Why every human needs to see Chasing Ice

The Solheim Glacier in Iceland in February 2009. The line represents how much the glacier changed in nearly three years. Photo by James Balog / Extreme Ice Survey

Last week, I had the amazing opportunity to watch a powerful global warning documentary called Chasing Ice. The film was being featured as part of the TIFF Bell Lightbox fall schedule.

I had won the tickets as part of a Facebook contest from World Wildlife Fund of Canada, which of course added an extra element of excitement. Winning anything is awesome. Period.

I had posted on my facebook wall how excited I was and that I needed to find someone to go with me. My husband is not really the film festival type. His loss. Christina, one of my closest girlfriends, enthusiastically jumped up and down (digitally of course, through facebook comments) saying that she would love to go.

I am slightly ashamed to say that this is the first time I have ever seen a movie with TIFF at all. To say I have never been to the festival is one thing. But I have never even stepped inside this beautiful theater. Mental note – go there more often. I ‘consider’ my self to be cultured…I occasionally need to act like it.

Chasing Ice, National Geographic, Extreme Ice Survey, film review,
Film poster for Chasing Ice in the TIFF Bell Lightbox lobby.

I had heard about the work of National Geographic photographer, James Balog, and really wanted to see about what had come out of it. Christina and I settled in, expecting to see some striking photography and beautiful visuals.

I don’t know if either of us expected the emotions.

I have always been active in environmental activism. I worked for an environmentally friendly company for 5 years. I have volunteered my time at numerous events, done hours upon hours worth of reading and research and made sure to try and instill some of what I have gained into my home and family. I may sound like a know-it-all. I’m not by a long shot. But I have always thought of myself as knowledgable in the green space.

This film was a massive eye opener, even for me.

Mid way through the documentary, while watching time-lapsed images of the glaciers disappearing before our eyes, both Christina and I started to quietly sob. This film delivers such a heartbreaking blow of truth that I honestly feel every human needs to witness.

Christina & I, taken after the film. We honestly had to force the happy faces.
In her words “I really don’t feel like smiling right now.”

To quote myself from my film review on Ecorazzi:

“The fact that we are indeed changing the shape and size of these historic landscapes is the larger theme of the film. In my opinion, it should be mandatory viewing for any climate change skeptic that still disputes the science. These images honestly tell a story that cannot be argued with.”

Click here to read the rest of my film review for Chasing Ice.

For further homework, please do each of the following:

Go here to look up local showtimes and see if you can get to a viewing near you.

Click here to learn more about the Extreme Ice Survey (organization & science behind the film) and find out how to get more involved.

Watch the YouTube video below. It is an incredible TED presentation delivered by James Balog. Discusses his work and shows some images and videos from the film. If you can’t get to the film, this is the next best thing. Completely worth your time.

Ideally, you will do all of these things now. If not for yourself, for your children. I am not even kidding. It’s a sappy, emotional and cliche way to end this blog post. I am using your children (and mine) to guilt trip you into this and I don’t even feel bad about it because sadly, it’s true.


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