Artist's WPA-Style Works of National Parks Imagine Effects of Climate Change in 2050

Hannah Rothstein, National Parks 2050
Hannah Rothstein, National Parks 2050
Hannah Rothstein, National Parks 2050
Hannah Rothstein, National Parks 2050
  • Hannah Rothstein, National Parks 2050

    Hannah Rothstein, National Parks 2050

Berkeley-based artist Hannah Rothstein has created a series of vintage-style posters illustrating the effects of climate change on National Parks by 2050. Her images evoke government-funded 1930s art posters for the national park system - just with bleaker renditions of the landscapes. Despite the grim outlook, the artist says her series is a "call to action" to help motivate people to reduce carbon pollution and protect the environment.

Depression-weary Americans were inspired to visit National Parks after the Works Progress Administration (WPA) printed compelling posters celebrating the natural beauty of the land. Made between 1938 and 1941, these posters made popular sites like Old Faithful, the Grand Canyon and the coastal Redwoods.

Rothstein's works show how rising global temperatures, loss of sea ice, accelerated sea level rise and ocean acidfication stemming from climate change will cause increased wildfires, flooding and other threats to wildlife and the ecosystems of the national park system.

The series can be printed for signs for Saturday's People's Climate March in Washington, DC, and across the country, according to the artist's website. A portion of sales from prints will also be donated to climate-related causes.

Rothstein writes:

"Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored." -Aldous Huxley

National Parks 2050 is a call to action. Drawing upon the classic National Parks posters, this series shows how climate change will affect seven of America’s most beloved landscapes. In doing so, it makes climate change feel close to home and hard to ignore.

We have the ability to outsmart the issues highlighted in National Parks 2050, but we need to act now. From Franklin to Fuller, America has been made its greatest by embracing ingenuity and innovation. If we dive headfirst into inventing for a brighter future, we can prevent National Parks 2050 from becoming a reality.

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.

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