The subject of previous post was a scene in the documentary “Before The Flood” in which Leonardo DiCaprio had a conversation with Jason Box in Greenland. I then came to the conclusion that they didn’t give a honest representation of the facts. This post will build on that, but it will expand it to how the public perceives such a scene.
From my own history, I remember that I was interested in the global warming issue, but I was too busy with other things in my life. I wasn’t checking facts, I just relied on what the media was claiming. I believed what they said was true and, although I assumed that they were exaggerating the issue, I believed that in essence they were right. This post will be about how people with no background on the issue (and do not check these facts after viewing for example this documentary) will probably perceive this scene.
It starts with the introduction to the scene. In the previous scene we saw a young DiCaprio trying to spread awareness about Global Warming. He said that, at that time, the assumption was that small things (like changing a light bulb) was all what was needed. Then the voice-over stated:
But it is pretty clear that we are way beyond that point right now. Things are taken a massive turn for the worse.
Cue in a calving glacier in Greenland…
This suggest that things have taken a massive turn for the worse in Greenland and what follows will be viewed with that in mind. Then the statement of Jason Box:
“We keep finding things that aren’t in the climate models. They are used to project the future. So that tells me that the projections for the future are really conservative.”
If I had no knowledge what these climate models are or how they work, I would assume that the very climate models, that used to predict doom in the future, are underestimating the reality for the future. Meaning … it will be even worse than the scientists thought and those scientists who appear in the media have already a pessimistic view!
Followed by the scene where DiCaprio goes towards a crevasse and is awed by the sheer power of the melt water that is rushing towards the sea. The sheer power of the meltwater is of course impressive and it suggest that Greenland is melting like crazy. T h a t much melt water. When we look at the screenshot of previous post, Jason Box only wears a sweater… Okay, I understand that he works in Greenland and will be used to lower temperatures, but I assume that winter at the Greenland ice sheet will not be as agreeable. This is probably filmed in the summer when the ice is melting. Greenland being a big place, a lot of ice melts and will find its way to the sea. The location very close to the sea means a lot of melt water would be accumulated and give a torrent of meltwater finding its way to the sea.
More, when I viewed a video of Jason Box on the topic of dark ice (his field of study), I noticed that the streams of meltwater were much smaller than the one in the scene. None of them came close to a wild torrent as seen in the documentary. So they probably selected an impressive stream near the coast for more impact.
The scene with the 30 feet hose is a cinematographic excellent one, but how truthful it it? Leonardo DiCaprio has a shock and awe moment when he sees the length of the hose that was once burried in the ice. He is an actor of course and, for what I have seen until now, a good one. That reaction was probably in the script. By choosing a location that is not representative for other places in Greenland, the impression is given that the melt is bigger than it actually is. What not being told is that that the yearly melt in Greenland represents … 0.007% of the total volume of the Greenland ice sheet.
Finally, there was the ice with a pristine white color, while Jason Box’ topic of research is dark ice (ice with impurities and therefor absorbs more heat and warms up the surface more in comparison with pristine white ice). The image on the left shows what Jason Box researches (picture from the previous link) and the picture on the right shows what we actually see in the movie:
Which gives the impression that, if we listened well in previous scenes, we are melting this pristine ice by our emissions.
All those things will give the impression that the melt is out of control in Greenland. In reality the melt is only a tiny volume compared to the total volume of the ice sheet (which is huge) and at that rate it will be many millennia before the ice sheet will be gone.
In fact, they fooled the unprepared viewer. He/she got to see something else than what is happening in reality. Probably for the “good cause” of course.
When, in my believers years, I believed the media was exaggerating, I was most probably right. But this time I have my doubts that in essence they are right.