David Breashears on climate change, melting glaciers and his organisation, GlacierWorks.
Five-time Everest summiteer and American filmmaker David Breashears helps raise awareness about the consequences of climate change in the Himalaya using science, art, and adventure through his organisation, GlacierWorks. Nepali Times caught up with him during the Climate+Change exhibition in Kathmandu to talk about melting mountains and their repercussions.
Nepali Times: Why is showcasing the photographs of the Himalayas so important?
David Breashears: The majority of the population of Nepal have not travelled to the mountains but there’s tremendous pride in these peaks. We want them to feel that they’re in the mountains when they stand here and look out there. There is a sense of being awestruck. With interactive touch screen display using Microsoft Photosynth, visitors are able to experience the Himalayan region first-hand and explore and understand the changing landscape of the Himalayas due to climate change.
Nepali Times: How does the interactive display work?
David Breashears: Using the camera array and Microsoft, we have created a system that is far superior to any other type of aerial photography in the world. We can start here with Cho Oyu and Gyachung Kang and start flying.This is created with still photographs taken every 3 seconds so that we can zoom in and examine the glaciers and how they are changing over time.
Nepali Times: What do you hope people to take back from the exhibition?
David Breashears: Even if an 11 year old boy or girl comes in and says ‘wow’, the effect of that realization is profound. I became a climber because I saw a picture of Tenzing on the summit of Everest when I was 11 years old. That one image and my fascination with the Himalayas led directly to me being here with this exhibit
Our hope is that when students,teachers and citizens visit the exhibit, they leave learning more about the world, even their own country, than they knew before. Some will be inspired to pursue education that leads to them being part of the solution and not the problem.
MOUNTAIN EXPLORATION: David Breashears demonstrating the interactive display for visitors.
The exhibition features stunning photography from David Breashears and his organization, GlacierWorks, showcasing the entire Himalayan landscape, including gigantic panoramas of the Everest region and before-and-after photographs of the Rongbuk Glacier as well as imagery and statistical data from ICIMOD.
The exhibition runs from 11 December, 2013 until 13 April, 2014. It features a changing gallery that will rotate each month with the following themes: December- Youth and Migration, January- Air and Water, February- Sustainable Living, March- Ecosystems and Tourism and April- Culture and Heritage.
For more on Climate+Change and David Breashears:
Living through the Himalayan Thaw
Working for glaciers