A New Book and Film Showcase the Planet’s Melting Ice
Photographer James Balog captures climate change's affect on glaciers.
Everything I've done has been about the intersection of humans and nature. What's crystalized very clearly for me is that this is one of the big, big stories of our time. That clash can permanently alter the basic physics, chemistry, and biology of the planet. To me it's every bit as historically important and every bit as much of an opportunity for a photographer as if you were standing on the beaches at Normandy during the Allied invasion. It's a big, pivotal turning point. It doesn't happen in three days the way the Allied invasion did, but it's no less monumental in terms of the arc of history.
Did you have any idea when you started your photography that environmental issues would evolve so quickly and would prove so rich?
Oh, God no. It's a question of meaning in one's life. Do you do things because they make you happy? Do you do things that make you rich? Do you do things that make you in good shape? Do you do things that make you pretty? Well, that's what most people spend their time pursuing, but I think there's something deeper than that, and that is to have meaning, and to find meaning in your life is not always what makes you happy.