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Biodiversity: Can we set aside a third of our planet for nature?

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Wednesday, December 14, 2022

Will a plan to protect 30% of the planet for nature by 2030 be agreed and how will it work?

Will a plan to protect 30% of the planet for nature by 2030 be agreed and how will it work?

Will a plan to protect 30% of the planet for nature by 2030 be agreed and how will it work?
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Confronting the Unbelievable

A photograph that dramatizes the power of nature

Photograph by Irina RozovskyWhen the photographer Irina Rozovsky moved from Boston to Athens, Georgia, she began taking walks around her new neighborhood. She’d push her daughter’s stroller to a nearby wooded path, trying to get the baby to sleep, and photograph what she could along the way. One day in 2018, after a storm, the path was flooded. A young girl stood in the bright sun at the edge of the murky water, observing the strange new scene before her—“confronting the unbelievable,” as Rozovsky puts it. The image reminded Rozovsky of the fairy-tale trope of a child getting lost in the forest. “It’s both a romance and a nightmare,” she told me.Rozovsky’s untitled photograph will be on display this fall at the High Museum of Art in Atlanta, as part of the exhibition “A Long Arc: Photography and the American South Since 1845.” In an introduction to an accompanying book, the Atlantic contributing writer Imani Perry reflects on the 21st-century photographers who capture the region’s distinctive landscapes with compositions that evoke a 19th-century sense of the sublime. In the South, Perry writes, “nature takes over everything that humans create and destroy.”Rozovsky insists that the work is not making an environmental statement. As a mother, she worries about the role that humans have played in warming the world her daughter will inherit. But as a photographer, she told me, she was drawn to this particular scene for its “serene and surreal” beauty, its unsettling scale.A relative newcomer to the South, Rozovsky has been struck by the high drama of its nature. “It can be so wild,” she said, even just down the street in Athens. She’s not religious—but when trees fall, or a path floods like this, Rozovsky said, it can feel almost biblical. “There’s something larger than us.”This article appears in the October 2023 print edition with the headline “Confronting the Unbelievable.” When you buy a book using a link on this page, we receive a commission. Thank you for supporting The Atlantic.

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