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Climate change film goes global

8 April 2014

Climate change film goes global

A global agreement for the educational market has been secured for Thin Ice – the Inside Story of Climate Science, a film that features a number of Victoria University of Wellington climate change scientists.

Green Planet Films, a California-based non-profit distributor which specialises in nature and environmental productions, will be distributing the film to educational institutions, government agencies, organisations and businesses world-wide, on behalf of collaborators the University of Oxford, Victoria University of Wellington and DOX Productions (London).

The film shows the range of human activity and scientific endeavour that continues to be applied to the effort to understand the world’s changing climate. The narration and most of the cinematography was by Dr Simon Lamb, Associate Professor of Geophysics at Victoria.

Peter Barrett, an emeritus professor at Victoria, an executive producer of the film and himself a palaeoclimate scientist, says: “As the effects of a warming climate continue to strengthen, Thin Ice can play an important role in giving young people confidence that the scientists really do have it right, and that they themselves can make a difference in dealing with the cause through their own lives.

Dr Simon Lamb says: “We are especially pleased to be working with Green Planet Films, with its strong partnerships for streaming, downloads and DVD sales to schools and universities throughout North America, Western Europe, Asia and Australasia. They offer good learning packages for teachers and students, and the school options especially are affordable”

Suzanne Harle, CEO and Founder Green Planet Films, says “I love this film. It’s like a one-to-one chat with the scientists. You find out what they do, how they do it and even what makes them interested. They do come to an ‘alarming' conclusion: that the rise in CO2 is the main cause of modern climate change, but at least you can see why, and what has to be done to deal with it.”

Besides streaming and download options, the 73-minute David Sington-Simon Lamb film is also available as a DVD with subtitles in English and five other languages, and 11 video shorts with experts expanding both on the science and the issues.

Wellington’s Onslow College is piloting an initiative to use the film as a cross-curriculum learning tool with Year 10 students. The school’s Learning Area Leader – Science, Terry Burrell, says Thin Ice is great for tying together perspectives on both science and social studies.

“Many of the students involved had heard about climate change but saw it as simply something people held opinions on before watching the film. Thin Ice not only explains the science clearly, it examines the point at which you can say there is a causal link so it’s an effective way of showing critical evaluation of evidence. It also has an excellent supporting website they can explore”.

Ms Burrell will be discussing Onslow’s pilot programme at the National Science Teachers Conference in Dunedin in July.


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