Christmas 2015

I photographed the annual Christmas parade in Norco while the Paris climate talks were in full swing. Though many who went to Paris came back with positive upbeat messages,  the non-binding agreement didn’t put me in a  celebratory mode.  

Last year I went to the Norco’s parade too. My report on the parade and photos was posted on DeSmogBlog. 
One of the parade organizers didn’t like my work much.  “If you would like to see a “truer” picture of our parade, please visit www.norconoel.com.I have lived in Norco for 20 years and I am one of the organizers of the parade. I don’t take my photos on the railroad tracks, with the plant in the background,” she wrote. 

But I think ignoring the parade’s dramatic backdrop–Shell’s chemical plant and Motiva’s refinery–presents a false picture. The petrochemical industry is a defining aspect of Norco, and it’s what makes photographing the parade a draw for me. 

As I drove home from the parade I listened to a rightwing talk radio host mock the Paris climate talks. Though I’m not hopeful world leaders will do the right thing fast enough to save the planet, listening to climate change deniers makes me wince.

For me, 2015 marks the year the curtain was pulled back far enough that climate change deniers have been exposed once and for all as industrial shllls. But that doesn’t change the fact that years of policy makers ignoring climate science has already taken its toll. 

Norco, just outside of New Orleans in southern Louisiana, is in a part of the country that is Ground Zero for climate change’s impacts.  The annual Christmas parade is  the perfect place to create photographs that capture the world’s precarious situation.

I hope you enjoy the photos. Here are a couple links to my most recent reports:

Climate Change Threatens Louisiana’s Isle de Jean Charles, But Doesn’t Dampen Holiday Cheer
If the Keystone XL Pipeline is Dead, South Dakota Regulators Didn’t Get the Memo
Holiday Melancholy In Bayou Corne, Louisiana, Home of Giant Sinkhole Caused by An Industrial Accident
And a link to this years and last years Norco xmas parade photos: http://goo.gl/cBs9xA
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