The face of climate change: Earth day 2013

Wits University participated in the first ever global screening of a new climate change documentary Thin Ice on Monday night.

The documentary was released on Earth day in line with the 2013 theme “the face of climate change.”  The selected theme aims to tell the world the stories of people, animals, and places affected by climate change.

Thin Ice addresses the other side of the climate change coin by looking at the great lengths scientists go to, in order to understand our planets changing climates. The purpose of the documentary, amongst other things,  is to show how far reaching human activity can be on the environment. .

The makers of the documentary felt that the topic of climate change has come under fire in recent years. The making of the film would not only document but also put a face to climate change science. “A group of us have produced another film about climate science but in this one, scientists do the talking” said Peter Barret, team leader for the film project.

The 40 researchers and scientists in the film can be seen discussing and studying changes in the atmosphere, oceans and ice sheets. They made use of  measurements and computer modelling, which took place across four continents and the ocean.

This year over one billion people in 192 countries participated in Earth day, including South Africa. South African National Parks (SANParks) was one of many organisations that hosted an Earth day event.

They promoted and reinforced the popular reduce, reuse, recycle concept with tips and advice as well as climate change and global warming facts. This week many offices around the country also celebrated green office week in commemoration of  Earth day.

Earth day was first celebrated on April 22 1970 making this year the 43rd anniversary. The first Earth day took place in the USA when 20 million people took to the streets to protest against the damage that was being done with oil spills and carbon emissions and their right to a clean sustainable environment.