Category Archives: Blog

This is Catie Faryl’s blog with current information. Please visit my site for all the content I have to share!

Message from Mother Nature: Can You Hear Me Now?

Last Saturday was the 50th anniversary of Earth Day. In 1970 twenty million people took to the streets across the US to protest against rivers that were catching fire, cities choking on pollution, species going extinct. 10% of Americans participated and spurred seismic changes -with a few years the Clean Air Act, the Clean Water Act, and the Endangered Species Act were signed into law.

The mass movement that forced progress in the ‘70s has continued to build.  In 2019 over seven million people around the world walked out of their schools, their jobs, and their everyday lives to call for social, environmental and economic justice. Earth Day 2020 was planned for thousands of gatherings worldwide but the current pandemic changed everything. 

For many people Earth Day has become equivalent to only going to church on Easter.  Every day going forward must be EARTH DAY. Our very survival depends on making the changes recommended by the “Voice of the Planet”.

Going from my old radio show “Mother Nature Says Clean Up your Room” to our present situation we see that Mother has effectively sent us all to our rooms where we can distance and contemplate what we can do differently.

Maybe it’s not right to think of the planet in anthropomorphic terms but I do believe the Earth is speaking to us now.  Coincidence that oil prices just dropped into negative territory? No – we have exploited the “100 Year Fuel Oil Party” long enough, and now must cut back and look for sustainable energy sources. We can be grateful for the infrastructure we’ve built and look for other means to maintain it.  Mother says “Oil? – you are done with it!”

The message from Mother Earth is found in the sound of birds now being heard with the lack of cars and planes drowning out their songs.  The skies are clearing and water is recovering, with fish seen swimming again in the canals of Venice.  Children’s voices, when they can come out to play, are louder and more sweet in the silence. People relax their anxiety with space to express themselves in more contented ways, like creating Victory Gardens and helping each other. Lions are sleeping on the untraveled roads and tarmac of Africa and bears, deer and other creatures are running wild once again in Yosemite.  Foxes on the Golden Gate Bridge and bees foraging everywhere undistressed by chemicals.

As difficult as the suffering brought on by Covid 19 is, it also brings an opportunity to hear and see more clearly the path forward to redeem our planet and our relationship with nature. Greenhouse gas emissions have already been cut substantially due to the lockdown and pictures of massive reduction of smog and air pollution over every major city in world are available. We can be made believers, not by rhetoric and pressure to embrace “science”, but by the empirical evidence that Mother Nature is showing and telling us.

The natural world brings us huge benefits – peace of mind, beauty, solace as well as clean water, soil and sustenance as designed.  Without so much interference and our assumed human ideas of “improvements” we can continue to live quite well, even with 7+ billion on the planet, if we make the required changes.

David Attenborough, a world renown writer and educator about the natural world was interviewed by Christina Amanpour on the news yesterday.  At 93, he’s seen the world change greatly in his lifetime. When he began his adult career 60% of the world was wilderness, now its only 25%. The world population was 2 billion then, 7+ billion now. He was asked if Covid 19 was caused by overpopulation and farming of animals and he responded “ Not necessarily – it is the density that makes plagues repeat – the transmission of disease moves very quickly when there are huge densities of population. Covid 19 is not nature having her revenge”. Yet it is a lesson in how we might avoid future pandemics and live more consciously.  Mr. Attenborough had three recommendations: 1) establish no fishing zones to allow oceans and rivers to repair themselves, 2) reduce land farming by half, and 3) phase out fossil fuels.  https://www.cnn.com/videos/world/2020/04/22/amanpour-david-attenborough-climate.cnn/video/playlists/amanpour/ 

Spring is a time of new growth and Mother Earth is asking us to please heed her messages. By staying home, working remotely and paying attention to those closest to us, we are learning that at least half our “busy-ness” is unnecessary and an expensive waste of time, energy and resources.  She is asking us to consider cutting back and making it imperative that we “stop and smell the roses”, that we listen with our hearts, not just our heads, hear and act on what is most important.

