"I wasn’t expecting to return to my desert hometown for my PhD research, and didn’t imagine that I would be pregnant. But as I rested in the shade of the only Joshua tree at the hottest and driest of my field sites, I knew that I had made the right decision. Recent studies show that Joshua trees could be gone from areas like Joshua Tree National Park within 100 years – it may be getting too hot too quickly for the tree populations to survive. Unfortunately, this story is not unique to Joshua trees: we may be entering into the sixth major extinction event on this planet, which will have far-reaching consequences for life as we know it. We need radical societal shifts from extraction capitalism and unhinged consumerism towards sustainability. This requires multi-disciplinary approaches to find a path forward, but first we need to get people to care. I believe that art can connect people to difficult concepts at an emotional level, helping to increase public understanding of anthropogenic species loss, and motivate sustainable behavior."
Read the rest of the essay here at Artists and Climate Change
More about Juniper's unique art process here.