Are You a Climate Hawk?

“The great environmental blogger at Grist David Roberts helped finalize the name ‘Climate Hawk‘ to refer to those demanding substantial action to combat the enormous threat of climate change.” So writes Ohio-based artist Joe Immen, who kindly allowed us to feature his compelling design. He was explaining how he came to create this strong design that blends patriotism and environmentalism in a visual call to action. Joe continues: “After reading his article and recognizing myself as a Climate Hawk, I thought about how to graphically represent the fledgling movement, and started sketching ideas for a logo. The angle of the hawk’s wings is similar to the line in graphs plotting the recent, steep rise of carbon dioxide concentrations in the atmosphere. I used hot and cool colors as a simple way to indicate the problem of global warming.

“Once the logo was complete, I printed bumper stickers and t-shirts that I distributed through my online store. I was interviewed about the logo by Fast Company’s design blog, and word spread in the Climate Hawk community, so that I have now seen the logo used on blogs, and as an avatar for several Twitter and Facebook users. I didn’t intend for the logo to officially ‘brand’ Climate Hawks; it was a more of a personal project that I assigned to myself, but it has been fun to see the logo helping to increase the public presence of the climate activist community.”

Like Joe, I’m a Climate Hawk and I want my country and our government to recognize the serious environmental future we face. Recently, I heard a news clip quoting Senator James Inhofe (R-OK); he was gloating over the fact that not more was being done by the US government to switch the tracks to a future with more sustainable energy opportunities. Coasting luxuriously toward his 80s, he seems completely unconcerned about our world encountering an increasingly unstable climate and completely focused on helping wealthy Americans financially enfatten themselves.

Dramatic change is already happening across our planetary weather systems. Climate change will impact gated communities as well as the slums: we’re all in this together, for better or worse. Everyone on Earth might as well start thinking like an Apollo 13 astronaut: we’ve got to work with what we have on the planet to save our future. While climate change skeptics like the senator will be dragged toward the future, Climate Hawks prefer to move purposefully toward change to best deal with the resource, health, and security challenges that await all of us, including those who wait to embrace more sustainable behaviors.

With sharp eyes and powerful talons, Climate Hawks from individuals like Tim DeChristopher to large groups like Keystone XL protesters express their patriotism with spectacle and raised voices to increase awareness of the need to honestly face the global-local implications of climate change.

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Joe Immen

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