Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
If seeing is believing, then all sides of the climate change argument should at least be able to agree that glaciers are melting all over the world at record rates. Chasing Ice accepts that skeptics are not going to be convinced by hearing statistics, so instead it takes the viewer on a visual journey, for us to see what is happening with our own eyes.
Chasing Ice is a short (only 76 minutes long) and to-the-point documentary (one of 15 that was just named to the Oscar short-list of possible nominees) that follows the expeditions of James Balog, a professional photographer known for his stark imagery of man and nature. The idea is simple: He plans to use time-lapse photography to show the world how glaciers are melting at unprecedented rates. Science and gut instincts be damned, our eyes don't fool us. These things are disappearing.
The first segment of the film focuses on his method. We see him build custom cameras that can withstand harsh weather. They set up multiple cameras into the mountain-side, where they will take photos - at set intervals - for several years. By the end, we see these photos in sequence, creating stunning proof that climate change is real.
Now, the debates can continue (if they must) about whether or not man is responsible for changing the air around us, and in turn, our natural environment. Chasing Ice says plainly that we are. It also says that there is no real debate in the science community, even though right-wing opponents continue to discount climate change as a left-wing anti-oil rallying cry.
It's hard not to agree with the visuals we see in the film. Chasing Ice will ultimately let you draw your own conclusions, but it should put to rest the idea - for whatever the reason - that this warming of the Earth is not currently happening.
Run Time: 1 hour, 16 minutes, Rated PG-13
Featuring: James Balog, Svavar Jonatansson, Adam LeWinter
Written by Mark Monroe
Directed by Jeff Orlowski (feature-length debut)
Opens locally on Friday, Dec. 7th , 2012
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