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Mon May 25, 2015, 09:10 PM

"Now that you know, what will you do?"


After Lifetime of Discoveries, Climatologist Asks: 'Now That You Know, What Will You Do?'
Published on
Monday, May 25, 2015

New documentary exploring life and work of key scientist premieres at Cannes and challenges humanity to respond to perils of dangerously warming planet
by Jon Queally, staff writer


A shot from the film La Glace et le Ciel (trans. The Ice and the Sky), which premiered at Cannes on Sunday night and chronicles the life and scientific discoveries of French climatologist Claude Lorius. (Image: La Glace et le Ciel)

Though all the awards had been announced and a week of celebrity sightings and red carpet fanfare was nearly complete, the final word at the Cannes Film Festival on Sunday night was not from a famous actor, producer or director but from an octogenarian French glaciologist who in a documentary film about his life exploring the icy depths of the Antarctica issued a stark—yet hopeful—plea to humanity over the perils of planetary climate change.

Offered the closing spot at the festival, the film La Glace et le Ciel (The Ice and the Sky) chronicles the life and scientific discoveries of Claude Lorius, one of the pioneers of climate science who realized that locked with the ancient ice below the frozen landscapes of Antarctica, was the Earth's atmospheric climate record dating back hundreds of thousands of years. Directed by Luc Jacquet, maker of the 2005 Oscar-winner March of the Penguins, the film follows Lorius from his first expeditions in the late 1950s to his most recent revelations concerning the fate of the planet and its people.

According to Reuters' review, the film makes clear "that the earth is warming up faster than it has in hundreds of millennia," and Lorius himself ends the film by challenging its viewers, "Now that you know, what will you do?"

Watch the official trailer [in French]:



As the Guardian's Adam Pulver writes:

Jacquet presents his film very much as a head-on challenge to climate change deniers: by simply talking us through Lorius’s career, and the progress of his work, we understand the methodical processes by which he came to his conclusions. Essentially, it’s a rebuttal to background-noise deniers’ complaints about flawed science: Lorius says what he found, and what it means, with calm, unflappable detachment. We are taken through the stages: Lorius’s first trip to Antarctica to study snow; the realisation that the ratio of “light” hydrogen atoms to “heavy” in each snowflake corresponds precisely to the ambient temperature of the day of the snowfall; then decision to take core samples to study the change in temperature over time. Jacquet decribes a rather entertaining eureka moment: when ancient ice is used for a celebratory whisky, Lorius realised the trapped air that escapes can be analysed too, for its gas content.

And the Hollywood Reporter adds:

The scientist’s biggest breakthrough was the fortunate discovery that the chemical composition of snow allowed him to calculate the exact temperature on the day it fell, which means that samples from thousands of years ago could be surveyed to get an idea of the rise and fall of temperatures over extended periods of time (the documentary shows samples up to 400,000 years old). He thus found proof for climatologists’ hypothesis that our planet went through hot and cold periods of about 100,000 years each, which in turn allowed him to prove that the rate of climate change over the last 100 years is not a normal variation in temperature, and must thus be caused by man.

Though a scientist first, Lorius is clearly a man who believes in peace between the nations, having led a Franco-U.S.-Soviet South Pole expedition at the height of the Cold War. With the help of Jacquet, the protagonist clearly hopes that this documentary will generate debate and, hopefully, change. Gorgeously choreographed shots, many of them filmed with the help of drones by outstanding cinematographer Stéphane Martin, show Lorius surveying the melting water of glaciers or the burning forests that are the result of climate change. Entirely wordless, they convey the idea that the beauty-filled natural world indeed seems to be slipping away from the old man who first suggested this would happen and who now worries about what kind of world his grandchildren will be living in.

This short offers additional footage of Lorius and includes English subtitles:



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 License

http://www.commondreams.org/news/2015/05/25/after-lifetime-discoveries-climatologist-asks-now-you-know-what-will-you-do


In the second video clip above, this amazing man, Claude Lorius offers optimism that human(s)will make a stand & lead humanity to a different type of behavior.

From his lips...

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Response to RiverLover (Original post)

Mon May 25, 2015, 09:15 PM

1. Thank You For Sharing

eom

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Response to cantbeserious (Reply #1)

Mon May 25, 2015, 09:44 PM

4. Sure. Our small E&E group here asks the same Q basically every day. Who better to understand,

other than Climate Scientists themselves?

Meanwhile we are spending trillion$ on defense, that could be going towards alternative fuels, ecological education, saving the planet. And instead we have wars for oil, and jobs sent overseas to produce goods made by virtual slaves and shipped back to US using fossil fuels. We're about to pass a trade bill which will increase the export of natural gas & so US production of natural gas through fracking will expand when it needs to contract, harming both our precious water supply & increasing C02 emissions. More pipelines, more destroyed trees & at risk waterways...

Honestly, I wish Claude could bottle up that optimism of his & sell it to us. I'm in absolute awe of his positivity.

The movie looks to be hauntingly beautiful in its tragic tale. I hope to see it. Though I'm sure I'll be crying through much of it.

(yes, I'm female )

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Response to RiverLover (Original post)

Mon May 25, 2015, 09:21 PM

2. +1000 !!!!

 

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Response to RiverLover (Original post)

Mon May 25, 2015, 09:32 PM

3. We cannot even come together enough sans egos towards any issue even on DU

I personally don't see us coming together to ensure this crisis does not utterly destroy life as we've known it.....



