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Climate Action in Your Community

This assignment ran from Feb 12 to Mar 6, 2019.

Editor's Note: This assignment will be open for submissions on Wednesday, February 13th, at 12 pm EST.

Climate change is the biggest threat facing the earth and the 7.5 billion people that call this beautiful planet home. It is an urgent and immediate crisis that will affect everyone, and for millions of people it already has.

This is why it is more important than ever for all of us to join the conversation on climate change, and we would like to invite you, the Your Shot community to do just that.

Dramatic, serious complications from our warming world already play out in the lives of people daily. Over the past year in the United States alone we have seen wildfires, hurricanes, floods and mudslides devastate entire communities. We have seen not only activists, but regular people confront the fossil fuel and other industry’s activities as well. But we have also seen a thousand small stories that never make the news; clean technology start-ups, college students creating “green walls” in the middle of a polluted intersection, people living responsibly off the land, and the myriad tiny changes and actions of everyday life that make a difference, both good and bad. Right now, everything we do, or don’t do, can be a climate change story.

This Your Shot assignment is to photograph what climate change looks like in your own community, and/or how it is affecting people in other communities, highlighting impacts to climate action leadership and solutions. Also, for this assignment see if you can share images of people or projects that are taking positive steps to protect their communities from the devastating impact of climate change. Whether that would be someone who uses clean energy (solar, wind, etc,) recycles, or takes part in sustainable practices, from farming to transportation.

It wasn’t until I heard true stories from real people, and travelled to communities in the Alaskan Arctic on the front line of climate change that I fully grasped the fragility of our planet. Now, I see it everywhere. So whether there is a picture right outside your front door, or somewhere far, far away, I hope this assignment produces images that can not only raise awareness in others, but impact your own views as well.

It is a historic moment in time as the human stories of climate change unfold-stories that need to be on the front page of every newspaper every day. So how do we make people and policy makers understand? How do we make those who see it as an abstract, distant future relate? We do it by making it real- with images and stories about real places, real communities and real people. All these stories matter, both big and small, and telling them with new approaches and both local and diverse voices is crucial.

Katie Orlinsky

National Geographic Photographer

This assignment is inspired by the film Paris to Pittsburgh, brought to you by Bloomberg Philanthropies and Radical Media. This film celebrates how Americans are demanding and developing real solutions in the face of climate change. As the weather grows more deadly and destructive, these citizens are not waiting for Washington to act. To view the films trailer and learn more visit

In return for the Sponsor's support of this Assignment, National Geographic may provide images from the Assignment to the Sponsor, Bloomberg, for use on its website, social media platforms, and other outlets to promote and publicize the Assignment.

Curated by:

Katie Orlinsky
National Geographic Photographer
Assignment Status
  • Open

    Everyone’s welcome to contribute their best shot to open assignments. Learn more.
  • Closed

    Completed assignments—with our favorite photos included—will be published online. Learn more.
  • Published

    Once the submission period is over, we'll review all contributions and select our favorite images to be included in the story. Learn more.
Published Mar 19, 2019.
Thank you for your contributions!

4th submission

Posted mar 1, 2019

Hello everyone!

We have now added a fourth submission to this assignment. We still have four days left before the assignment closes so get those last submissions ready!

Editor's Update: Captions

Posted feb 15, 2019

Hi Everyone!

PLEASE NOTE: Captions that explain how your image is related to climate action and/or climate change are required for this assignment. 

Otherwise I am seeing some really great work so far! But I would hate to have to discount something because of caption alone. So if you have already submitted an image without such information, please correct your caption as soon as you can for it to be considered.

Keep up the great work!



Katie Orlinsky

Katie Orlinsky

National Geographic Photographer
I am a photographer and cinematographer from New York City. My long-held interest in politics and social issues originally led me to photography, and since then I have been documenting people and their stories around the world.