Actor Liam Neeson plays role of 'Ice' in a short 1-minute video PR film about the casualties of global warming
A new short film from environmental organization Conservation International focuses on the ice in the Arctic and Antarctic, which is largely melting at an accelerated rate — one of the most visible indicators we have of climate change.
Ice, which also coincides with this year's #INeedNature campaign in the lead-up to the U.N. Paris Climate Summit later this month, actor Liam Neeson voices a calm, almost smug title character, sending an urgent message with I-told-you-so delivery.
The script reads:
I am ice. I move slowly. I keep the world cool. Well, I used to. But humans keep warming this planet. I tried to warn you. I send pieces of me thundering into the ocean. You do nothing. I raise sea levels. You do nothing. It has taken you decades to notice. Perhaps I'm not so slow after all.The film is a continuation of Conservation International's Nature Is Speaking series from last year, featuring several A-list celebrities lending their voices to personify various aspects of nature.
Dr. Greg Stone, executive vice president of Conservation International and an oceanographer currently focusing on sea levels and ice, told Mashable the Nature Is Speaking campaign is unique in that it's short, science-based and meant to appeal to the broader public to raise awareness.
"This campaign is part of our arsenal," Stone said. "Our theory of change is that public awareness will eventually translate into political decisions, which translate into policy changes, and policy translates into human behavior at a larger scale."
Speaking about the importance of Ice's message, Stone explained that the polar regions of the Earth act as a sort of thermostat for the planet, balancing the thermal energy that comes in and goes out. When the ice of these regions starts to melt, that energy finds its way to dark liquid water, which absorbs the energy and heats the planet even faster. As a result, the more ice we lose, the hotter the planet gets. It also disrupts ecosystems and habitats for animals that live in those environments.
The Earth's been changing since it began, Stone said, but it's never changed this fast — and the speed of change is the real issue.
"We're literally running out of time as a planet"We're literally running out of time as a planet ... We've become a force of nature, and our actions are commensurate with nature now. We really have to get our head around it and change course," he said.
Stone is also the science adviser to Kiribati, one of the small Pacific island nations most threatened by rising sea levels caused by melting ice and thermal expansion due to warming water. Without action, Kiribati — in addition to the Marshall Islands, Tuvalu and the Maldives — could be completely submerged within the next several decades.
These nations at the "front lines," Stone said, are also the least responsible for global warming. That's why the international community, especially big, fossil fuel-burning regions like North America, Europe and China, as well as nearby countries like Australia and New Zealand, need to step up.
"These people have lived on these [islands] for, some of them, 10,000 years or more — and what are they going to do? Where are they going to go? It's really one of the big moral issues of our time," he said.
As for the U.N. Paris Climate Summit, Stone hopes two things will happen for small island states. First, he hopes the world will accelerate its attention on these islands and provide resources for them — especially if they become climate refugees. Secondly, the international community needs to focus on what's next, and dedicate resources to coastal innovation elsewhere, where there's still hope.
"It's a wake-up call," Stone said. "Let's not continue this for the next 500 years."