9. Earthrise: William Anders 1968

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1. Build the Nature-Human Relationship
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1.8 Photographs
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1.8 .9

Photo and text from Guest contributor Heinz de Chelard.

“Choosing photos that invoke an emotional reverence for Nature to include in the Thylacine 10 selection may be looked upon as a mind- bogglingly difficult task; one made almost impossible since the invention of the internet, and technology that puts a very high-quality camera in the hands of anyone with a mobile phone, and distributes to everyone with access to a computer. And although images of the Earth from space may be considered cliched by some, it can be argued that the T10 collection would be incomplete without at least one image of the entirety of the only home we have, the only place in the entire universe that we currently know where life can exist without the support of complex, highly sophisticated, and extremely fragile technologies. ‘Earthrise’, taken by Apollo 8 Astronaut William Anders on Christmas Eve in 1968, shows the bountiful, life-preserving, indeed, life- creating Earth, rising above the cold, lifeless and hostile surface of the moon. Astronaut Buzz Aldrin, the second man to walk on the moon, described its surface as, ‘Magnificent desolation. There is no place on Earth as desolate as what I was viewing in those first moments on the Lunar surface. Because I realised what I was looking at, towards the horizon and in every direction, had not changed in hundreds, thousands of years. Cold. Colder than anyone could experience on Earth when the sun is up, but when the sun is up for 14 days it gets very, very hot. No sign of life whatsoever.’ Despite this, we live at a time when many humans dream of living on the moon, or even further away, on Mars. Some even see Mars as the saviour of the human species, a backup colony in case we, through our lack of care, make the Earth uninhabitable. Mars, while it has a very thin atmosphere of unbreathable carbon dioxide, is also so hostile to life that humans can only go outside once a day in a space suit for one hour, owing to high levels of cosmic radiation. A place where night-time temperatures drop to minus 70 degrees Celsius and where humans are likely to only exist below the surface supported by a complex technological and logistical lifeline of spacecraft carrying critical supplies over an average distance of 381.6 million kilometres and seven-month, minimum, travel times. While some may relish the thought of such a life, I am convinced that once the initial adventure wears off most will give anything to return to a place where survival is possible without space suits, with real food, with an absurd array of plants, and animals, and scenery, a place we call home. The only Earth there is.”

Heinz de Chelard

Explore More Photographs

1.8.1. Let Hopes and Dreams be Things we can Achieve

I have talked about this image in Articles 1.1.4. Much more than being a beautiful photograph of a mountain scene, I think it says a great deal about the challenges and ambiguities of our relationship with Nature. In the background is wild,...

1.8.2. Jacky Winter

Jacky Winters are modest little birds: about the size of a House Sparrow, they live in the woodlands of Australia and Papua New Guinea and can be seen often sitting on stumps (as here), waggling their tails, and going on acrobatic flights after in...

1.8.3. Morning Mist, Rock Island Bend, Franklin River

You are not so much welcomed into Peter Dombrovskis’ famous photograph of Rock Island Bend on the Franklin River in Tasmania, as drawn in, perhaps in thrall, by its mystery. It is dark, and you are deep within a prehistoric gorge with mist, wet gr...

1.8.4. Where Elephants Walk

Whereas ‘the other’ of Rock Island Bend is deeply mysterious and perhaps even cold with its great, wet black rocks, grey mist and soggy temperate rainforest, the Nature of Nicole Emanuel and Michael Rayner1 is the exact opposite: not re...

1.8.5. Clearing Winter Storm, Yosemite Park

It would have been churlish to not have included an Ansel Adams in the collection, no matter how popular his photographs are, and how almost cliched their use has become. There is little I can add to all that has been written about his peerless...

1.8.6. Bush Stone-Curlew

This is one of my favourite photographs - of a Bush Stone-Curlew (see also Articles 1.1.1). The photograph was taken by Don Hunt for an excellent little book called ‘The Bush Stone-Curlew in Northern Victoria’1. At first glance you can ...

1.8.7. Alpine Revelation

Extending the theme of holistic Nature and symmetry, I suggest Andrea Zampatti’s exceptional shot of Ibex in the European Alps. This was a finalist in the 2020 Wildlife Photographer of the Year, run by the British Natural History Museum: Alpine Re...

