This weekend, the New York Times published an opinion piece by James Atlas about the future of global warming, and what New York City could look like if only minimal efforts are made to curb our contributions to a hotter world.
The picture was grim. The article postulates that oceans could potentially rise 12 feet by 2300 if we continue to make only "moderate pollution cuts." For the Big Apple, that means La Guardia and John F. Kennedy airports "are permanently submerged, as are Coney Island, the Rockaways and neighborhoods along Jamaica Bay."
The results are similarly disastrous in Philadelphia, the San Francisco Bay Area, and, of course, New Orleans. (You can see the whole thing in a nifty interactive sidebar here.)
At least there are folks like Atlas, and James Balog, whom we interviewed back in 2010, out watching our melting glaciers and spreading the word on this concern. Balog, a photographer and the head of the research project, Extreme Ice Survey, has charted global glacial recession for years now in a fascinating way, with years-long time-lapse videos. The effect of the videos are not only scientific, but strangely beautiful.
Balog and the ice are also the subjects of a film documentary, Chasing Ice, which is making the rounds of theaters today. The film is directed by Jeff Orlowski, edited by Davis Coombe (who shared an Oscar for Saving Face) and co-produced by Paula DuPré Pesmen and Jerry Aronson (DuPré Pesmen received Academy Awards for The Cove, Aronson a nomination for The Divided Trail: A Native American Odyssey.)
Per such a talented group, Chasing Ice has taken awards across the film festival circuit, from Best Documentary at the Big Sky Film Festival to Excellence in Cinematography for a U.S. Documentary at the Sundance Film Festival. It grabbed audience awards at fests such as the South by Southwest Film Festival and the Palo Alto Film Festival and bagged a the Norman Vaughan Indomitable Spirit Award at MountainFilm in Telluride and Best Adventure Film at the Boulder Film Festival.