Whether we have the strength, resolve and intelligence to embrace this new pattern of reduced consumption and more realistic aspirations and goals is yet to be seen. Can we listen and learn from Mother Nature or do we return to “normal” (which is only a short diversion from the history of humans on this planet). Or will we continue to risk even more destruction to ourselves and all Earth beings?  Listen closely – it’s our choice.

Catie Faryl

April 23, 2020

The Great Re-set

What we have before us is the Biggest Time Out of our lifetimes! “The Great Reset” the coronavirus provides is an opportunity to look deeper into the systems that have gotten us into this mess.

I’ve often seen in my visioning for art and commentary that all communities across the country and the world are like links in a chain, which at some point in time might have to stand apart as single links in a 10 to 20 mile radius.  The ideas of re-localizing food supplies and finding ways to travel and provide necessary energy without furthering the financial advantage and power of corporations and the environmentally destructive nature of fossil fuels has been a goal of “sustainability” folks for decades.  However fascination with technology, addiction to luxury and convenience, the selling of an overly abundant lifestyle by corporations, media  and corrupt leadership have diverted attention, dismantled our safety nets and blocked the way to implementing common sense solutions.

Around 2014 I started substituting the word “sustainablity” with a better descriptor for our times – “Survivability”. Prior to that the grassroots community members in our region attempted in level-headed ways to draw attention to the County Disaster Preparedness manuals.  There is lots of info on what to do in fire, flood or earthquake events, but nothing about the ever-growing threats of our dependence on the grid to deliver energy, our dependence on fossil fuel to bring almost everything we need by truck, ship or plane, and nothing about how vulnerable we have become as the world gets smaller and more populated or how the global economy has eroded the stakeholder status of many people close to home.

It’s too bad that the paths diverged from solutions known to be sustainable into the controversy of climate change. Climate change and all the resulting arguments over the past 40 years has provided a foil, an excuse and a diversion from the path of solutions. It let us talk or not talk, while we ignored the mounting dangers. All the things we have in common stand out in bold relief during a pandemic.  With shock people wake up to the reality that we are very vulnerable due to our over-dependence on so many distant and now uncontrollable factors.

Toastmasters has been a learning experience for me to see my flaws and how over-focus on climate from the left has incited anger from the right.  Now coronavirus shows us just how much we are in this together and how we can open our eyes, hearts and minds to do what’s necessary and right for all of us. My friends who follow astrology say that this is the time when all things not sustainable and all things not aligned with divine presence will fall apart. Maybe that is always true . . . . what has worked for the past century and the beginning of this one was allowed only by grace and momentum and now we must find a better path forward.

I’ve been absent lately from Toastmasters; even prior to this “shutdown” my time was taken in creating a fundraiser to allow implementation of regenerative agriculture projects in our valley.  This is a path that has been made available by nature to solve many of our problems. 

Another path that is getting recognition is the tried and true message from the 1960s – “Live Simply So Others May Simply Live”. We see now how easy it can be to reduce consumption by 30% across the board. This and restoring our respect for the Rights of Nature can go a long way to solving problems.

By distancing I also see that a great deal of what is deemed “important” is unnecessary. I am witnessing how the current limitations on “doing” and “acquiring” are literally clearing the water and air. An interest in “being” is emerging with time to explore some deeper questions.  When this tailspin ends,  attention can be given to reclaiming our regional successes, inventing systems that support all citizens, and committing to local life-enhancing practices to avert future threats.  

To make good use of the Great Re-Set patience and compassion for ourselves, everyone here and across the planet is needed.  Just like the Zero Waste work we’re doing, we must temper the changes and realize we can’t go from 100 miles an hour to Zero in one minute.  Now that the brakes are on and as we slow down, let’s look for the best roads forward, and not at the past detours and disagreements that have landed us where we are today.

Catie Faryl

March 19, 2020

A View from 2050 and artwork from “Bridges to 2050”

Bridges to 2050

Catie Faryl’s art exhibit, “Bridges to 2050” departs from frustration and gloom by offering optimistic portrayals of common sense solutions and hopeful information on better outcomes for people, planet and all sentient beings. With thought-provoking pictures of where we are and new paths open to us, West Coast Artist Catie Faryl gives inspiration for social, economic, political and environmental justice and shares old and new solutions, technologies and ideas to rebalance our relationships to the land and all living creations. Her paintings and writings offer insight into some choices and decisions ahead and contemplate ways we can move in an upward spiral through better stories, community effort and systems both ancient and visionary, for a sustainable future.


