BRIARCLIFF MANOR, N.Y. Briarcliff Manor resident Maxine Olson knows it can be challenging for one person to fight climate change.
How an individual can make a difference is the $64 million question I think, Olson said before a presentation on climate change Tuesday night at the Briarcliff Manor Public Library. Its an important point that the individual needs to get involved. But until we get to the tipping point where we get enough people making that statement, our own efforts are going to be small in comparison with the challenge.
But one person can make a difference, said author and photographer J Henry Fair, who presented his book The Day After Tomorrow: Images of our Earth in Crisis Tuesday night. Fair, who used to live in South Salem, has traveled the world taking images of climate change. The pictures illustrate the idea of thinking globally while acting locally, Fair said.
I hope people will consider that the actions of the individual really do matter, Fair said. For instance, purchasing toilet paper from old newspapers can save a forest. And that in turn will save the plants and animals that live in that forest. Its hard to realize that the individual has an impact but you really do. If you add up the numbers, you get to see a much clearer picture.
Fairs book aims to answer questions about an individuals impact on a global scale. The book focuses on individual items, such as a plastic bottle, and tracks its environmental impact on a larger spectrum. But the book also traces items Fair has seen in Canada, Louisiana, Mississippi, West Virginia and other places around the globe and follows them to the customer so people can see the larger causes and effects of what they purchase.
My goal is to make these beautiful pictures of horrible things to make people think, Fair said. Its supposed to give you an uneasy feeling. But there are simple things we can do that can create real change in our environment too.
Briarcliff Library Director Melinda Greenblatt said she heard of Fairs message after he gave a similar presentation in South Salem.
We thought it would be very interesting for our community to hear someone speak about the environment because we hadnt really done something like this before, Greenblatt said. We are very interested in science and technology and the environment and really bringing different kinds of programming to our audience to give them a broad range of programs.
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