Colby Hastings: Climate Change and Politics

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Photography and Text by Colby Hastings, Copyright 2016


Climate Change and Politics


Climate change is the single greatest problem our generation is facing today.  We still do not know yet what the consequences of letting this threat run unchecked would be.  But in the best case we make life much more difficult for our species, with less biodiversity, rising sea levels, and unpredictable and severe weather.  In the worst case, we could end up making our planet completely unlivable.


Making dramatic changes to our energy infrastructure is the only way to mitigate the risk of disaster.  We now have access to affordable resources like solar and wind.  As our country’s infrastructure ages, we are replacing old coal plants with solar fields, and gas-burning cars with electric vehicles.



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Renewable energy has been growing rapidly, however, fossil fuels still make up nearly 70% of all electricity generated in the US.  And while there is growing enthusiasm for electric vehicles, these cars make up still less than 1% of all of the vehicles on the roads in the US today.  We still have a long way to go in our country to transition to fully clean energy.

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The government plays a critical role in this transition.  The next president will shape policies on subsidies, research funding, renewable targets, etc.  We all face an important choice in this upcoming election.  The suite of candidates differ on every position imaginable, from immigration to taxes to foreign policy.  They also differ immensely in their energy policies.

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Ted Cruz and Donald Trump both deny the very existence of climate change.  Despite the fact that 99% of scientists believe that climate change is real and caused by human activity, both of these candidates choose to ignore reality and the dangers of a rapidly warming environment.  With either of these candidates as president, we can look forward to a world with no emphasis on developing clean energy technologies, with a renewed use of outdated and polluting sources of energy like coal.  John Kasich is unique in being the one Republican in the field to acknowledge the reality of climate change, and to see an energy future where renewable technologies play a critical role.  However, he has no plans to limit the uses of fossil fuels, and has said that he would repeal many of this administration’s policies that have advanced clean energy, like the Clean Power Plan designed to reduce emissions from power plants.


 Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders are more outspoken supporters of clean energy, supporting tax credits and targets to move the US to a fully renewable economy.  When thinking about who we want leading this country, I hope that people will consider the future of our infrastructure in their decisions at the polls.

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I want to give the next generation a world in which they do not need to worry about climate change, one in which gas stations and giant polluting power plants become relics of the past.


About the Author: Colby Hastings is a graduate student at the Wharton School of Business, University of Pennsylvania. To read more articles by Colby Hastings, go here:

Light Table: Portrait of the Day


Photography and Text by Tony Ward, Copyright 2016.


Light Table: Portrait of the Day


Michelle was one of the models who came through my studio in the early nineties that knew how to make a fashion picture look sexy, in an elegant and classic way.  We made the portrait on the top of my studio on South 6th Street in Philly in the early nineties when I made the transition from corporate work to fashion and erotic photography.  I was heavy into the use of  T-Max film  during those days and rated the already fast film even faster, which yielded a distinctive look to my selenium toned black and white prints.  It was  an intense period of contributing to various national and international print publications. This is one of my favorite photographs from the period.

Robin Sanders: Portraiture, a Second Look

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Photography and Text by Robin Sanders, Copyright 2016.


Portraiture, a Second Look


When one mentions the word portraiture, thoughts of faces are more often than not conjured. One’s face describes many characteristics about a person; age, gender, culture, and race are some of the many distinguishing features brought out by the face. It’s quite interesting that one of the most distinguishing parts about a person is a part that we inevitably have little control over.

So does the face say that much about a person? What part of a person can we look at and trust to be an accurate reflection of the person we see?

Clothing, other than the fact that we must wear it, is a choice we make on a daily basis. Purchases, outfits, and styles are a person’s way of describing more about his or herself. A pair of sneakers, Louis Vuitton heels, or sandals can have a drastic affect on one’s perception of a person.

Thus, such a train of thought was born into my mind, and I proceeded to look about to find a method to incorporate this idea into a political piece. In today’s society, an accepted judgment of one another is drawn out specifically through one’s look. A younger woman will likely vote for Bernie Sanders, an elderly rich white man may lean more towards Donald Trump’s views. But what about a pair of sneakers, or boots? Is there an affiliation of political party and one’s choice of feet adornment?

In the following pictures, I have taken photos of several friends, specifically their choice of shoes. I have also positioned a quote within each picture, without the author of the respective quotes.

Some quotes may be more identifiable than others, but for the most part the possible authors of such quotes are ambiguous. The people support politics, but shoes support people. It’s time to forget about the face and all that inherently characterizes a person. It’s time to look at how we choose to let society see us. It’s time to change perspectives.


About The Author: Robin Sanders is a Junior majoring in Systems Engineering at the University of Pennsylvania.  Class of 2017. To read more articles by Robin Sanders, go here:

Carolyn Wong: Rome a Place in Time


Photography and Text by Carolyn Wong


Centuries of history, some lost some found are engraved into these marble walls. Welcome to the city of Rome.


According to legend, the children of Mars, Romulus and Remus, were left to die on the Tiber river. However, a she-wolf found the twins and saved them. A shepherd and his wife found the children, and as they were nurtured and grew older, they proved to be natural leaders.


The brothers gained a large following and decided to found their own city. But as they disagreed on which location to settle on, Romulus killed Remus and chose Palentine Hill. He named the city Roma. And Roma grew. It grew into the center of a highly sophisticated empire, ruled by some of the greatest. Hadrian, Trajan, Augustus, Caesar. The city was filled with grandeur, from the Forums to the Pantheon.




And today it remains. The walls still visible, the gates still erect. Marble statues collected from ancient years still remain on display. The unnamed bust of a young male, the goddess Venus. In a place with so much history, you can only imagine what may have been, but you can also see how it has transformed.


Despite the years that have passed from the Roman Empire’s old age of glory, the city itself has become something more. Rome is a hub of culture, history and food. You can see the old and the new and experience a place unlike any other. Rome is a place of beauty. It is a place of bustling. And above all, it is a place of living.


Photography and Text by Carolyn Wong, Copyright 2016.


About The Author: Carolyn Wong is a sophomore majoring in International Relations at the University of Pennsylvania, Class of 2018. To read more articles by Carolyn Wong, go here:

Zhewei Feng: The Parallel Universe

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Photography and Text by Zhewei Feng


The Parallel Universe


“parallel universe is a hypothetical self-contained separate reality co-existing with one’s own.”

You won’t realize that there is a parallel universe in our city until you get there. The space that physically exist in the busy urban area, but hidden above or below ground. No one is there just like the space is taken away from our 3 dimensional world. It’s forgotten.

I call it the “Parallel Universe” of our city. It’s another universe that is parallel to the city, but no one discovers it.

The station used to be part of the city. Now it sits quietly on the ground, covered by all kinds of graffiti, and stays in a new world. It’s the proof that at least some people didn’t forget about it. They came here and paint on it, giving the station a new life. It is abandoned, for sure, but also picked up by somebody from the adjacent world.

The tunnel is hidden underground. You will never realize that it is so close to you until you get there. It is just 3 feet below your feet. When you get in the tunnel, sunlight becomes the bridge that link both worlds in parallel. In darkness, light is also the only clue for you to move forward. You may view things from a totally different angle that you never seen before too, like the huge car floating above you. It feels like the world is reversed.


About The Author: Zhewei Feng is a graduate student enrolled in the School of Architecture, University of Pennsylvania. To read additional articles by Zhewei, go here: