Calling Planet Earth

For those of us in the global community attentive to the disastrous effects of climate change, the overwhelming concern of the last few years has been merely getting the world's super powers, most notably the anti-Kyoto Protocol Bush administration, to acknowledge that the problem exists. While recent developments have been promising on that front, the specifics of climate change often get lost in the fight. Hence why Dream Addictive Laboratory's recent virtual environment project, Atmospheric Pollution is so stimulating. The Tijuana, Mexico based artists Carmen Gonzalez and Leslie Garcia have created an interactive data visualization of the earth and the "anthropogenic contaminants issued to our atmosphere." The project breaks down the various layers of atmosphere and visitors can click on pollutants such as Carbon Monoxide and Sulfur Dioxide to see their interaction with the ozone. While the God's eye view design may seem too simplistic for such a complex economic and political issue, this attribute is the project's primary strength. Looking at the issue from such a data-centric and all encompassing angle, it depicts the notion of nations exchanging emission and carbon credits and other such industry based solutions as absurd. While the US bears the brunt of responsibility, Atmospheric Pollution is an informative reminder that it is a global crisis. As environmental coalition spokesman Tony Juniper noted at a recent UN climate conference in Bali "The United States is behaving like passengers in first class in a jumbo jet, thinking a catastrophe in economy class won't affect them. If we go down, we go down together." - David Michael Perez