I worry as Claude does for our future generation...

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Response to AuntPatsy (Reply #3)

Mon May 25, 2015, 09:45 PM

5. +1

 

But as many scientists are saying, we have already passed the tipping point.

It doesn't look good at all for our future generations.

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Response to darkangel218 (Reply #5)

Mon May 25, 2015, 10:01 PM

6. I know, when one feels hopeless they tend not to work towards a solution, but in this

case, I fear that solution is no longer viable....

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Response to AuntPatsy (Reply #6)

Mon May 25, 2015, 10:03 PM

8. If we acted boldly, we could slow it down.

I've read that anyways. I don't think I bookmarked it.

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Response to RiverLover (Reply #8)

Mon May 25, 2015, 10:06 PM

9. It's possible, the human race just might depend on an innovation not yet realized....

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Response to AuntPatsy (Reply #3)

Mon May 25, 2015, 10:02 PM

7. I worry too, & feel an acute pain for the loss of the incredible array of our planet's animals

as well. They are our collective victims. Totally innocent.

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Response to RiverLover (Reply #7)

Mon May 25, 2015, 10:07 PM

10. It is heartbreaking,

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Response to RiverLover (Original post)

Tue May 26, 2015, 12:16 AM

11. It should read- "Now that you know, what will you NOT do?"

This is the context that people are not wanting to see. It's an inconvenient truth. It's why I seem like such an ogre when I fume about tourism, and a variety of things that are frivolous; are not necessary. One can argue the point, but the planet doesn't care about you.

It's called being responsible, and it isn't fun. The party is over. 7 billion people can't all be frequent fliers.

This problem came about from too many people doing too many things. Reversing the situation is going to take a lot of NOT DOING, since the 7 billion are still here. Some engineering will sooth a little bit of the problem, unless something major is invented. And that's highly unlikely.

This is a "not doing" time. Don't go to Disneyland. Don't have the extra child. Don't drive when not needed. People are furious when you get specific. It's a "how dare you!" situation. How dare I even mention it. Sorry, the planet doesn't give a god damned about you. It will roll right over your future generations if we don't start acting responsible.

Great article. Thanks.

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Response to Gregorian (Reply #11)

Tue May 26, 2015, 06:16 AM

12. Great post! Thank you.

You absolutely nailed it.

We are in collective denial when we need to be collectively not doing.

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Response to RiverLover (Original post)

Tue May 26, 2015, 07:22 AM

13. Now that I know

 

I will live the rest of my time here as mindfully and lovingly as I can.
I will never stop learning - about the world, about other people and about myself.
I will strive to be compassionate to all beings - especially to those people who are still asleep.

I will treat all hardships as opportunities.
I will cause as little harm as I can manage.
I will have compassion for myself over any harm I inflict because I cannot avoid it.
I will express gratitude for the incredible good fortune I have experienced simply by being conscious and self-aware at this moment in history.

I will discard all blame, anger, guilt and shame - these emotions are obstacles to growth.
I will forgive us all for being the flawed miracles that we are.


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Response to GliderGuider (Reply #13)

Tue May 26, 2015, 08:01 AM

14. I might just have to print this out to read every morning.

Thank you. Wise words to live by in our present circumstance.

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Response to GliderGuider (Reply #13)

Tue May 26, 2015, 12:04 PM

15. Thank you for sharing what you've learned. So valuable.

I keep forgetting some of these. I spend a lot of time in blame and anger. It's so hard to watch my mother being raped. Yet even though I know what I see, I don't know where it is supposed to go.

I am also copying these statements you've written. The world would be a better place if these were followed. I am most grateful.

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Response to Gregorian (Reply #15)

Tue May 26, 2015, 12:48 PM

16. Getting past the anger is very difficult.

 

You have to find the right technique to help you let it go. For me it was meditation and Buddhism, but that approach won't fit everyone.

But before that you have to convince yourself that the anger isn't helping, and that you want to let it go. That's extremely hard to do because its intensity makes it feel so right!

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Response to GliderGuider (Reply #16)

Tue May 26, 2015, 02:14 PM

17. I'm discovering what works for me.

As I've said many times, this has been on my conscience for 45 years. I saw, and I was disturbed. I was one of the healthiest specimens on the planet. But, there came a time when it all fell apart. 25 years ago I suddenly became ill. And it is only in the last few months that I have begun to regain what I once had.

So what I have discovered is that anger endangers my health. I had no idea that could even happen until I exhausted every effort to return to health. That's a lot of lost years.

Even having that knowledge, now, I have copied what you posted, and will refer to it daily, if not more often. There is a line in it that is so powerful for me, I wish I could shout it to every parent especially:

I will discard all blame, anger, guilt and shame - these emotions are obstacles to growth.

You've been a great help to me. I also want to add that I now understand what you have been sharing with respect to growth and energy. You have given me a new facet with which to observe the species. That has helped calm the anger as well. It's not just population in an isolated way that I had thought, but the combination of breeding AND energy to obtain and maintain the population. That small but important inclusion of energy has made a big difference in my life.

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Response to Gregorian (Reply #17)

Tue May 26, 2015, 02:34 PM

18. Yes, long periods of anger are very harmful to our bodies.

 

I've had two burnouts and a long depression so far that grew out of the anger. I hope I will not have any more - I can't afford it.

Thank you for your acknowledgement. This board has been instrumental in facilitating my thinking on these topics- believe it or not!

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