'National Geographic' photographer James Balog was once a skeptic about climate change. But through his Extreme Ice Survey, he discovers undeniable evidence of our changing planet. In 'Chasing Ice,' we follow Balog across the Arctic as he deploys revolutionary time-lapse cameras designed for one purpose: to capture a multi-year record of the world's changing glaciers. Balog's hauntingly beautiful videos compress years into seconds and capture ancient mountains of ice in motion as they disappear at a breathtaking rate. Traveling with a young team of adventurers by helicopter, canoe and dog sled across three continents, Balog risks his career and his well-being in pursuit of the biggest story in human history. As the debate polarizes America and the intensity of natural disasters ramp up around the world, 'Chasing Ice' depicts a heroic photojournalist on a mission to gather evidence and deliver hope to our carbon-powered planet Written by
James Balog - Photographer:
If you had an abscess in your tooth, would you keep going to dentist after dentist until you found a dentist who said, "Ah, don't worry about it. Leave that rotten tooth in"? Or would you pull it out because more of the other dentists told you you had a problem? That's sort of what we're doing with climate change.
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Obviously it's preaching to the converted here in Berkeley, but this movie is to global-warming deniers what sunlight is to vampires. You can't sit there and see these glaciers melting before your eyes and not be shaken. I had no idea it was happening so fast.
Regarding movie production values, it's a DOCUMENTARY folks, and a pretty darn good one - no one in my group was bored at any time. Really good story about this guy's obsession to document it, and awesome (in its original sense) nature photography, with some cataclysmic moments. We could hear some booms and crashes from the big-budget extravaganza Cloud Atlas playing in the theater next door, but I think this movie was just as cool, and it's all real.
@ JustCuriosity: Yes, it is an emotional appeal, and that's the point. Most people who are in denial don't have a clue of the scale of the problem and don't care, or they care in a shallow way about "the environment", but that's seen as some abstract thing out there somewhere, not related to their daily lives.
@Tracy Allard: Yes, the science and models are solid; climate scientists have been saying that for years, and they've been trying to get across to the rest of the world how serious the problem is. Meanwhile, the right-wing idiocracy has been shouting them down for crying wolf and even accusing them of fraud. This footage is undeniable evidence of the reality of global warming, and it's vital that as many of the public see it as possible.
I'm trained as a scientist and I'm painfully aware that 90% of Americans could care less about models - any mention of math or anything they don't understand instantly causes their eyes to glaze over. In fact, a growing proportion of Americans think that science is just a bunch of hooey made up by eggheads to pull something over on the rest of society. As Balog notes, half of us still don't believe in evolution. Please read Charles Pierce's Idiot America for more on the scope and magnitude of that problem.
A whole generation of us has been raised to believe that any nonsense can be true if only it's repeated in the media loudly and often enough. The only way that people are going to update their perception of reality is if they are forcibly shaken awake by events such as a hurricane in Manhattan - or perhaps sitting comfortably in a theater watching a piece of a glacier the size of Manhattan suddenly fall off.
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