I never felt like crying during a documentary. It’s called Chasing Ice and James Balog is the brain behind it, helped by a team of dedicated people. It’s hard to remember to breathe at times. There’s a particular scene during Chasing Ice that made my eyes tear up. A big chunk of ice the breaks and falls into the ocean, rolling like a dying polar bear and growling just the same.
It’s what my boys and your children will inherit. A big meltdown that we sugarcoat nowadays with feeble attempts like “Oh come on, it can’t be that bad…” or “You can’t believe everything those scientists say…” Well, it’s not what anyone says, it’s reality. A big sloshy reality that will not get better unless we change something.
It is not about any degrees of badness, it’s about facts. That is what the documentary is about. Time-lapse photography of melting glaciers. Glaciers that have stayed put for thousands of years doing their thawing/building up dance year after year, we are now seeing disappear. We make them disappear to be more precise.
James Balog’s work is inspirational. It actually goes well beyond that. It redefines the concept of legacy. He does work that sends a message. And since photography is all he has, that’s what he’s showing.
The question is: Will we pay attention? Will we move beyond the awe created by the ice images he presents? Photographs and videos obtained with a lot of work and determination, and meant to make us change our ways.
Will we? Once again, I have to ask the question I keep asking: Will we be able to look into our children’s eyes and say “I did all that I could to make this planet last for you and those to come after you…” Or will we look down in shame because of all that we didn’t do.
I keep telling myself that small changes will ultimately create a major shift but I am worried that we’re past the time when small changes could make it happen. But what if we’re not?
What are you willing to change to ensure a more lasting future for today’s children? If small changes like buying based on need rather than want, turning off lights when not in use, giving up on the useless lawn and growing an edible garden, recycling and reusing as much as you can, if that is all we can do, I’d say that’s a great start. Because once you start doing that it means that your thinking has shifted. There is so much we can still do; hope is no longer the equivalent of a sigh while scanning the horizon, hope means action.
Start by watching the documentary. If you’re not worried and/or inspired at the moment, Chasing Ice might do that for you. Your children and their children to follow will thank you.