Ice and the Sky



Ice And The Sky

Claude Lorius,

you were first to prove...'s role in climate

change 30 years ago.

Claude Lorius, you are 82.

We welcome Claude Lorius...

...director emeritus of research

at CNRS in glaciology.

You decoded messages

in the ice.

There is no progress.

Your 30-year-old predictions

have been proven.

Why me?

Is it luck?

Is it fate?

Meeting people, without whom

I could have done nothing?

My name is Claude Lorius.

I'm now 82, and staggered

to see the impact...

...our discoveries can have.

I have seen...

...that man, in the

space of a lifetime... burning oil, wood and coal

is changing the Earth's climate.

I went back thousands of years

to check that...

...what I had discovered

wasn't just a quirk of nature.

I sought hard, to sweep away

any lingering doubts.

I am now an old man, sad to see

that history has proved him right.

All our predictions

are coming true.

Polar ice caps and

glaciers melting...

...islands submerged by water,

burning forests...

...redirected sea currents...

...storms, more of them,

and more violent.

And behind them all, the men

and women who suffer.

Science allows me

to see the future.

I'm going to tell you

what I have seen.

I'm going to tell you my story.

It all began for me

on 31 October 1956.

French polar expedition

seeks young student...

...for a year-long scientific

mission in the Antarctic.

Candidates must be in excellent

physical condition...

...and have a taste for adventure.

When I see myself now...

What a stroke of luck!

At the age of 23,

I was off around the world.

I got to know the strange


...I was to live with for a year.

A great challenge lay ahead...

...studying an entire continent,

the Antarctic.

The Middle-East had closed Suez... we had to cross two oceans...

...carrying out the rites

of passage...

...observed since

the dawn of time.

It's hard to describe the fervor

gripping my shipmates and I.

The war was over, we had a

thirst for life and knowledge.

A fierce competition was

growing between nations... reach and claim the

world's last virgin territories.

It seems amazing now...

...but 60 years ago,

when we set sail...

...we knew nothing about

the Antarctic.

The first wave of heroic

explorers had been and gone.

Now it was time for

the scientists to move in.

I realize with hindsight...

...that this was a unique

moment in human history.

Never has man felt so powerful

as he did in the 50s and 60s...

...when I began my service.

Machines invented for war...

...were put to use by science,

opening the doors... unexplored lands.

The highest peaks were being

conquered, one by one.

Legends gave way

to sensationalist articles

and tales of exploration,

20,000 leagues under the sea.

The Anthropocene era

was beginning... which humans have

sole rule over the planet...

...unaware that "progress"

comes at a cost.

The world seemed vast

and inexhaustible.

Yet unbeknownst to us,

the natural balance...

...had already been shattered.

Man was about to

have his first view...

...of the Earth from space

unique and fragile.

And I thought I was heading off

on an adventure.

It took us a month and a half

to reach our first port of call...


I spared a thought

for the sailors...

...who first came here

200 years ago.

After weeks at sea,

I could see why the charm of

these islands moved some to desert.

From this moment on...

...I would be 23 till

the end of my days.

Forever consumed

by this unforgettable sight.

I can still feel the cold

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Luc Jacquet


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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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    "Ice and the Sky" STANDS4 LLC, 2021. Web. 15 Jun 2021. <>.

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