Edward Wong's review of a Beijing art gallery's exhibit of photos depicting the dangers of global warming filled the top half of the front of the Times' Thursday's Arts section: 'Beijing Gallery Puts a Focus on Global Warming.' Wong used the art story to forward as fact the most extreme scientific predictions suggesting that we're all doomed by "climate change": 'The melting of glaciers on the Tibetan plateau, at the headwaters of Asia's great rivers, threatens the lives and livelihoods of hundreds of millions of people downstream. Scientists say climate change is also responsible for the increasing unpredictability and strength of storms around the globe.'
When George Mallory made a reconnaissance trip to the gargantuan glaciers at the foot of Mount Everest in Tibet before his ill-fated attempt to climb the mountain, he took photographs and noted the splendor: 'Here is a pure beauty of form, a kind of ultimate harmony,' he wrote.
Nearly 90 years later another mountaineer and photographer, David Breashears, traveled to the same remote Himalayan landscape and found something that might have made Mallory think again: more than 330 vertical feet of the Rongbuk Glacier had melted in the intervening decades, leaving stubs of ice where grand pinnacles had once been. The photographs that Mr. Breashears brought back as evidence of climate change are at the heart of a multimedia exhibition that opened here last weekend at a prestigious photography gallery in China, Three Shadows.
In the same room as Mr. Breashears's glacier photos from eight recent expeditions, which are projected on a wall in a sweeping 10-foot-by-45-foot panoramic video, are smaller projections of images by Chinese photographers that document what many scientists say is a leading cause of climate change. These were taken in coal mines thousands of miles east of the glaciers and they show miners covered in soot and toiling away in the bowels of the earth.
The show, titled 'Coal + Ice' and produced by the Asia Society in New York, is an ambitious attempt to call attention to the long-range impact of humanity's unrelenting thirst for energy. The melting of glaciers on the Tibetan plateau, at the headwaters of Asia's great rivers, threatens the lives and livelihoods of hundreds of millions of people downstream. Scientists say climate change is also responsible for the increasing unpredictability and strength of storms around the globe, and that impact is shown here in photographs by the American artist Clifford Ross of towering waves off the coast of Long Island during hurricane season.
On New Year's Eve 2010, Wong plugged a Maoist tourist spot in China: 'Capitalism is thriving in China, but red is far from dead, at least in Yan'an. 'The Defense of Yan'an' is a recent addition to tourist attractions that try to evoke the glory days of the Communist Party, after its leaders entered Yan'an in 1936 following the Long March.'