The Hard Rain book has been sent to presidents and prime ministers, business leaders, public figures and key decision-makers. We also welcome comments from readers and exhibition visitors on the issues illustrated in Hard Rain. Have your say. Email Hard Rain Project today and come back soon to see what others are saying.
When it comes to these challenges, we are all in it together
This is a book of powerful words and some even more powerful images. It reflects the thoughts of a generation who do not just want prosperity for themselves but who want progress for the poor as well, and who know we need a sustainable environment, not just to pass on to the next generation but to make life better in this generation too. Tackling climate change is not a distant and remote concern, but an urgent priority. The truth is that, when it comes to these challenges, we are all in it together – we all have a role to play. The decisions we make, for example, about shopping, travelling and living all make a difference. So the lesson from this book is not only of the damage we are causing, but of the shared responsibility we all have to respond – and to do those things which, step by step, can make a real difference.
Forceful, dramatic and disturbing
Hard Rain is both a tremendous achievement and an incredibly troubling book to read – an unrelenting catalogue of burnt and barren landscapes, shrunken ice caps and devastated, dislocated lives. Page by page it conjures up the terrible consequences of unchecked climate change – a human catastrophe that is quite unprecedented in our history, and one that we can no longer afford to deny. Already, climate change and the competition for natural resources are destroying livelihoods, creating refugees and stoking conflicts right around the world. To allow this disaster to deepen further would be an unforgivable injustice – for whilst it is the richest countries that have caused this degradation, it is the poorest who are suffering its worst effects. So if Hard Rain is a photographic elegy it is also an impassioned cry for change. Forceful, dramatic and disturbing, it is driven by what Martin Luther King called “the fierce urgency of now” – and I believe the call for a truly global response to climate change is an idea whose time has finally come.
This is a moving and thought-provoking book, which illustrates, through the use of powerful images, the undeniable ongoing relevance of Dylan’s lyrics. Environmental and human poverty is today at a level that Dylan could not have envisaged when he wrote those disturbing lyrics some forty years ago. Yet many of the world leaders, those who have the ability to affect a change, have failed to take care of the needs of the many. This must end now. Scientists agree that we now have less than ten years to make the changes that will prevent the earth’s temperature entering its danger zone – the point of no return. Politicians and individuals must stop passing the buck and be part of the solution rather than the problem. A zero carbon future is a happy, healthy, equitable future, so what are we waiting for? Another world is possible, and hopefully Hard Rain will bring this message to a new audience that will start taking action.
To know that others share this bleakest outlook brings a ray of hope
Each day I avert my eyes and steer my thoughts away from the inevitable outcome. I ignore the headlong rush which sweeps us all along and bury my head in silence and in shame. The monumental extent of that which brings about our end has seemed unassailable. Increasingly I have been unable to engage. Everywhere I look I see my own participation in this race to, and over, the precipice. This book inspires me to try and stand again. To know that others share this bleakest outlook brings a ray of hope. At first I thought that Dylan’s lines should not be illustrated. I was wrong.
A greedy, stupid, selfish species
A wonderful and powerful broadside. It reminds me of Munch’s Scream. And of what Bertrand Russell called mankind’s “silly cleverness”. And yet it’s only part of the picture. Yes, perhaps the biggest part – we are indeed a greedy, stupid, selfish species. But we are also generous and imaginative and inspiring and self-sacrificing. And this side of humanity barely gets a mention. Vietnam dragged on for year after miserable year; tens of millions protested the war in Iraq before it even started. This didn’t stop the invasion, but things are changing, perhaps faster and more fundamentally than any of us realize. There are millions of seeds of hope: tens of millions. But maybe that is for another of the books you promise. I hope so.