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“Chasing Ice” at the University of Prince Edward Island

2013/02/07

On Wednesday, I took four students from the school where I teach to UPEI’s (University of Prince Edward Island’s) International Development Week Student Symposium.  We and other high school students and teachers had the opportunity to meet university students from around the globe in order to discuss sustainability and social issues.  The high school students were also exposed to several programs through which they can become involved with international development.

It was a very positive experience.  However, the part of the day that probably had the most impact on the students (and this teacher) was the screening of the documentary Chasing Ice.  We were actually the first people in Atlantic Canada to see the movie.  And it was quite moving. 

James Balog.  Photo: cleanenergy.org.

James Balog. Photo: cleanenergy.org.

The documentary follows James Balog and the team at the Extreme Ice Survey as they catalogue the rapid disintegration of several glaciers throughout Greenland and North America.  The movie is visually breathtaking.  And its message is inescapable: our planet is warming and we must act to stop that warming at all costs.

After the movie, we had the opportunity to speak with a UPEI climatologist.  He opened himself up to our questions and briefly discussed some of the latest information regarding climate change in PEI.  One piece of information he shared was particularly frightening.  According to the latest studies (assuming no major action reducing emissions), PEI is expected to have warmed by 4 degrees Celsius by 2050!  Luckily, ours is not a particularly warm climate to begin with.  However, I do not look forward to seeing how important industries such as our agriculture will be affected.

In the meantime, if you have the opportunity, I strongly recommend that you see Chasing Ice.  Personally, I can’t wait until it comes out on video so that I can share it with as many people as I can.

 

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5 Comments leave one →
  1. 2013/02/09 1:36 pm

    There is a public showing of Chasing Ice at City Cinema later in February hosted by Sean Casey

  2. 2013/02/09 1:53 pm

    -I also think that Prince Edward Island will be Prince Edward Islands by end of this century due to sea level rise caused by climate change

  3. 2013/02/11 10:59 am

    PEI is expected to have warmed by 4 degrees Celsius by 2050! Luckily, ours is not a particularly warm climate to begin with.

    You appear to view this as good news; I do not. If the temperature in your locality is set to increase by 4 degrees C, we are clearly headed out of the stable holocene period which has coddled the rise (and rise) of human ‘civilisation’ over the past twenty thousand years.

    • 2013/02/11 4:55 pm

      You are absolutely right! I was trying to see the “silver lining” in a particularly dark cloud: being a relatively milder climate, we may still not see temperatures in the summer that are life-threatening. Of course our agriculture and fisheries may collapse… 😦

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