Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Photographer’s work documents ‘True Cost of Oil’

Environmental photojournalist Garth Lenz shows a slide from his traveling exhibit of the Alberta Tar Sands to Davis High School students and staff Monday.  The award-winning photographs contrast the beauty of the natural landscape to the devastation caused by industrialization. The noontime presentation was one of four that Lenz will be doing in the Davis-Sacramento area this week. Sue Cockrell/Enterprise photo

From page A1 | January 15, 2013 |

The before and after photos provide a backdrop for Garth Lenz’s message.

Before: A lush landscape of color: trees, wetlands and wildlife with mountain ranges in the background.

After: More of a moonscape really, devoid of color, full of sludge ponds, with trees clearcut and wetlands drained.

This is the Alberta Tar Sands, located in Lenz’s native Canada, and home to the world’s third-largest oil reserves, where the tarry substance bitumen, a form of petroleum, is mined and refined into crude oil. The tar sands represent the single largest source of foreign oil for the United States.

But the tar sands — and plans to increase production here — have become a hot spot in the fight over global warming. A proposed pipeline — the Keystone XL — would carry millions of gallons of that crude oil down through the central United States to the Gulf Coast, where it would be shipped all over the world.

Climate scientists and environmentalists around the world have been fighting the project for years and the pipeline became an issue during the presidential campaign last year. The Obama Administration is expected to make a decision on whether to permit the project in March.

As the debate revolves around the use of crude oil and the impact on global warming, Lenz, a conservation photographer, has focused on the more immediate impact of tar sand mining in Alberta. His work showing the changing landscape of the area has appeared in numerous publications, including Time magazine last spring.

On Monday, he was in Davis, presenting his piece, “The True Cost of Oil,” to students at Davis High School during the afternoon as well as to community members later in the evening.

He will present his work again on Tuesday at 5 p.m. in Wellman Hall, Room 2, on the UC Davis campus. The public is welcome to attend, said organizer Lynne Nittler.

Lenz’s photos of the tar sands and surrounding areas are taken from a plane, a particularly unique experience, he told students in DHS teacher Sherri Sandberg’s science class.

“The doors are off or the windows are open,” he said, and the temperature outside is around minus 30 degrees, “but you can’t wear heavy gloves (while taking pictures).”

“After about 30 to 40 seconds you begin to lose all sensation in your hands,” he said.

He has shot photos all over the world, from Patagonia to China to Europe, he said, but the tar fields have become one of his favorite locations to shoot, he said, because of the beautiful images that seduce people, then force a double-take.

Whenever you can jolt people, he said, that’s a good thing.

It’s one of the reasons Nittler helped arrange his visit to Davis.

“When you see those photographs, it really brings it home to you,” she said.

See more of Lenz’s work on his website, http://www.garthlenz.com.

— Reach Anne Ternus-Bellamy at aternus@davisenterprise.net or 530-747-8051. Follow her on Twitter at @ATernusBellamy



Anne Ternus-Bellamy

  • Recent Posts

  • Enter your email address to subscribe to this newspaper and receive notifications of new articles by email.

  • .


    Interfaith event focuses on justice

    By Fred Gladdis | From Page: A1 | Gallery

    In vino veritas: A criminal case and intrigue in Napa Valley

    By New York Times News Service | From Page: A1 | Gallery

    Parking lawsuit may be more than meets the eye

    By Dave Ryan | From Page: A1

    Share your love (story) with us

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

    Pets of the week

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3 | Gallery

    Workshop offers tips on GoPro cameras

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

    Sutter Davis Hospital seeks volunteer doulas

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A3

    Winter produce, treats available at Wednesday market

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

    Have a ‘Heart to Heart’ with Dr. G

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

    Apply now for Soroptimist service grants

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

    Vote for your favorites in Readers’ Choice poll

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

    Learn nature photography from an expert

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4 | Gallery

    Thorp receives UCD’s Distinguished Emeritus Award

    By Kathy Keatley Garvey | From Page: A4 | Gallery

    Innovation opportunities on the agenda

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

    Apply now to be on Davis’ coop crawl

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

    Seed swap set Friday at Davis Cemetery

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

    VFW post plans Valentine’s Day Heroes Breakfast

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4 | Gallery

    Storyteller relies on nature as his subject on Saturday

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

    Gerber nominations open now

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A10



    Taking turns as the halfway house

    By Creators Syndicate | From Page: B5

    Tom Meyer cartoon

    By Debbie Davis | From Page: A6

    A family was torn apart, but we survived

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A6 | Gallery

    Locals will join march for climate change

    By Michelle Millet | From Page: A6



    Anatomy of a hoops collapse: can Aggie men handle the pressure?

    By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

    Four DHS wrestlers soar at McClellan Air Force Base

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1

    Aggie women almost get a sweep of Portland tennis teams

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1 | Gallery

    UCD women need to get in gear for a basketball road trip

    By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

    UCD swims past Santa Barbara

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B2 | Gallery

    Sports briefs: Eat ribs for the Davis Aquadarts

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B8



    Name Droppers: Lea Rosenberg leads Odd Fellows

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5



    DHS Idol finals will be a tough competition

    By Krystal Lau | From Page: A9

    Wynonna Judd will perform Feb. 13 in Vacaville

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9

    ‘Ideation’ a funny, dark, thrilling farce — and more

    By Bev Sykes | From Page: A9 | Gallery







    Comics: Tuesday, January 27, 2015 (set 1)

    By Creator | From Page: B5

    Comics: Tuesday, January 27, 2015 (set 2)

    By Creator | From Page: B7