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Chillingly to the point

Luc Jacquet’s film highlights the terrifying consequences of unchecked global warming, says ALAN FRANK

Ice and the Sky (U)
Directed by Luc Jacquet
4/5

By now there can surely be no doubt about the horrors of global warming. But how can we be so certain?

There are avalanches of empirical scientific evidence confirming that it’s happening but, surely far more importantly, its existence was definitively confirmed in the landmark 2006 documentary An Inconvenient Truth when the failed US election candidate and future Nobel Peace Prize winner told us: “My name is Al Gore. I used to be the next President of the United States.”

That other grandee Prince Charles — whose family’s air-travel carbon footprint must surely be record-breaking — also joined in the chorus of concern when he told the climate change conference in Paris: “Think of your grandchildren, the same as I think of mine.

“Your deliberations will decide the fate not only of those alive today but also of generations yet unborn.”

Fortunately, director Luc Jacquet’s gripping documentary charting the life and work of authoritative French climatologist Claude Lorius, makes its chilling points without requiring gratuitous headline-hunting a la Al or Charlie.

In 1955, the 23-year-old student Lorius volunteered to spend a year in Greenland, the start of a ground-breaking career spent on ice and under the sky and established one of the major practical causes of global warming.

You don’t need to be a scientist to be consistently fascinated by the film and, more importantly, to become uncomfortably aware of the fate possibly awaiting our planet if we continue heartlessly to exploit it for profit.

Jacquet, an Oscar-winner for 2005’s March of the Penguins, blends fascinating archive material with contemporary footage of the 82-year-old Lorius, who speaks lucidly and credibly of a life spent delineating the possibly fraught future of our planet.

The result is a fact-driven and urgent summary of the terrifying consequences of global warming for the world we inhabit.

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