EARTH BRIDGE:
Humans Be Still! Make room and care for all elements and sentient’ beings

Key Word Searches:
Albert Schweitzer (1875-1965) Famous for the idea of the Reverence of Life
Buckminster Fuller (1895-1983) neo-futuristic architect, systems theorist, author, designer, and inventor
Antonio (Saudi 1852-1926) Famous for his study of nature applied to architecture

Books:
Frankenstein’s Cat by Emily Anthes
The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History by Elizabeth Kolbert
The Ecology of Eden by Evan Eisenberg

Links:
IUCN Red List of Threatened Species
Center for Biological Diversity
World’s fragmented forests are deteriorating
American Museum of Natural History Extreme Extinction
Globalization— the Good, the Bad and the Ugly
The Extinction of Fruits and Vegetables in 80 Years
The Charter of the Forest
Amphibian Ark: Frightening Statistics
Collapsible woven refugee shelters powered by the sun
Human Population: How Does It Compare To Other Species?
The Most Ancient and Magnificent Tress From Around The World

 

AIR BRIDGE:
Diminish the gorilla of fossil fuel, expand the human heart


Key Word Search:
The Venus Project
Charles Einstein
Murmuration

Books:
Art as Medicine by Sharin McNiff
Lost Lore: A celebration of traditional wisdom by Editors of Chambers
The Human impact on the Natural Environment: Past, Present, and Future
Geo-Engineering Climate Change: Environmental Necessity or Pandora’s Box? by J.Michael Thompson

Links:
Climate change brings world closer to ‘doomsday’, say scientists
Beautiful Photos Of Tiny Humans Lost In The Majesty Of Nature
Pesticides Kill Us
Pachamama Alliance
Beyond Toxics
Scientists: Human activity has pushed Earth beyond 4 of 9 ‘planetary boundaries’
Clean Energy Breakthrough: Scientists Extract Hydrogen Gas From Plants
Historic thaw in Antarctica may have major effect on coastal cities

FIRE BRIDGE:
Carry the torch of new and ancient solutions

Key Word Searches:
Cellulose 3—D printing
Geothermal energy is renewable
Quantum and magnetic energy
the-powerhouse-inside-the-invention-of-a-battery-to-save-the-world
Tesla

Books:
A People’s History of America by Howard Zinn
The Great Work: Our Way into the Future by Thomas Berry
The Universe is a Green Dragon by Brian Swimme

Links:

Clean Energy Breakthrough: Scientists Extract Hydrogen Gas From Plants
Ancient Technology
Climate change brings world closer to ‘doomsday’, say scientists
Latest Science Inventions
Watch mini Eiffel Tower emerge from goo
New Energy Inventions News Articles
Solutions to the World Energy Crisis
LENR Cold Fusion
NASA Technology Gateway
Biofuel created by explosive technology
Wind turbine creates water from thin air
Drawdown
This machine makes drinking water from thin air
The 10 inventions of Nikola Tesla that changed the world
MSV Explorer amphibious vehicle promises perpetual motion
San Francisco area drivers 1st with algae biofuel


WATER BRIDGE:

Conserve and respect our Mother

Key Word Search:
Water Wise Project
Watershed Sentinel
Gyres

Books:
The Silent Spring by Rachel Carson
The Poison Spring: The Secret History of Pollution and the EPA by E.G. Vallianatos
Cadillac Desert: The American West and its Disappearing Water by Marc Reisner
The World Without Us by Alan Weisman

Links:
Restoration of Ancient Agricultural Technologies to the Negev
Ocean Life Threatened With Mass Extinction, New Study Says
Playground roundabouts are being used in South Africa to solve water supply problems in rural villages
Never Thought A Billboard Could Be Used This Way!
Fog Catchers Bring Water to Parched Villages

 


A Back-cast Vision by Catie Faryl

“HISTORY OF OUR ARDUOUS JOURNEY

& HOW WE ARRIVE SAFELY TO THE YEAR 2050″

2015 – Awareness increases in America and the world that “business as usual” will not be possible in the future

2017 – Recognition that Climate Change is real and that current National leadership is unwilling or unable to address it. The rise of local group, mayors and governors starts filling the void.

