Photo-artist Chris Jordan helps us visualize the
environmental damage behind the stats.
By RICHARD CRumE
Artist Chris Jordan’s approach to communicating
large numbers is illustrated by “Oil Barrels,” a 2008,
5-by-5-foot photographic composition depicting
28,000 42-gallon barrels, the amount of oil con-
sumed in the united States every two minutes.
The secret to Jordan’s success
is not just in the visualization of
large numbers of things, but in
his genius for artistic creation.
solartoday.org SOLAR TODAY September/October 2010 41
sizable portion of the U.S. population about the
need to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from
our fossil fuel-powered electric utilities, factories,
and automobiles. Despite the statistics, many
Americans remain skeptical about the imperative to develop solar and other renewable energy
sources in the fight against climate change.
A March Gallup poll found that 48 percent
of Americans believe the seriousness of global
warming is generally exaggerated, compared with
31 percent in 1997. The percentage of Americans