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Earth from the air

Ever since I chanced upon this free outdoor exhibition in June, I've wanted to come back with friends. Today I brought my mother and my Dutch friend to view it with me.

Despite the unsettled weather and eventual rain, we were determined to read every caption and view every photo. These were some of the most amazing aerial photos ever taken of the earth. What is so special of them is that they tell a story. It's a story about the environment, how beautiful our earth is and how slowly it's dying.

Each photo can easily be mistaken for a painting. From the helicopter level, manmade things such as rice fields and the Yankee Stadium in the US are just as beautiful as what Mother Nature has created. The best one I thought was the one of camels walking in the desert. Only upon closer look do you realise that they are mere shadows. The real riders and camels can hardly be seen.

Some captions are frightening statistics:

One in five adults is unable to either read or write; 98% of them are in developing countries, and 66% of them are women.
Less than 10% of the world's cities have purification facilities (treating used water).
33% of children under the age of 5 suffer from malnutrition.
40% of the world's population does not have electricity .

I heard that this exhibition is also being shown somewhere in Germany, in Paris, and in Chicago. I would urge anyone with the opportunity to visit. It took us two hours to see the whole thing. And it was well worth it!

5 August 2002 Monday

Earth from the Air
Yann Arthus Bertrand
Natural History Museum
E-postcards available!
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