Artist Hanah Rothstein created the “National Parks 2050” poster series to show how climate change will impact seven of the U.S.’s most famous parks.
With the “safe” temperature rise threshold of 2 degrees Celsius set to be surpassed by 2050 if current emissions continue unchanged, our world could look very different in the coming decades.
The series is a “call to action,” Rothstein said on her website.
“Drawing upon the classic National Park posters, this series shows how climate change will affect seven of America’s most beloved landscapes,” Rothstein said on her site.
She hopes that by doing this, more Americans will understand that climate change will hit close to home.
We’ve seen the super-typhoons hit the Philippines; we know that low-lying islands in the Pacific Ocean could go underwater because of climate change – but so far most Americans have been spared the worst effects.
They won’t be for long.
Scientists have predicted bigger and more frequent wildfires and droughts in the west, extreme weather in the mid-west, and strengthened hurricanes on the east coast. The U.S. Department of Defense has called climate change a threat to national security.
One of Rothstein’s posters shows the Great Smoky Mountains National Park on fire.
Instead of the original poster’s ad saying there are “nature walks, all day hikes, and lectures,” Rothstein’s poster says the park boasts “extreme weather events, species die-off, and wildfires.”
Another shows Alaska’s Mount McKinley National Park without snow or wild animals. “Visit melted permafrost, snow-less peaks, and vanished tundra” it says instead of “visit North America’s highest mountain”.
Rothstein wants to make climate change hard to ignore. That’s because she hopes we will take action.
“We have the ability to outsmart the issues highlighted in National Parks 2050, but we need to act now … America has been made its greatest by embracing ingenuity and innovation,” Rothstein said on the site.
“If we dive headfirst into inventing for a brighter future, we can prevent National Parks 2050 from becoming a reality,” Rothstein added.
With President Donald Trump calling for “clean coal” and saying he wants to get rid of environmental protections, the role of citizens in advocating for a sustainable future has never been more important.
“I hope the series inspires everyone, from every day citizens to policy makers, to acknowledge the issues ahead, admit that climate stewardship is a non-partisan issue, and work together to find the solutions I know we’re capable of creating,” Rothstein said.