Earth from the Air

Issue section: 

Review of photographs by Yann Arthus-Bertrand, Royal Botanic Gardens, Edinburgh, and Birmingham Victoria Square

Yann Arthus-Bertrand's photographic portrait of our planet, Earth from the Air, has been shown in 52 cities since its launch in 1999. This open air exhibition contains a range of stunning images from over 100 countries. Each image has a story to tell - most with ecological or social themes, which when viewed collectively present the ecosystem and our relationship to it in all its complicated glory.

The photographs are interspersed with useful statistics ('The Arctic ice floe has decreased in thickness by 40 percent since 1960,' 'Every year, while the world produces 356kg of cereal per person, 40 million people die of hunger'). The tone is cautionary but never hysterical - Arthus-Bertrand wants us to find sustainable solutions to the ecological crisis but he avoids moralising or romanticising 'wilderness'.