Human beings seem to have an infinite capacity to accept word spins and tricks and diversions, like “fiscal cliff,” for example, while having an equally unlimited capacity to turn facts into fantasies and myths, like “climate change.” I think it has something to do with comfort zones, not wanting to take responsibility for needed changes, and preferring either / or thinking. It’s just easier, you know?
I’ve not yet had the opportunity to see the documentary Chasing Ice, but based on the trailer (below), and on a good bit of reading about the film, I very much want to see it.
Here’s the video for “Before My Time,” the original End Credits title song by J. Ralph Feat, performed by Scarlett Johansson and Joshua Bell.
Chasing Ice has won the Best Documentary from Environmental Media Association and is a 2012 Sundance Award-Winning film. Maybe just as impressive, according to AlterNet, “Bill O’Reilly-Loving Climate-Denier Breaks Down After Watching Documentary ‘Chasing Ice,’ Vows to Stop Climate Change” (there’s a video of that, if you go to the link).
A film Synopsis: (emphasis added)
In the spring of 2005, acclaimed environmental photographer James Balog headed to the Arctic on a tricky assignment for National Geographic: to capture images to help tell the story of the Earth’s changing climate. Even with a scientific upbringing, Balog had been a skeptic about climate change. But that first trip north opened his eyes to the biggest story in human history and sparked a challenge within him that would put his career and his very well-being at risk.
Chasing Ice is the story of one man’s mission to change the tide of history by gathering undeniable evidence of our changing planet. Within months of that first trip to Iceland, the photographer conceived the boldest expedition of his life: The Extreme Ice Survey. With a band of young adventurers in tow, Balog began deploying revolutionary time-lapse cameras across the brutal Arctic to capture a multi-year record of the world’s changing glaciers.
As the debate polarizes America and the intensity of natural disasters ramps up globally, Balog finds himself at the end of his tether. Battling untested technology in subzero conditions, he comes face to face with his own mortality. It takes years for Balog to see the fruits of his labor. His hauntingly beautiful videos compress years into seconds and capture ancient mountains of ice in motion as they disappear at a breathtaking rate. Chasing Ice depicts a photographer trying to deliver evidence and hope to our carbon-powered planet.
As I wrote about earlier this week, the UN Climate Change Convention is underway in Doha, Qatar. In the AlterNet article I cited above, Tara Lohan writes about (emphasis added)
… world leaders … meeting in Doha to continue the doomed routine of figuring out who will take responsibility and who will take action. There is little hope that the kind of agreement that emerges, if any, will be of the scope needed to truly make a difference in curbing greenhouse emissions.
So where does that leave us? … The international community has managed nothing meaningful in a decade and they’re stymied in part by our own country’s utter unwillingness to challenge the fossil fuel industry. Obama had done some, but not enough, and a verdict on the Keystone XL pipeline hangs in the balance – and with it, potentially the fate of the planet. So in fact, right now, we need regular people — regardless of how they vote or from which station they get their news — to begin taking action and demanding political responsibility.
(Chasing Ice photo via James Balog’s Photo Gallery)