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Manufactured Landscapes

What our industrial world is doing to our environment and some solutions
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Manufactured Landscapes is a feature length documentary film about the work of photographer Edward Burtynsky. It was directed by Jennifer Baichwal and is distributed by Zeitgeist Films.

Photographer Edward Burtynsky travels the world observing changes in landscapes due to industrial work and manufacturing.

When discussing environmental issues, there’s always the danger of agreeing that they represent real challenges, but then suggesting that there’s nothing that we can do to deal with them. It’s often easy to suggest that they need to be dealt with at a broader, global level.

This type of reasoning is frequently seen when the issue of climate change is raised. Many people see this as being a serious problem, but are also keen to argue that it needs to be dealt with by the governments of the world. The implicit argument here is that is means that we, as individuals, should sit back and wait for a solution.

But is this really the case? You may not be happy to think that you should be powerless in this situation. There’s simply too much at stake. Do you really want to rely on the world’s politicians? Do you trust that they will produce a suitable outcome?

Make your views count

When thinking about climate change, it’s clear that we’re considering something that could have an enormous impact. It may not ruin our own lives, but it certainly could have a serious negative effect on those of our children.

With this in mind, it also seems that dealing with climate change should be a real priority. Unfortunately, it can be seen that many politicians are simply failing to think in this way. Instead, they prefer to concentrate on other issues. Why should this be the case? It’s often because they believe that few people consider environmental issues when casting a vote.

If you want to change the way in which elected representatives behave, then it’s vital that you demonstrate that their actions have consequences. This means that you need to show that you care about the environment. Oil companies and other multinational companies are very good at lobbying. It may be time for you to learn some of these skills too.

Changing your lifestyle

It’s also possible for you to implement changes at home. Most obviously, you may wish to think about the way in which you use energy. Many households waste an enormous amount of energy.

There are a number of actions that can cause this waste, from leaving the lights on, to over-filling a kettle. Making changes will often involve changing habits. Once you realise that you are causing a problem, you can seek to take the necessary actions in order to find resolutions.

As well as saving energy, you may also want to think about how energy is produced. Could you, for instance, be making use of renewable sources of energy? The planet’s resources are being used at an incredible and frightening rate. What are you doing to change things?

Keith Barrett writes for environmentalEarth Times and on a range of green issues. He also takes a keen interest in politics and the way in which politicians respond to such issues.