Saturday, February 24, 2024

“The Human Element”

Documenting man-made climate change

“It’s up to us to make the right choices.” —James Balog, ‘The Human Element’

For over three decades, photographer/explorer James Balog has chronicled the world and all its beauty with his camera. He has observed the myriad ways nature can shape and reshape the planet. And no force has more power in shaping that world than human beings.

That simple truth is at the heart of The Human Element, a 2018 documentary starring Balog. Focused on the effects of man-made climate change, the movie documents, in a beautiful and harrowing way, mankind’s destruction of the natural balance of the world. This planet is our home, after all.

“I think it is unique in the approach that [Balog] uses,” said Julie Shapiro, volunteer for the Perrysburg-Toledo Citizens’ Climate Lobby committee. “He looks at the four elements of life— water, air, fire and earth— but he introduces a fifth element, which is a human element. And he suggests that the human element has affected the other four elements, and that’s what is causing climate change.”


Drawing interest

In an effort to inspire conversation and awareness around the issue of climate change, the Perrysburg-Toledo chapter of the Citizens’ Climate Lobby (CCL) will host a screening of The Human Element on Thursday, October 10 at the Maumee Indoor Theatre.

“The Citizens’ Climate Lobby was trying to figure out a film we could show that would draw interest to the topic. And we screened a few different films, there’s quite a few out there, and as a group, we came to a consensus that this would be the most effective and popular film,” Shapiro said.

Originally established in 2007, the Citizens’ Climate Lobby arose as a grassroots group designed to effect bipartisan environmental change through the most effective route: Legislation.

“They are an organization that is non-profit, non-partisan, that works to advocate for legislation to combat climate change.” Shapiro explained.

Time is running out

Over 100,000 members belong to CCL through 545 area branches around the country. “We are just going to say a few words at the end about Citizens Climate Lobby and action that people can take. We’re hoping that it will open eyes and make people realize the severity of the situation that we’re in,” Shapiro said, noting, The Human Element will impress upon its audience the shortage of time left to take decisive action. The time is running out. The temperature is rising, and the effects of that are catastrophic and are only going to get worse. And we’re hoping this will spur them into action, to support the legislation. Because the only way to really move the needle quickly enough is to pass policy.”

7pm | Thursday, October 10
Maumee Indoor Theatre, 601 Conant St.
419-897-8902 |
Free, registration encouraged.

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