewksbury Township, Mountainville,dragonfly, locally called a “blue bottle,” resting on pond-side vegetation at cottage
Canada: British Columbia, Yoho National Park, in Canadian Rocky Mountains, Kicking Horse River bank, shrub with white blossoms over water milky blue from glacial sediment
Botswana: Okavango Delta, aerial view of channels in wetlands