By Danny Baggott @dan_baggie
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Ashley Cooper is collating a picture book of his work, which details the specific climate change occurrences from Alaska - where he started his journey - to Bolivia.
The 54 year old originally decided to pursue the expedition 14 years ago when he witnessed the effects of global warming on 600 residents in Alaska who lost their homes to the altering sea conditions.
Ashley said: “At a time when most folk hadn’t even heard of climate change I was blown away by the impacts it was already having in the high Arctic, and decided to make it my life’s work to highlight the issues.
“I want to show that via renewable energy there is an alternative way.
“We need to move rapidly to a low carbon economy, world governments need to invest rapidly in renewables.”
According to Ashley, the Arctic and Antarctic are the most threatened locations around the world due to a rise in temperature that has increased by up to three times more than the equator.
He said: “This has caused disastrous permafrost melt, glacial retreat and dire impacts on indigenous communities.”
Ashley faced opposition from the police in his search for the truth regarding climate change who were trying to protect the status of reputable businesses.
The Chinese army arrested him when he was photographing coal-fired power stations next to the army barracks.
Ashley said: “They rushed out and bundled me inside. They eventually agreed to release me if I deleted all the images on my camera.
"I immediately went back to my hotel and put my CF card through a recovery package and got all my pictures back.
“I was also constantly followed by oil company security guards, the only time I could escape them was when I took to the air to shoot aerial shots. It was all very scary.”
People have had various reactions to Ashley’s powerful and emotive images in the book, ranging from shock and disbelief to complete outrage. Ashley feels as though it is necessary to include these brutal images.
“It’s an old cliché, but a picture paints a thousand words, imagery is very powerful and can connect in a way that other mediums can’t.
He added: “The people least responsible for climate change are the most impacted by it and are also the least able to cope with the consequences."
This was a common theme that Ashley found on his journey and the desire to help those in need remains an inspiration for the creation of his picture book.
You can view the video discussion of Ashley’s journey here: www.kickstarter.com/projects/warmingplanet/images-from-a-warming-planet