2018-2020 – Economic setbacks caused by multiple, massive floods, fires and other disasters continue. Cook stoves and all vehicles are converted to run on clean-burning alcohol fuels made from organic farm waste and materials (with systems like those developed by Blume Distillation in Watsonville,CA)

2021 – Congress with a new president find the BoomerCorp program, and are able to provide “Health Care for All” with a strong, forwarding thinking group of senior citizens who drastically reduce health care costs via prevention and intervention. Toxic products, plastics and other carcinogens are banned and removed from the environment.

2022 – Congress finds the C.E.T.A. Program, adding thousands of people to bring new ideas and innovate to governments and businesses and help their implementation, as climate consequences and other factors further aggravate the safety and livelihoods of citizens.

2025 – Fire and flood management are given top priority. GMO Trees are banned. Jobs are created to do the physical labor of thinning small trees and undergrowth in forests, as well as weed abatement and weed harvesting for biofuels which eliminated the use of toxic sprays.

2027 – Revamping of the entire waste management system via Creative Reuse Depots where “trash” is made profitable by a new work force of traveling, trained people who make it into energy, non toxic fertilizers, soil building products.

2028 – Fracking and export of domestic oil to foreign entities is made illegal. All domestic energy from fossil fuel and GMO are deemed usable only as “bridge energy sources” for new sustainable/renewable energy sources until 2030, becoming illegal for any use on January 1, 2030.

2031 – With the sunset date for fossil fuel extraction and use in sight, a total retrench of the packaging and delivery systems was begun. Sand from dredging to mitigate climate change storm surges is a source for glass factories to spring up on both coasts. Local food and local products are favored and those requiring long transport routes are scorned. It becomes socially unacceptable to buy from far away. The national trucking of goods decreases as local sourcing and public sentiment against long distance “imports” increased.

2031-2034 – New drought concerns and rising sea water force tax dollars be spent to revamp the entire water catchment, treatment and distribution systems. Water catchment, grey water, more reservoirs and elimination of water-wasting plumbing in every structure proceeds. Rivers, streams, lakes and sources are used more efficiently for outdoor uses.

2035-2050 –  American society, seeing the errors made in the last century become interested in values, ethics and education. Postal codes are used to determine what can be legally sold or consumed, so illicit and dangerous items of all kinds are greatly curtailed. The world is recovering from a scary period where our excesses compromised our common sense and our environment. People grow closer together realizing that there is real no other or better way to live than within our means. Reclaiming the commons, all that we share, respect and care for all sentient beings and our natural world is more fulfilling than the treadmill/cancer of endless and unsustainable “growth” — which is actually only resource exploitation, extraction and stealing from the future of the coming generations.

Catie Faryl

www.catiefaryl.net
November 2017, presented at the Bridges to 2050 and “A View from 2050″

Bridges to 2020 (video)

As a member of the Art Presence Art Center, I had the opportunity to show my collection of monotypes and paintings, Bridges to 2020, at the Medford Library. The show has been held over through the end of July 2015! Below is a video with my comments on the paintings. I’ll post an edited version soon but wanted to get this one out there for people to see. I hope you will find it inspiring, and will come to the Medford Library to see the collection in person before the end of the month!

Eaten Seed Corn Moon

Sovereignty Seed Company ©

Sovereignty Seed Company©

“Sovereignty Seed Company” works on the premise that “freedom is priceless and seeds are free”. The ideas and art are yours for a small donation and the seeds are free. I am collecting donations using my artwork and generic seeds to support Chamber of Commons, Commons Sense Sovereignty and other projects while making the following educational and political statement:
“The ability to grow our own safe food supply is the key component in our sovereignty as a people and as a nation. Years ago the world abandoned the gold standard, and the dollar as the anchor for world economics is looking shaky. The seed is the first and last real method of exchange. So if you agree that seeds are sovereign and can be exchanged as currency, then participating in the devaluation of tainted GMO seeds can have an impact.
Through seed exchanges and creativity sharing we can flood the market with free, open pollinated seeds and at least be a small thorn in the side of Monsanto, Syngenta and their ilk while raising awareness of the precarious danger of allowing the corporate elite to modify, engineer, patent, hoard, make binding and threatening contracts and generally put the whole world over the food barrel by tampering and creating a monopoly on the most sacred thing we own in common.”
~Catie Faryl

www.catiefaryl.net

Call me at (541) 488-9223 for more info, to donate seeds or make donations
Sovereignty Seed Company © October 2013

