I am very happy with how my exhibition space turned out as a whole, especially given the last minute complications I had. Ideally, I would like to have printed my posters at A2 size instead of A3, but I could not source white recycled paper at this size. I would also have liked to add some object into my exhibition space, perhaps a recycled tin or jar painted white with statistics stencilled on them, as I think it would have added another dimension to the space. I would have like to have had my book on a stand as well, however the only ones I could source last minute were plastic which would not have fitted in with my theme at all, and I didn’t have the time to make one myself from recycled board. Overall, I think my space works really well within the theme and isn’t overcrowded, though perhaps lacks the impact it could have had by adding a few more details.
The idea behind my FMP was to create a sarcastic poster set exploring how money, drugs, and war are all interconnected with the environment; and how misinformation is preventing sustainability and equality. I chose to present the information in the style of 1950s posters as this was a time when great damage has been inflicted on the environment through warfare; and as a consequence, a time when many people began to consider their impact on the world around them for the first time. The designs are all created in Adobe Illustrator, distressed in Photoshop, and printed onto recycled paper so as to lower the impact on the environment.
I think I really pushed myself as a designer this year. In previous years, I have concentrated so much on the concept and research going into the designs, that the actual designs have been compromised. I believe this year I managed to strike a good balance between time devoted to research, and time devoted to refining the designs. I think the sarcastic nature works really well with the designs of the posters, and the tone reflects that of many adverts from the 50s. My research of posters of the era recurrently showed a use of limited colour, multiple fonts on one design, bold fonts, over the top characters, illustration, and colour halftone, and so I decided to apply all of these to my own designs to give a more authentic feel. I also chose to distress the posters once the designs were complete to give an authentic, aged appearance.
I am very pleased with my finished designs this year; however if I were to make improvements, I would like to further refine a few of the illustrations to make the linework more organic and flowy. Also, given more time, I would really have liked to create more poster designs. I had not realised quite how labour-intensive each of the designs would be, and underestimated the time it would take to fully realise each poster. I will have to improve my time management in the future when working on large projects with multiple outcomes. I would also have created a book given more time, however I am now creating this ready for the exhibitions. I would also like to improve my skills in digital design before applying for work, as I don’t feel I am up to scratch at the moment. This is the first time I have used Illustrator to create illustrations. Before now, I have always scanned in a hand drawing to Photoshop, and digitally edited it from there. This time, I scanned in a very rough outline of an illustration to Adobe Illustrator, and then used the pen tool to create all of my designs. I decided against live tracing my sketches as I wanted maximum control over the linework. I would also like to explore website design before applying for work, as this is something I have never really experimented with, and could be a necessary skill for certain job applications.
Overall, I think I have made vast improvements this year, but still need to improve my time management and skills before finishing my degree and entering into the workplace.
Carbon Dioxide levels in the atmosphere are about to reach 400ppm. The last time CO2 levels were this high was around 5.3 – 2.6 million years ago during an era known as the Pliocene. If we don’t reduce levels of CO2. This could include temperature rises of 3 degrees Celsius, a 15m rise in sea levels, increased rainfall, loss of desert regions, and an incredibly varied climate. Scientists cannot be sure exactly how the Earth will react to 400ppm, as during the Pliocene, CO2 was released far more slowly over a much longer period of time than is currently happening.
The human impact on the environment has been made especially apparent over the last couple of years. We have seen some of the most severe and unpredictable weather conditions recorded, from droughts one month, to floods the next. Without intervention, this extreme weather is set to worsen, causing even more damage, destruction, and even death.
Despite the climate so obviously becoming more erratic and unpredictable, many people continue to deny global warming exists. This year, the House of Commons select committee on energy and climate change, as part of an inquiry into the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, called upon six witnesses to testify. Half of the evidence sessions were devoted to climate change sceptics, rather than environmental experts who represent the
consensus of the scientific community, that the change in climate is caused by humans.
