Film review: Chasing Ice

Chasing-IceThe fact that ice melts is not news to you, me or in fact anyone. The fact that much of the world’s ice is melting and melting fast, is news. Controversial and disputed news. Interest in the subject of climate change has waned even as extreme weather events have, seemingly, increased.

Chasing Ice is the story of award-winning photographer James Balog and his efforts to record the movement of glaciers. He did this by positioning 25 time-lapse cameras in Iceland, Greenland and North America and then over several years recorded hundreds of thousands of photos of the glaciers.

Glaciers are ice in motion – some glaciers are growing and they are all moving. In theory they melt a bit in the summer and grow a bit in the winter, just as you’d expect. Except what Chasing Ice records is the astonishing retreat of these massive sheets of ice. Some have retreated further in the last ten years than they did in the previous one hundred years.

Glaciers are hugely important as they are the largest reservoirs of fresh water on the planet and obviously as they disappear that reservoir is getting smaller. This might not be climate change but it is geological change and geographical change and change on a truly massive and jaw dropping scale.

The power of Chasing Ice is not the statistics that it presents but the images you see. You can, in just a few minutes watch a landscape change and change dramatically in just a few years. If this rate of disappearance continues then by the time my son is old enough to explore many of these glaciers, they simply won’t be there.

I have to confess that the issue of climate change has significantly dropped on my list of priorities but watching this film is going to make me seriously reconsider. This easily has to be the most powerful environmental film I have ever watched. It has an agenda, it’s produced by those who are convinced of climate change and global warming but on the indisputable evidence that is put before them. It’s not hard to see why.

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