Eaten Seed Corn Moon

Eaten Seed Corn Moon

My Bag Lady Bags

My Bag Lady Bags

When I left home at a young age I ended up in some seedy places.  In San Francisco and New York I experienced the plight of the homeless, and even felt the possibility that if I wasn’t careful and lucky I too could face that hardship.

For some it has become a lifestyle choice. I appreciate the candor and pluck of those who call themselves the “Home-free” and I’ve learned that “all who wander are not lost”. Yet the concept of home is so essential to me after settling down, working in public housing, as a realtor, and as an artist, activist and observer of our culture, it gives me pleasure to help create opportunities for those who wants to become “stakeholders” and connect to a place.

In Ashland I have seen, through kindness of community, many people transform their lives, make friends, find meaning and gain a sense of belonging. I have been fortunate to develop my art career here and for a long time, I have used old paper sacks for my warm-up poses at life drawing.  Now I can share that work and put it to good use by selling my “bag lady bags” as a contribution to our area’s work for shelter program.   Thanks for your support.

Sincerely,
Catie Faryl

Opposing Senate Bill SB633 – to remove ag/seed control from Counties to State

Comments for Senate Committee regarding Senate Bill 633, Public Hearing Tuesday, March 12, 2013

The issue of Seeds is truly the debate of our time; it brings all differences of belief and opinion to common ground. Seeds represent our Sovereignty and are at the core of all economic freedom. Seeds are the true wealth given to all people, not just to a few patent holders. “Under all is the Land”* is a main theme of our democratic system therefore legislation that privatizes land, water, seed and genes or puts them under the auspices of Big Government involve great risks of undermining the biological, social and economic stability and survivability of our State and our Country.

It is unwise to tamper with the basic patterns established by Mother Nature. Evidence is mounting that foreshadows vast consequences if our State goes “retrograde” by supporting the trajectory of chemical and monoculture food-growing systems while the rest of the world is implementing more successful practices. France, Peru and many other countries have banned or are tightly controlling genetic modifications and breaking the addictive cycle created by dependence on fossil fuel, out of which the industrial-agricultural complex sprung at the end of the Great Depression and the beginning of World War II.

As an artist and writer who observes and illustrates trends and envisions positive solutions, I see SB 633 as counterproductive to the future of our economy and a disconnection from the rising potential, in fact the necessity, of returning to sane agriculture practices under local control.

It is difficult for me to believe multi-national seed and pesticide companies’ claims that their actions are altruistic and that they just “want to Feed the Planet” when the legacy of DDT and other petroleum-based, Big Oil-subsidiary products have been known as carcinogenic, environmentally dangerous money-makers since Rachel Carson wrote “The Silent Spring” in 1962. The use of DDT was banned in America in 1972, yet  farmers were not encouraged to taper off chemical fertilizers and sprays at that time, but were instructed and directed to use and abuse different ag-drugs.

Right now we have the opportunity to reverse the addiction to genetically modified seeds, Round Up Ready and other chemical products being used in large scale farming that actually give less yield and worse outcomes than what Nature, when respected and understood, can provide.  Let’s show some leadership and forward thinking like Vermont, a leader in wise initiatives across America, and many other States who are applying heavy restrictions on GMOs, requiring labeling and seeking bans.

Southern Oregon is known for its organic and gmo-free foods and lifestyle and the trend across the country and the world is also moving in that direction. We want to keep our State an attractive destination for tourists and new residents. (One out of six people I spoke with while canvassing had just moved to the Rogue Valley because of our relatively clean food, water, and air – their health is demanding it!)

