Chasing Ice – Irrefutable Proof of a Changing Planet
In the spring of 2005, photographer James Balog headed to the Arctic on an assignment for National Geographic to capture images to help tell the story of how the Earth’s climate is changing.
With a team of young adventurers, Balog began positioning revolutionary time-lapse cameras across the Arctic, to capture the record of the world’s changing glaciers. Battling untested technology in subzero temperatures, he comes face to face with the forces of nature. The result is a selection of breathtaking, beautiful, horrifying images that compress years into seconds and capture ancient formations of ice as they disappear at a high rate.
The result of these years of research is a documentary named Chasing Ice, directed by Jeff Orlowski. James Balog discloses his motivation for carrying this madly courageous project by saying that “When my daughters Simone and Emely look at me 25/ 30 years from now, they’ll ask,
‘What were you doing, when global warming was happening and you guys knew what was coming down the road?’
“I want to be able to say, ‘Guys, I was doing everything I knew how to do.'”
The documentary needed exhausting work, as they had to put 36 cameras across 16 glaciers and left them in place to record the changing landscape. The journey was dangerous and frustrating, as they experienced both financial and safety difficulties. In the movie, the camera catches Balog weeping when one of his cameras is found to be broken, after all the work he had to do in order to install it on a faraway glacier. “I’ve already had a number of near death experiences on other assignments. Nobody guarantees you long survival” Balog says.
However, the grueling work was rewarded when Balog’s project became a huge success even with skeptical audiences. “I’ve had people come up to me saying ‘thank you for letting me understand what is really happening’, and that makes it all worthwhile”, he says.
Fundamentally, Chasing Ice is a project that intends to make people more aware of the transformations that are irrefutably happening, that can affect each and every one of them, while also denying theories that consider the Global Warming a myth.
by Georgiana Bigea