James Balog Quotes.
Hindsight can be merciless. People of any given era often look back in time and wonder how their predecessors could have been so dimwitted.
Once upon a time, I was a climate-change skeptic.
It’s important to recognise that humans are not the measure of all things… The Earth is the measure of all things.
Each of us can and must shift our behavior according to our ability. For some, that means changing diet, shopping locally, or putting solar panels on their house. For others, it means using their voice to inspire transformative change.
You can’t divorce civilization from nature – we totally depend on it.
The problem is almost everybody is just recording the world with home photographic toys, not doing metaphor or ideas. We have a photographic culture that’s not conditioned to think in terms of symbol.
Climate change should not fundamentally be seen as a political or partisan issue, but it has been turned into a political football primarily by the climate deniers who have a vested interested in maintaining the status quo. That includes certain industrial interests, financial interests and political interests.
There is a glacier in Iceland, Solheimar, which has retreated a great deal, and every time I go back there and see what’s not there any more, it does something to the heart. It makes you realise it’s possible for a gigantic natural element to just disappear.
Ultimately, we have to ask ourselves an essential spiritual and ethical question: Are we the kind of people who take everything for ourselves and leave nothing for others, or do the angels of our better nature still live? I believe the angels are still alive.
When you put the subjectivity of the art together with the context of the science, you have this very powerful conjunction of opposites and together they are greater than either one could ever be.
We still carry this old caveman-imprint idea that we’re small, nature’s big, and it’s everything we can manage to hang on and survive. When big geophysical events happen – a huge earthquake, tsunami, or volcanic eruption – we’re reminded of that.
When I worked with wildlife a lot in the Eighties and Nineties, I learnt the meaning of patience. And when I worked with trees, I learned the meaning of humility.
I’m quite fond of Switzerland. I love Switzerland.
We as a culture are forgetting that we are actually natural organisms and that we have this very, very deep connection and contact with nature. You canвЂ™t divorce civilization from nature – we totally depend on it.
Climate change is real. Climate change is being substantially increased by humans and the carbon we put into the atmosphere. And it appears to be speeding up. If science has made any mistakes, science has been underestimating it.
This air we breathe is precious, and the glaciers helped me understand that and stay focused on that.
In some cases, I allow the edge of the set, the edge of my own artificial, artistic imposition, to show up because I don’t want to hide from that. I want to acknowledge that there is a living human and a living eye and a living mind and a living heart responding to what’s going on out there.
The ‘New Yorker’ asked me to shoot a story on climate change in 2005, and I wound up going to Iceland to shoot a glacier. The real story wasn’t the beautiful white top. It ended up being at the terminus of the glacier where it’s dying.
I’ve always believed that photography is a way to shape human perception.
You know, we humans are programmed to think that big changes on the Earth happened a long time ago, or will happen a long time in the future. What we don’t realize is that they actually can happen right now. Right here, right now, while we’re alive, in our own hours and days and months and years.
I have often thought that my work with wildlife taught me the meaning of patience, and my work with the big trees taught me the meaning of humility, and my work with the ice has taught me the meaning of mortality.
The scientist-community guy may get a $500,000 grant, and if his equipment works or doesn’t work, he still gets a gold star for doing the science experiment. For me, there is no merit in anything for doing an experiment; I have to go home with pictures.
Climate change is a really abstract thing in most of the world.
Glacial pace is actually an incorrect concept. The glaciers move a lot faster and they react a lot faster than people imagine.
I grew up in suburban New Jersey in a transitional area that was surrounded by farmland that wasn’t being cultivated.
At the age of 60, you see how short the runway is in front of you and how long the runway is behind you, and that you don’t have much time left.
I personally spend the majority of my time by far on outreach and education and fundraising and administration.