Canada’s Prime Minister, Stephen Harper, spent a massive $16 million on advertising tar sands as being good for the environment. Scientific research has shown that fuel derived from tar sands is actually far worse for the environment than conventional oil.
What is best for the environment is rarely what is best for the wallet. But the public are increasingly demanding environmentally friendly products. As long as money is the primary factor in making decisions for the future, the most environmentally friendly and sustainable option will never be the choice.
The human race is entirely dependant on nature. It is a source of clean air, food, water, shelter and recreation. Every single object and commodity originated from natural resources. We over consume at a much greater pace than nature can keep up with. A continuation of this culture of greed and materialism will eventually be the downfall of the human race, when everything in nature has been consumed, taking us along with it.
Every year, around 6,400 square kilometres of the Amazon rainforest are wiped out. With the loss of vital habitat, we are also seeing a reduction in an increasing number of species, many of which could be wiped out completely. It is important to remember that every insignificant species is as insignificant as us, and we are all part of a larger machine. We must start thinking of nature as a global issue, not a local one.
It has become entirely unsurprising in the modern world to hear that a big oil company has spilt thousands of tonnes of oil into an ocean somewhere in the world. Oil spills have become so frequent that they’ve started overlapping. In 2011, Shell spilt 40,000 barrels (according to Shell, the real number is likely to be far higher) of crude oil 75 miles off the Niger Delta coast. This slip happened before Shell had finished cleaning up their previous accident, and the next is likely to come before they have finished cleaning up this one.
David Cameron has announced a bribe worth up to £1.7 million a year in business rates to councils that permit fracking for shale gas. This is double the previous amount. On top of this, Cameron has also announced unprecedented tax giveaways for fracking businesses. Fracking, regarded as environmentally friendly by politicians, is linked to small earthquakes, dangerous water contamination, and early deaths.
Essentially, it would seem, carbon offsetting is nothing more than offsetting your carbon to another place, whilst giving the impression you are reducing your emissions and, of course, making money. Companies simply buy carbon credits instead of reducing their own emissions. Carbon offsetting does not equal reduced carbon emissions, let alone the ‘zero carbon’ or ‘carbon neutral’ claimed by many companies.
Public awareness of climate and environmental issues peaked in 2009, with media and news coverage on the topic almost every day. Since then, newspaper coverage and public interest has dramatically fallen. It would seem that people are bored of hearing information about the environment and what needs to be done to protect it. Perhaps this is because we are constantly told what needs to change, but nothing ever seems to happen. It is vital to keep important issues such as global warming firmly in the public conscious in order to eventually make a change.
There are a few professions where it really helps to be a psychopath, and banking is top of the list. According to a documentary on Channel 4 for psychopath night, bankers tend to rank very highly on the psychopathy scale. This isn’t to say that all bankers are homicidal maniacs, however. What it does mean, is that the traits of a psychopath; notably ruthlessness, lack of emotional connection, and a desire to get to the top no matter what, or who, stands in the way; lend themselves perfectly to the world of banking.
Despite David Cameron continuously quoting figures and statistics stating that unemployment is at an all-time-low, and wages are now rising in line with inflation; we are seeing dramatically increased numbers of people being made homeless and relying on food banks. This is because these rising wages simply do not amount to a living wage. The cost of housing, energy, and basic food is increasing exponentially, far exceeding the inflation of wages.
The reason economic growth is only felt by a select few, whilst the masses are increasingly worse off, is because all of that wealth is hoarded at the top. The 85 richest earn as much as much money between themselves as the total income of 3.5 billion of the poorest people. It would seem that the richer the rich get, the poorer the poor get.
US convicts make everything from lingerie for Victoria’s Secret and J.C. Penney, to clothing and machinery for the US armed forces. Baseball caps are one of the few items made by prisoners that can be sold to anyone outside of the government. There are even companies that are entirely dependent on prison production: Federal Prison Industries (better known as UNICOR) consists of 89 factories with solely convict workers.
