Robert FitzRoy was New Zealand’s second Governor. He had been the captain of Darwin’s Beagle and went on to found the British Meteorological Office.
His life’s work was the prediction of storms and the protection of shipping and seafarers from their destructive force. To that end he invented the weather forecast and a system of storm warnings that could be telegraphed to coastal stations and displayed to ships as drums and cones hung from masts on shore, indicating wind strength and direction.
FitzRoy is a hinge between climate ignorance and climate science.
His Weather Book; A Manual of Practical Meteorology (1863) was the first popular guide to the causes and patterns of weather. The skies in the Pond suite of graphite drawings quote directly from the cloud illustrations in the Weather Book, and the models from which the suite was drawn were all assembled from found plastic: from chopsticks to milk bottles to a hardware store tarpaulin.
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