We are proud to host the NYC-premier screening of Sea Blind: The Price of Shipping our Stuff, presented by filmmaker and 2007 Lowell Thomas Award Winner Sarah Robertson, and the film’s co-director and star, climate journalist Bernice Notenboom.
During spring of 2014, Bernice and two others attempted to ski from the North Pole to Canada. But one hundred kilometers short of the coast, the team was forced to evacuate due to unpredictable sea ice. Because of climate change, this once achievable route is now becoming impassable on skis.
The melting Arctic sea ice ended Bernice's expedition, but it is creating unparalleled opportunities for another sector: the shipping industry. Ice that once prevented easy passage across the Arctic Ocean is quickly receding and Arctic shipping routes are becoming increasingly accessible. For example, the Northern Sea Route, which is located along the northern coast of Russia, is now open several months out of the year and eliminates approximately 10 days from a trip from China to America and can save 10,000 tons of fuel.
But these savings come at a price, both to human health and the environment. So Bernice embarked on another journey, this time to explore the hidden costs of shipping, a massive facet of globalization that virtually all of us rely on, yet few know anything about.
The shipping industry is one of the most polluting and, until now, unregulated industries in the world. Seventeen of the largest ships emit more sulfur – responsible for severe health problems – than all the cars in the world. At the same time, most ships burn heavy fuel oil, a waste product of the oil refining process that produces black carbon emissions when burned. Black carbon is a critical contributor to human-induced climate warming.
With 80% of all shipping occurring in the Northern Hemisphere, what will increased shipping mean for the Arctic? Bernice was determined to find out. The film accompanies her on a ship inspection, to encounters with shipping insiders, journalists, environmentalists and world-renowned climate scientists.
Along the way, Bernice discovered a little known fact: up to forty percent of Arctic melting may be slowed by taking action against black carbon emissions, half of which comes from ships. Experts agree that this is one of our best chances to slow the Greenland ice melt and gives us time to prepare for our new warming world.
Through a powerful narrative, captivating Arctic footage and terrific infographics, Sea Blind offers a fascinating and little known story, while presenting heartening solutions. The film was an official selection at the Blue Ocean Film Festival, and has played in The Dutch Parliament, the European Union Parliament last year and will screen at UNESCO’s general meeting this year. The film’s biggest success to date was the screening for a number of national delegations at the International Maritime Organization meeting in London in October, where the historic decision was made for a sulfur emissions cap of 0.5% by 2020.
Following the screening, the co-directors will be joined in a lively panel discussion with leading Arctic science and policy experts in a conversation on Arctic climate pollution and steps that can be taken to slow the warming that is happening more than twice as fast as the rest of the world. The panel includes filmmaker Sarah Robertson, the film’s co-director and star Bernice Notenboom, Senior Arctic Policy Fellow Rafe Pomerance, and Shipping Policy Consultant Liana James of the Clean Air Task Force.
Date: Thursday, February 16th
Time: 6:00 pm Reception, 7:00 pm Screening
Location: Club Headquarters, 46 East 70th Street, NY, NY, 10021
Tickets are $10 for Club Members and $25 for guests, and are allotted on a first-come, first-serve basis.