Hue & Cry

Amy Howden-Chapman

Meanwhile. Filmed in California, 2012. Special thanks to Tom Gaman.

We were walking down a waterfall, a shallow one, shallow and foamy. The rocks on either side of the water had been spray painted, and then around the bend I saw a tree with 1990 carved into it. After all these years the bark was bulging back into the cut. It has been a long time since 1990: that's what the tree was implying. 

Under the Kyoto Protocol, industrialised countries were obliged to cut their greenhouse gas emissions by a collective 5% below 1990 levels by the year 2012. This hasn't happened. What have we spent all these years doing? What have we been doing for nearly a quarter of a century while that tree has been putting on rings?

Amy Howden-Chapman is a Wellington-born, Los Angeles-based artist and writer. See

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