Built-in obsolescence is considered a necessity to large companies in order to maximise on profits. They manufacture products from the cheapest materials to cut back on cost. These inferior materials are prone to breaking which is, counter-intuitive though it may be, a plus for the company. When these products break, the average consumer will replace the product. If a business sold customers products that were built from the best possible materials and designed to last as long as possible, they would not be making money on replacement goods.
Another way to make an extra buck or two on a product is to tell the consumer public that there are dwindling supplies left and then raise the price. This happens frequently, notably with recurrent news of a shortage in oil reserves. Companies can create increased demand by scaring the public into buying in excess before the precious oil runs out. Illusion to the public that air is in limited supply and it will soon be worth as much as gold.
Fat cat boss, Paul Massara of npower, added insult to injury this year by not only disproportionately raising energy prices, but then going on to blame his consumers for this monumental price hike. He claims the public are wasting so much energy in their homes, it equates to the 10.4% price rise the average duel-fuel npower customer has received. This is coming from a man who earns £450,000 a year and lives in a £3 million home.
The creation of the automobile saw Detroit become the place to be. But it all started to go downhill with the erection of a massive freeway system. To make way for the enormous enterprise, public housing buildings were torn down, and many of the tenants left homeless. This saw the wealthy white population move out to the surrounding suburbs, leaving the poorer black community behind, which created a wealth and race divide, ultimately leading to riots. Detroit now lies in ruins, with every building stripped of anything worth anything.
Council housing is rife with corruption and privatisation. Residents in council housing often don’t have their basic needs met by the landlords, being left to reside in damp, mouldy, squalid conditions. There is a public perception that those with nothing should just be grateful for what they have, and don’t have the right to complain about the conditions they are living in.
One of the biggest businesses of all is war. Most modern wars are fought for control of oil and other profitable endeavours. The winning invading countries reap great profits from the resources of the land they acquire through warfare, at the cost of the locals of the country they invaded, and at the cost of the taxpayer back home. Gone are the days in which wars were fought for political means. Combat is now a profitable enterprise.
During the Gulf War, 20 million gallons of herbicide were sprayed onto forests in Kuwait by the US invading forces. This was an organised strategy with the aim of depriving the Viet Cong of cover. It resulted in 4.5 million acres of land being destroyed, which wiped out many native species. Much of the land has still not recovered today.
Legalisation of drugs would instantly cut off the income of drug dealers and drug lords. A great deal of crime is caused by the illegalisation of drugs; be it shootouts from drug gangs selling on each others’ turf, or petty theft to generate funds to buy more drugs. Legalisation would massively reduce crime, as well as freeing up vital prison space currently occupied by people incarcerated for having an addiction.
People in every level of society, including many of the politicians who advocate the ‘war on drugs’, use illicit substances. Whether we like it or not, people are going to take drugs, legal or not. The illegal drug industry is completely unregulated, the best thing we can do is to ensure the substances being consumed are as safe as possible.
To date there are a total of 0 deaths attributed to cannabis use. There are also no negative health effects associated with the drug. On the contrary, it is used by medical professionals to aid in the treatment of cancer patients, depression, anxiety… Yet recent years have seen this entirely safe, entirely natural substance, moved from a class C to a class B illicit substance.
There are legal, medicinal versions of many of the harder, illicit substances available healthcare system, often used to treat pain. There are as many addictive prescription meds as there are illicit, they just as open to abuse, and just as damaging when taken in excess, but without the stigma that is attached to the illegal alternatives.
Alcohol and tobacco are widely regarded by scientists as the most dangerous of the drugs. Alcohol causes around 2.5 million deaths a year. It goes hand in hand with violent crime, road traffic accidents, theft, fights, abuse, addiction. It’s a wonder this lethal substance is legal, and socially acceptable to consume, whilst less damaging substances are outlawed.