WPA-style posters warn of a dreary future from climate change

A California artist is putting her own touch on classic national park travel posters to show what might happen to the U.S.’s treasures if climate change continues unabated.

Hannah Rothstein, of Berkeley, Calif., hopes her series of paintings and poster-size prints, “National Parks 2050,” will spark Americans to take action upon seeing climate change hit so close to home. The paintings depict dead redwoods, dried-up lakes, desiccated saguaro cactuses and snowless mountains.

Her message is that the U.S. can stave this off, but only by acting now — embracing the innovation and can-do spirit that made the country great.

Yahoo News reached out to Rothstein to learn more about what motivated the project and what she hopes will come from it. She said that climate change should be considered a nonpartisan issue and hopes that Americans of all political persuasions — from politicians on Capitol Hill to everyday citizens across the country — can work together to save the national parks and the world from the fate she depicts.

Hannah Rothstein is donating a portion of the proceeds from the sales of her limited-edition art prints to organizations dedicated to fighting climate change. (Images: Left, Ranger Doug/rangerdoug.com; right, Hannah Rothstein/hrothstein.com)

The following conversation has been edited for clarity and length.

Yahoo News: How did you decide to address climate change with your artwork?

Hannah Rothstein: Climate change is an issue that worries me quite a bit, particularly in the current political climate. I’m afraid that any progress we have made is being infringed upon, and it’s not an issue where we can afford to go backward. If we don’t start making the positive changes we can make now, we can’t exactly reverse what we’re about to do. And I’m scared about what the future might look like, both as someone who needs the resources we depend upon in this world and as someone who loves the outdoors. So it’s an issue I knew I…

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