This image by Shayne Robinson, taken at dawn on the beach in Durban, South Africa, as representatives gathered for the UN climate talks, is the November 2011 Photo of the Month.

Raising A Windmill

I like the crisp silhouettes of people raising a wind turbine set against the drama of turbulent sky and the full power of the rising sun. It captures the concept that by working together, the people of the world can step out of the fossil fuel powered night, and use new technologies to meet our energy needs. If we embrace a clean, renewable future, the clouds of smoke will dissipate and the sun’s abundant energy will shine on a healthy, sustainable world.   

So far the news from Durban is not good. Just as previous talks failed to produce any binding commitments to do what real peer-reviewed science tells us is urgent and necessary to limit the impacts of climate change, there is no sign of progress this year. In the United States, with an economy and government completely dominated by dirty energy companies, well-funded lobbyists and their political allies howl at every mention of global warming. The constant drumbeat of misinformation and false promise of drilling in the fragile ecology of the Arctic, distract us from the need to make any changes in policies or even to stop giving millions of dollars in tax subsidies to the richest corporations on earth, even while borrowing trillions to fund government.

Without leadership, vision and the plain truth, we will not join together in this dark hour and do the heavy lifting it will take to build a sustainable future.