Any photographer will tell you, seeing is believing. But when it comes to climate change, a long slow process that occurs over time, its difficult to capture a single image that demonstrates the sheer magnitude of this global crisis. Even though the most obvious and apparent result of our warming planet is the recession of glacial ice, in some of the most remote places in the world it’s hard to truly show how relatively quickly and dramatically that ice is melting. So photographer James Balog came up with a plan to record the progress of climate change by taking a series of pictures from specific locations near glaciers over the course of several months.
"We have time-lapse cameras installed permanently at these various glaciers in Greenland, Iceland, Montana, Alaska and soon to be around Mount Everest," Balog said. "And these cameras shoot every half hour around the clock as long as it’s daylight and they’re looking down on these glaciers that are changing and we make this visual record of the landscape in flux."
Called the Extreme Ice Survey these images around the world shot on tripods show the cascade of glacial ice as it forms and then melts. The passage of time is quickly sped up to show the pace of change and its apparent progress.
Why does anyone do anything? That's a hard enough question to ask someone who actually works for living. But those of us who make our way through life playing at the fringes of society really have to ask ourselves: What the hell am I doing here?
As a professional journalist my answer is pretty simple. My job is to ask that same question, with a little less incredulity, to other people whose work in world of adventure I deeply admire. I get to tell the stories of giants, men and women at the very top of their fields. Whether it s mountaineering, backcountry skiing, paragliding, BASE jumping, or mountain biking I get to shadow the lives of people pushing the envelope of human experience. All I have to do is be fair, honest and accurate. And with the help of new media partners like Venture There.com I get to share these stories with a broad online audience through my blog and podcast series called the Joy Trip Project.
The JTP is an aggregate of news and information I collect in reporting on the business, art and culture of what I like to call the sustainable active lifestyle. Exciting people in our modern world push their bodies and minds to engage the wild places of the planet in joyful pursuit of adventure. And I tell their stories. Venture There.com is an adventure inspired web site operated by USAToday and they've graciously allowed me to occasionally post a few the stories you'll find here to their social media content feed online. But rather than gear reviews, athlete profiles and expedition summaries I'll take a slightly deeper look into the motivation behind the accomplishments of activists as well as explorers. Adventure is not limited to what Everest climber Peter Athans once called in an interview " young kids throwing themselves off cliffs for taco money." In my reporting, at play in the shadow of giants, I look to discover those people out there who dedicate their lives in adventure to not only exploring the unknown but toward the benefit of others.
Adventure activist Richard Mooney is making plans to row across the Atlantic Ocean. On this World AIDS Day the 45-year-old man from Queens christened his 17-foot boat called “Never Give Up” at the Brooklyn Marina and hopes 5,000 supporters will Tweet their names in recognition of his next attempt to raise awareness for the continuing fight against the deadly disease. A journey of 5,000 miles, this will be Mooney’s third try to oar his way from Cape Verde Island off the coast of West Africa to New York City.