1.8.8. The Dam-Climbing Ibex

From Ibex in a wild setting to Ibex in a greatly altered environment, friend Heinz de Chelard has contributed the following photograph and text for comparison. “Alpine Ibex climbing the wall of Cingino Dam in northern Italy may be seen by some ...

1.8.9. Earthrise

Photo and text from Guest contributor Heinz de Chelard. “Choosing photos that invoke an emotional reverence for Nature to include in the Thylacine 10 selection may be looked upon as a mind- bogglingly difficult task; one made almost impossible ...

1.8.10. Anna’s Hummingbird Bathing on Leaf

The Audubon Society posted this magical shot in July 2022. Their commentary ran: “One day, Michael Armour-Johnson (@wildphotomike) stumbled across this Anna’s Hummingbird while standing outside on a third-floor patio, camera gear at hand, in a ...

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1. Build the Nature-Human Relationship
1. Build the Nature-Human Relationship 1.1 Articles 1.2 Art Installations 1.3 Books 1.4 Buildings 1.5 Film, Documentaries, Podcasts 1.6 Music 1.7 Paintings 1.8 Photographs 1.9 Poems 1.10 Spiritual Responses
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1. Build the Nature-Human Relationship

This section is designed to foster appreciation and insight that will – hopefully – lead to novel ways to build a better relationship between human beings and Nature. This section is also atypical ...
2. Reduce Consumption
2. Reduce Consumption

2. Reduce Consumption

I hope Reneé Descartes would forgive us for saying that, at least for the modern world, he was wrong.  When, in 1637, he said: “I think, therefore I am”, he could not have anticipated that the majo...
3. Replace God of Growth with God of Quality
3. Replace God of Growth with God of Quality

3. Replace God of Growth with God of Quality

In a supposedly secular age there has arisen a global religion and god like never before, a religion whose reach and power makes every other belief system before it seem pitiful and insignificant: ...
4. Work, Volunteer, Act for the Environment
4. Work, Volunteer, Act for the Environment

4. Work, Volunteer, Act for the Environment

What we do in our day-to-day lives can have great impact. Section Four divides up these actions into three groups – Work (4.2 & 4.3), Volunteering (4.4), and Action, e.g. voting, protesting, et...
5. Reduce Population
5. Reduce Population

5. Reduce Population

Even on top of Mt. Everest, in one of the remotest, most difficult places on earth, there is a great traffic-jam of people jostling for position. And yet, ever more vociferously, we deny that overp...
6. Ensure Media Acknowledgement of Environmental Context
6. Ensure Media Acknowledgement of Environmental Context

6. Ensure Media Acknowledgement of Environmental Context

The media is one of the three, great ‘poles’ of power in the world (alongside political and corporate power) and how they frame and present ‘the environment’ has a profound effect on how we respond...
7. Stop Further Loss of Natural Habitat and Species
7. Stop Further Loss of Natural Habitat and Species

7. Stop Further Loss of Natural Habitat and Species

New York is an exciting, mesmerising place. Human culture is extraordinary and often wonderful. Our powers of transformation of the natural world seem limitless. The trouble is, we don’t seem to be...
8. Assist Energy Descent and Transition
8. Assist Energy Descent and Transition

8. Assist Energy Descent and Transition

Our current energy largesse is an extraordinary ‘gift’, an unprecedented gift of the ages; millions of years to produce and from millions of years ago. Coal, oil and gas, forming...
9. Support New, Environmentally-Aware, Economic Systems
9. Support New, Environmentally-Aware, Economic Systems

9. Support New, Environmentally-Aware, Economic Systems

Just as with the previous section – ‘Energy’ – which is, inescapably, all about fossil fuels so pre-eminent and extraordinary has been their dominance and transformation of the world in the last 20...
10. Reduce Wastes to the Rate of Natural Assimilation
10. Reduce Wastes to the Rate of Natural Assimilation

10. Reduce Wastes to the Rate of Natural Assimilation

Section 10 will attempt to organise this enormous topic by addressing the context and status of pollution in 10.2, before focussing in on air pollution; particularly greenhouse gas pollution and cl...