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  • Climate scientist, Davis, uses art and music to help combat climate change

    Robert Davies (standing) and the quartet during a performance of “The Crossroads Project.” Musicians include (left to right) Robert Waters, Rebecca McFaul, Anne Francis Bayless and Bradley Ottesen. Photo: Andrew McCallister /Courtesy of The Crossroads Project

    By Ramona du Houx
    A decade ago, physicist Robert Davies became intrigued by what was going on at Oxford’s Environmental Change Institute down the road from where he was working at the University of Oxford in England. After attending seminars at the Institute he became shocked by “the broad gap between what science understands about climate change, and what the public understands.”

    To help remedy the apparent lack of communication he began giving public lectures on the impending dangers of climate change. The results weren’t what he expected. “The audiences would understand it on an intellectual level,” said Davies. “The science is pretty self-explanatory and very compelling.” They listened but that was all, and not enough for Davies who immediately became interested in finding ways to inspire people to get involved in taking action to hold back climate change.

    He turned to music and art, and started the Crossroads Project, which premiered in Utah in the fall of 2012 and has performed many times since stateside and aboard. Davis reads, while the musicians play and a slide show of art is projected behind them. Laura Kaminsky wrote music for the project. The art came from images taken by nature photographer Garth Lenz, and paintings by Rebecca Allen.

    “It’s about convincing people who already believe we have these problems to start behaving like it,” said Davies.

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