Monday, December 7, 2009

How do you convince the man on the street that global warming is real?

James Balog of the Extreme Ice Survey is convinced that perception is key to collectively accepting and acting on climate change science. His photographic project to document the rapid erosion of glaciers around the planet - including “witnessing the deflation of the Greenland ice sheet” as seen in this video (click the photo) – is aimed at documenting the process and allowing people to visualize the abstraction of climate change.

Balog stated at a US ‘Science on a Sphere’ presentation in Copehagen that the resistance among the general public to the concept of climate change is because it is so revolutionary. “For years people have assumed that the Earth is a passive and stable stage on which humans are dancing” and that we can continue to dance however we please without consequence. The counter-understanding that huge impacts are indeed underway is just as difficult for many to accept as it was to the people of the 16th century when Copernicus’ announced that the Earth no longer revolves around the sun – it’s the other way around. By making this revolution more tangible through his collection of video documentaries, Balog hopes that this revolution will be televised.

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