"The more attention I pay to environmental research, the more shocking and terrifying I find the way human culture drives the globe into destruction. One of my obligations as an artist is to draw others' awareness to environmental issues that are invisible such as fine dust, increasing carbon levels and marine pollution,” said U.S. photographer Chris Jordan.
Some writers remind us of prophets by speaking volumes about climate change and environmental degradation. Norwegian playwright Henrik Johan Ibsen writes in “Brand,” “Worse times, worse sights flashes through future nights! The sickening black coal clouds of the Brits descends on the country, soils all the fresh green, suffocates all green sprouts, moves low with poison mixed, takes the Sun and it light away from the land and falls down just like the rain of ash all over the village that was faced with the judgement of the ancient times.” Ibsen says in his book that dusty particles flew a long distance from Britain, the epicenter of the Industrial Revolution, to kill the mountains, rivers and lakes of Norway.
"Greenhouse gases will cause the planet to get warmer, bringing about weather changes,” said Japanese novelist and poet of children's literature Kenji Miyazawa in the 1930s. He talks about the greenhouse effect in “The Life of Budori Gusuko,” one of his children's stories. Back then, the Tohoku region in Japan suffered cold weather. His idea was to artificially cause a volcanic eruption to produce carbon emissions and increase temperatures. Miyazawa shared an insightful and enlightening view in his novel by adopting the issue of a warming planet, which was only a piece of a theory that some pioneering researchers set out.
Nobel Prize in Literature winner John Steinbeck's “The Grapes of Wrath” portrays a tragedy arising out of one of the worst dust bowls. The book defines the 1930s of the United States as a dark age when the nation was hard hit both by an awful economic recession and by an unprecedented dust bowl. The author implies that such a grave catastrophe is a result of humans’ gross insolence, diagnosing that they have destroyed Mother Earth to an intolerable extent.
The Spain flu in 1918, known as the first-ever pandemic in the world, is depicted by U.S. short story writer Katherine Ann Porter's "Pale Horse, Pale Rider.” “They can’t get an ambulance, and there aren’t any beds. And we can’t find a doctor or nurse. They’re all busy.” “It’s as bad as anything can be … all the theaters and nearly all the shops and restaurants are closed, and the streets have been full of funerals all day and ambulances all night.”
The only way to ensure the survival of humanity amid ever-growing climate risks is to pursue a sustainable lifestyle with the right balance between humans and Mother Nature "The Earth as we know today is a far cry from the one that would be filled with livability a long time ago. We should put an end to the way we wield recklessness by building cities, deforesting a chunk of green areas and destroying the biosphere in the interest of our own. Caught in the trap of greed, humanity is being choked by COVID-19. Let's bring life back to the land of harmony and coexistence,” Koo Myung-sook said in her book "Coexistence in the Era of COVID-19.”