Interview: Film gives voice to scientists studying climate change
WELLINGTON, Mar 11, 2013 (Xinhua via COMTEX) --
Is man-made global climate
change a scientific conspiracy as skeptics and deniers stridently
The answer is that it most certainly is not, according to a
major new documentary being released for free by leading
universities in New Zealand and the United Kingdom.
The film, "Thin Ice -- the Inside Story of Climate Science,"
follows the work of 40 scientists in the Arctic, Antarctic,
Southern Ocean, New Zealand, Europe and the United States as they
race to understand changes in the Earth's climate.
It was made by New Zealand's Victoria University and Oxford
University in the UK to communicate the science of global climate
change directly to the public without going through
intermediaries, such as the media, executive producer and Victoria
University Professor Peter Barrett told Xinhua.
Viewers follow Victoria University geologist Associate
Professor Simon Lamb as he talks to climate scientists studying
changes in atmosphere, oceans and ice sheets through measurements,
core samples and computer modeling.
Six years in the making, production was underway in 2009 when
the "Climategate" scandal broke and e-mails stolen from a British
university were alleged by climate change deniers to be evidence
of an international scientific conspiracy by "extremists and
"These 'extremists and alarmists' are of course scientists
studying the climate. Could these accusations be true Were
dishonest climate scientists bringing all of us into disrepute As
a scientist I had to find out so I decided to make a film about
the scientists at the center of all this controversy," Lamb said
in the introduction to the film.
The film aimed to move discussion away from politicians,
advocates and activists, Barrett said in a phone interview.
"We wanted to make a film that would allow climate scientists
to tell their own story without going through intermediaries, such
as reporters and the media," he said.
"Partway through the film, there was the whole 'Climategate'
issue and it suddenly became a film about the credibility of
The film studies the role of carbon dioxide in climate change,
its links to temperatures and how climate scientists made that
connection by examining temperature changes going back thousands
"We know those people are telling the truth so we should take
notice of them," said Barrett.
"There's a sort of sadness that this doesn't seem to be sinking
in and I think for scientists that's frustrating."
Excerpts from the 73-minute film, which was also produced by
London-based DOX Productions, debuted at Victoria University on
Monday and a website supporting the film -- www.thiniceclimate.org
-- was also launched.
A global premiere of Thin Ice will be held on Earth Day on
April 22, at the national museum of New Zealand, Te Papa, in
The film was funded by Victoria and Oxford universities and DOX
Productions, with support from New Zealand's National Institute of
Water and Atmospheric Research (NIWA) and Antarctica New Zealand.
It will be available online for free for two days from the
beginning of Earth Day in New Zealand (from midnight New Zealand
time on April 22) and for a small fee after that.
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