The Story Behind TIME’s ‘One Last Chance’ Cover
Artist and scientist Jill Pelto created a vibrant landscape of key global climate change indicators
For this week’s special issue, “One Last Chance,” we turned the cover over to a young artist and scientist who painstakingly created a vibrant landscape of key global climate change indicators.
Maine artist Jill Pelto, 27, who incorporates scientific research and data into her watercolor paintings, often in the field, weaves visual narratives that reveal the benefits and costs of human impacts on this planet.
“It has been a tumultuous year, but underlying currents of positive action are surfacing rapidly,” says Pelto, whose watercolor and colored pencil piece is titled Currents. “It depicts a critical grouping of global climate data dictating our present and future action. The reality of this data may be frightening, but there are messages for hope within.”
“This year, the impact of the novel coronavirus will lead to a reduction in global CO2 emissions, and renewable energy consumption will continue to increase,” adds Pelto, who holds bachelor’s degrees in both Studio Art and Earth and Climate Sciences from the University of Maine. “It is critical we leverage these trajectories as a sign of our collective potential to support local environmental action for global change today. This includes addressing the disproportionate effects of climate change on marginalized peoples.”