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Capturing Climate Change One Photo at a Time

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Capturing Climate Change One Photo at a Time

A photograph from Lowenstein’s work on the oil sands of Canada - part of the exhibit “Consequences.”

Alberta, Canada's boreal forest sits atop the world's second largest reserve of oil known as oil sands or tar sands. A growing number of energy companies have set up shop in Alberta to tap into the vast supply, but extraction is a particularly dirty process. Currently, Alberta's mines are the world's single largest industrial source of carbon emissions.

Chicago photographer Jon Lowenstein wanted to give the oil sands a human face. He recently descended on Fort McMurray, an Alberta town that's grown exponentially and profited enormously from oil sands extraction. The resulting photos are part of an exhibit called “Consequences.” It features the work of photographers from the collective NOOR, who, like Lowenstein, examined areas and people affected by climate change. Lowenstein talked to us about how Fort McMurray went from boonies to boomtown.

You can view a slideshow of Jon Lowenstein's oil sands photographs here. Also, Jon Lowstein's current exhibition on violence in the United States and Guatemala is on display at Chicago’s Gage Gallery, and runs through this Friday.

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