Antarctica: Ice and Sky (aka Ice and the Sky) (La glace et le ciel) documentary review: how we know we are burning the planet

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Antarctica Ice and Sky green light

MaryAnn’s quick take…

A deeply personal memoir from the scientist with a “wild empathy for the planet” who locked down the human responsibility for global warming.tweet
I’m “biast” (pro): nothing
I’m “biast” (con): nothing
(what is this about? see my critic’s minifesto)

The guy who made March of the Penguins introduces you to the guy who figured out that global warming is real and the result of human action and does any of this even matter now that Donald Trump is the President of the United States and the official stance of the White House is that climate change is a hoax perpetrated by the Chinese as a tactic to ruin the American economy? We’re all so screwed. Anyway let documentarian Luc Jacquet present 82-year-old glaciologist Claude Lorius, who has made around a gazillion trips to Antarctica in the past 60 years and knows a thing or two about what the ice can tell us about climate eras past. This man — Lorius, that is — who has “a passion for the Antarctic” and a “wild empathy for the planet I live on,” will tell you all about how his research drew him to initially conceive of the notion that weather history could be read in ancient ice — oh wow, his eureka moment about ancient air trapped in the ice is wonderful — and about how literally decades of followup backed up that idea, including the idea that the human impact on climate could be seen in the ice record. (This is a solid primer for anyone who would like to understand how we can know about what the weather was like before humans even existedtweet on planet Earth.) A very personal scientific memoir,tweet Antarctica: Ice and Sky features tons of astonishing film footage from expeditions to the Antarctic from the 1950s onward — the earliest is the equivalent in primitiveness to moonshot footage — as well as Lorius’s charming narration, which is poetic and philosophical in a warm and human way. It’s also very optimistic about the possibilities of science being done transnationally even at the tensest times: he notes how scientists from the US, France, and the USSR worked together in the midst of the Cold War. Will anyone listen or care, though?

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