Ice and the Sky (U)

Directed by Luc Jacquet
Picturehouse, Liverpool
11th December - 17th December 2015

Reviewed by Colin Serjent

During the past 15 years or so there have been films that have starkly illustrated the impact of Climate Change or Climate Catastrophe, which I prefer to describe the perilous future for planet Earth. But Ice and the Sky, directed by Luc Jacquet (March of the Penguins), is the most thought-provoking of them all.

With the help of a lot of astounding archive film, he profiles the work of renowned French glaciologist Claude Lorius, who dedicated his life to studying the icescapes of Antarctica, and, in doing so, forecast Climate Change many years ago, although it was not termed in that way.

The documentary is not meant to be a balanced account of those who dismiss the concept or vehemently believe in Climate Change.

Instead it is presented as an urgent wake up call, from a purely scientific standpoint, to Mankind, who have feverishly raped and pillaged the planet for their own selfish needs.

Lorius, who made his first trip to Antarctica when he was 23 in 1956, specialised, along with his colleagues, including Americans and Russians, in extracting ice from the depths of the polar region, using sophisticated drilling equipment,which helped the scientists to create an image of the icebound territory, extending back over 800,000 years, to pinpoint the hugely incredible devastation wrought on the planet in just over 100 years, a mere flick of an eyelid in relation to the latter figure.

The contemporary film footage is equally absorbing as the archive material, including Lorius sitting on the ice in reflective mood amidst a multitude of penguins.

I watched Ice and the Sky a day after a Climate Change accord was agreed in Paris by most of the delegates to limit global warming to 'well below' the current target of 2C and 'efforts' should be made to keep it to 1.5C. It was nauseating to see them, figuratively speaking, pat themselves on the back for reaching this so-called accord.

I know it's a cliche but this is far, far too little, far, far too late.

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