Time-lapse devastation, beautifully captured
National Geographic photographer James Balog was a skeptic about global warming—until he was as captured by ice as it was captured in his images. He formed the Extreme Ice Survey project and gathered a team to place time-lapse cameras in Greenland, Iceland, Nepal, Alaska, and Montana. This entailed locating the most delicate technology in some of the world's harshest climates to take frame-by-frame images of glaciers over a period of years. The results are beautiful art and devastating evidence. Glaciers are receding at an unprecedented rate, with implications for the global environment.
This documentary—ironically nominated for Best Original Song—hits on many cylinders. Watching James Balog ice-pick his way up forbidding terrain on knees crumbling faster than his glacial subjects is to be inspired by passion. Viewing the skill of his photography is as breath-taking as any art gallery. And assessing the evidence presented removes any doubt about the need for change in our current environmental path.
Oh, and that song, which is performed as the credits roll: Sung by Scarlett Johansson and accompanied by Joshua Bell, it encapsulates every frame of husky beauty and pathos evoked by the film. You may listen to it in the video below. (For the official movie trailer, keep scrolling.)