Photography is a very powerful, universal medium. The visual power of a photograph has the ability to change people's opinions, and impact people in a way that no other form of media can, after all, seeing is believing.
This visual power can be applied to important topics, problems or issues to raise awareness and prompt action in turn from the audience.
Environmental issues can benefit from photographs as a form of raising awareness and activism, as Sylvia has mentioned, the Franklin river was saved because of the beautiful photographs taken by Dombrovski and Truchana.
I researched Yann Arthus-Bertrand who is a brilliant photographer and also an eco-activist, which is reflected in his style of shooting. His images are captivating and powerful, and are not only indicative of the natural environment, but eco-systems and animals as well.
One moving picture I came across of his is shown below:
I think the visual world, not only photography, has extreme potential to move people and create active protest and activism within the viewer so as to make them fight for a particular cause or belief. Aesthetics can be so powerful as a form of evidence that cannot be denied.
The article provided, written by Tom Bonyhady, raises convincing topics about photographs and the environment. He argues that photographs are extremely important because alot of the time the general public has not experienced first hand the places or species that need help. Which is a valid argument, not everyone has come face to face with lions or african elephants or endagered species. Photographs show us what's at stake, what we have to lose.
With regards to the aesthetic appeal of a location having direct links to the affect a photograph can have on environmental activism, I think the uglier it is, the more help it needs. Being able to show the audience how bad shape the enviroment is in can act as a powerful source of information in itself.