AGU 2012 Beginning: “Chasing Ice” and Climate Change

Hello followers! Today begins daily blog from the AGU Fall Meeting in San Francisco, California. This city is one of my favorites and I couldn’t be more psyched to be surrounded by sourdough bread and cable cars, not to mention the beautiful weather!

Tonight, I had the pleasure of watching “Chasing Ice”, a documentary film about glaciers and climate change made by James Balog in conglomeration with Tad Pfeffer and Jason Box. Together, along with Balog’s company Extreme Ice Survey, these men tell a story of climate change with glacial proportions. The film is described as follows:

“Chasing Ice is the story of one man’s mission to change the tide of history by gathering undeniable evidence of climate change. Using time-lapse cameras, his videos compress years into seconds and capture ancient mountains of ice in motion as they disappear at a breathtaking rate.” (Chasing Ice website.

Watch the trailer:

Balog also did a Ted Talk on the movie, and also has authored many books. Watch the Ted Talk below:

As you can see from the videos, “Chasing Ice” is a story which is meant to move people emotionally, whether they are already convinced that climate change is real, or need to be convinced. Balog (who was at the panel after the movie along with colleagues Box and Pfeffer) emphasized multiple times that climate change is a universal issue, and we should take the philosophical high ground when it comes to attaching climate change to politics.

Balog and his colleagues stressed that scientists can publish journals all they want, but those don’t matter in the public’s eyes. He explained that every study needs a public front so the story can be shared with the world, and eventually believed by the masses. Balog also stressed that through media, the marriage of science and art will affect people positively when it comes to believing in climate change, and if “we” can sway just a small fraction of people, it is worth it.

Last but not least, Balog ended his talk by saying that using MASS MEDIA to disseminate materials is the easiest way to put information out to the masses. This is very important for scientists to remember, in my opinion, because the more media exposure, the more likely the public will begin to believe that concepts such as “climate change” ARE real and need to be turned around before it is too late.

As always, check out the “Chasing Ice” twitter feed (@chasingice) and watch the trailers. If you like it, go watch the movie!, but at least look through the website to see the amazing images captured by the Extreme Ice Survey Team!

Tomorrow begins a packed couple of days of poster sessions, talks, and my poster presentation. Can’t wait to share the experience of AGU Fall Meeting with you!

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