Removing local control of these issues will have, in my opinion, significant economic impact due to more farm failures and decreased allure for tourists, not to mention the impact of limiting our ability to grow healthy foods for our region and for export. Without studying the significant repercussions of Senate Bill 633, including backlash against all exports of edible and grow-able products from America, a huge mistake may be made. We will be unable maintain a regional open pollinated seed crop, which in the future may be more valuable than gold or any other wealth.

As a parent, and someone who cares deeply about people and all sentient beings, I am not buying, serving or consuming the products in question. I’d like my future grandchildren to enjoy a healthy Rogue Valley childhood, and along with thousands of concerned citizens I will continue working to co- create the very best future for Oregon. I ask the Senate Committee to please reject Senate Bill 633.

Sincerely, Catie Faryl, Phoenix, Oregon   March 10, 2013

 

Here are some sources for more information:

U.S.A. produces 53% of GMO crops compared tiny fractions in other countries:

www.ornl.gov/sci/tech/resources

www.genomic.energy.gov

Places where GMOs have been banned:

www.organicconsumers.org/gefood/countrieswithbans.cfm

current.com/…/93975745_peru-bans-genetically-modified-foods-as-…

www.purezing.com/living/toxins/living_toxins_gmofoods.html

Information about health concerns and diseases linked to GMOs:

www.naturalnews.com

www.responsibletechnology.org

Jeffrey Smith, author of Seeds of Deception and short video summarizing it at www.articles.marcola.com

www.gmofreeworldblogspot.com

www.fridayharborholistichealth.com

http://www.fridayharborholistichealth.com

Videos related to these issues:

“Alcohol can be a Gas” – makes the connection between Big Oil, the destruction of high grade farm fuels through Prohibition and the orchestrated addiction of America to fossil fuels

“The Future of Food”

“Genetic Roulette”

“Fresh”

* Under all is the Land – from National Association of Realtors

Rude Guests at the Divine Matinee Rude Guests at the Divine Matinee Rude Guests at the Divine Matinee has a subtitle: “Greed Exploitation and Perversion with Innocence Unsupervised”. It was painted in 1999 following my frustration and observations in trying to improve school safety following the school shootings in the new, and the World Trade Organization incidents in Seattle where the media painted a very inaccurate picture. The painting shows three characters (Greed, an ugly man with a cranial motem, Exploitation, a Camel with an eyepatch, and Perversion, an alligator in fishnet stockings. They are cutting up a baked Alaska Earth Cake upon a cage table where helpless and rare animals are imprisoned. In the same room, where evidence of pollution and misuse of natural resources is apparent, three impish children watch a pornographic cartoon. Separated from this indoor scene, one child looks out a window to see the natural world looking beautiful, faraway and vulnerable. This painting speaks directly to overuse and misuse of our planet by big business and the wasteland created by excessive consumerism. It was created as an illustrative reminder that we should appreciate the beauty and gifts of our planet and look closer at how excessive lifestyles are having a negative impact everywhere in the world.

Rude Guests at the Divine Matinee

 

Rude Guests at the Divine Matinee

Rude Guests at the Divine Matinee

Rude Guests at the Divine Matinee has a subtitle: “Greed Exploitation and Perversion with Innocence Unsupervised”.  It was painted in 1999 following my frustration and observations in trying to improve school safety following the school shootings in the new, and the World Trade Organization incidents in Seattle where the media painted a very inaccurate picture.  The painting shows three characters (Greed, an ugly man with a cranial motem, Exploitation, a Camel with an eyepatch, and Perversion, an alligator in fishnet stockings.  They are cutting up a baked Alaska Earth Cake upon a cage table where helpless and rare animals are imprisoned. In the same room, where evidence of pollution and misuse of natural resources is apparent, three impish children watch a pornographic cartoon.  Separated from this indoor scene, one child looks out a window to see the natural world looking beautiful, faraway and vulnerable.  This painting speaks directly to overuse and misuse of our planet by big business and the wasteland created by excessive consumerism.  It was created as an illustrative reminder that we should appreciate the beauty and gifts of our planet and look closely at how excessive lifestyles are having a negative impact everywhere in the world.

Chasing Ice and Climate Change

On November 9th this wistful yet powerful documentary will open in theatres across the country. I had the good fortune to see it when it premiered at the Varsity Theatre in downtown Ashland last month.  James Balog took great pains to record the progression of ice melt at 25+ locations using cameras that took thousands of frames of icebergs every year from 2007 until 2011.  A scientist himself, who was initially skeptical about Climate Change and whom had doubts that the actions of humans could accelerate the phenomena so rapidly, he became curious enough to assemble a team and the financial backing to document and record what was really happening to glaciers in the Arctic, Greenland, and other locations.

 
The footage and photos are stunning and the film simply presents the evidence gathered.  If you miss the screenings at local theatres, you’ll eventually be able to watch “Chasing Ice” on television.  As an employer and substantial backer of Balog’s work, National Geographic has purchased the television rights and will be airing it soon.

 
Those of us who have studied and followed the Climate Change issue are encouraged that our Congressmen and Senators will be see Chasing Ice in the near future.  In fact the film’s website at www.chasingice.com provides a feature where you can tweet info to important leaders including President Obama, Leonardo Di Caprio, Oprah Winfrey and naysayer Senator James Inhofe.  Sadly the issue has been sorely missing from ads and debates leading up to the U.S. Presidential election.  I personally have difficulty understanding why the questions around “energy independence and jobs” aren’t being harnessed to the answers of cleaning up the environment, reducing carbon and creating more alternative power, on a grand jobs program scale!

 
Chasing Ice should be a real wake-up call to non-believers.  As a beautifully filmed visual illustration of what is happening in the life-supporting regions where polar and glacier ice reflect light back to outer space and maintain the most important cycles on the planet, the images are introduced without judgment or dialogue to convince.  It is obvious to all when Balog shows the retreat of an iceberg over a short period of time equal to the height of the Empire State Building.  Since our minds are not programmed to understand a human-caused geological change event of such massive proportions and devastating results, we are given insight into the melt zone, calving (when icebergs split off from the main mass), moulins (vertical shafts in the ice) and terrifying live action of icebergs the size of cities collapsing instantaneously into the ocean.

 
Balog has created a memory of these landscapes, which may never return.  He shows us how conclusive and irrefutable evidence is gathered.  Seeing is believing. Ice samples gathered through taking deep ice cores and analyzing the air bubbles for their carbon dioxide levels reveals the historic data, ancient records, of glacier building and melting. Findings give evidence of a 1.5 degree Farenheit increase since 1850s and a definite deterioration in air quality (as suitable for life on Earth.)

 
The accumulation of “cryoconite” which is carbon, grit and dirt blown from other areas of the world to the Arctic and other glaciers is a significant cause of more rapid ice melt, since the dark, striating colors attract more sunlight thereby speeding the melt off.  It was startling to see the patches in the ground ice and snow being literally eaten away by the nasty black sludge that has etched pools and hollows filled with what looks like the leavings of a camp fire after it’s put out with a pail of water.  As melting continues the moulins become raging torrents of water thundering out to the oceans in underground passages.  Seeing this on film is like looking into the abyss where torrents of freed and violent water cascade towards our human population centers.  One extreme and recent exploration to locate the outlet of a huge moulin is dramatically told  in “Melt Zone”, June, 2010’s National Geographic.

 
In Balog’s poetic narrative he likens his photographs of glaciers to portraits of people where both their grandeur and fragility are exposed.  He equates the vision of a collapsing glacier to an old man falling into the sea and has recaptured for us the tragic story that’s in the ice. The evocative shapes of the icebergs in confused blue puddles and the accompanying song “Before My Time” is poignant and inspiring. Balog’s lyrical closing echoes across the water and hopefully haunts us into more action – “Sometimes you get out over the horizon and you never come back.”

 
For more information please visit www.chasingice.comwww.extremeicesurvey.com (E.I.S) or read The Big Thaw articles in National Geographic magazine April and October 2011 for additional information.

 
If you would like to get involved in a regional effort please visit http://kaconjour.com/ClimateChange/RVOrganization/Organization.html

 
For information on the State of Oregon’s efforts please visit the Climate Change Portal or contact Bill Drumheller at (503) 378-4035 or (800) 221-8035