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Guardian Plug Greenland “Climate Crisis” Film

November 26, 2020

By Paul Homewood

The Guardian has been plugging this short film by Dan McDougall about the “changing climate” in Greenland.


The perfect storm of a changing climate and the rapid encroachment of the modern age has dramatically impacted the Arctic people — forcing them to cope with change beyond their immediate control in the present — not the future. The short film Open Water is a triptych narrative, based on the lives of three Greenlanders: a hunter, a ship’s captain, and a fisherman, individuals whose very existence and heritage is intertwined with the Arctic Ocean. On a warming planet, open water, an ocean without ice, offers both economic opportunity for fishermen in terms of access to halibut grounds in winter and a longer tourism season, but also cultural decay in terms of traditional ways of life.

The film consists simply of the words of the three Greenlanders themselves, which along with stunning film and moody music creates plenty of emotional hype.

Central to it, of course, are the repeated claims by the locals that the climate is getting warmer and the ice is melting away.

The film is centred around Ilulissat on the west coast and the south east around Tasiilaq.

So what is wrong with the picture painted?

Quite simply that temperatures on both coasts of Greenland are no higher now than they were between the 1920s and 40s:



It is interesting to note actually that none of the interviewees seemed think the warming since the colder interlude is actually a bad thing. Indeed, it is a positive boon for the fisherman who can take his boat out for longer in the year.

Apparently the film is strongly tipped for awards.

  1. jack broughton permalink
    November 26, 2020 11:13 am

    Both graphs seem to show the 60 year climate change cycle very clearly. Not quite a sine curve but a noisy sine curve could be derived. This also throws the 30 year cycle that the WMO claim is needed for climate assessment into serious doubt: it ought to be about 60 years.

    • NeilC permalink
      November 26, 2020 5:20 pm

      I agree totally. I think they are getting worried the AMO is going to get colder for the next 30 years. Plus PDO in cold phase, La Nina and Low Solar activity. They must be very worried.

  2. Thomas Carr permalink
    November 26, 2020 11:20 am

    The decay of traditional ways of life has more to do with medicine, skidoos, rifles, electricity and petrol powered outboard motors . They’re a sentimental lot at The Guardian

    • Adam Gallon permalink
      November 26, 2020 11:35 am

      What, as in “Modern life’s much better for us, as we live longer, easier & healthier lives”?

  3. James Neill permalink
    November 26, 2020 11:36 am

    Paul, would it be a good idea that both temperature graphs are plotted with the same horizontal and vertical scales?

    • November 26, 2020 1:10 pm

      They’re the official DMI ones, James.

      • James Neill permalink
        November 26, 2020 1:27 pm

        I may be barking up the wrong tree but the use of different scales leaves me feeling uneasy. Are the DMI attempting to make something a little less obvious?

  4. It doesn't add up... permalink
    November 26, 2020 11:38 am

    Been a tough tourist season this year? How about $1,000 to star in a movie?

  5. Harry Passfield permalink
    November 26, 2020 12:10 pm

    It’s warmer (maybe); there’s not so much ice; what’s not to like?

  6. November 26, 2020 12:29 pm

    If you don’t have the science you need to have the fearmongering

  7. mikewaite permalink
    November 26, 2020 2:02 pm

    There is a classic B&W documntary film from the pre -talkies era called (I think ) “nanuk of the North” which portrayed the traditional life of an Inuit hunter and his family . Much of that life seemed to consist of sitting beside a hole in the ice waiting for a seal to pop its head up.
    Much scorn in the past has been directed at the Norse settlers of Greenland who came back when the climate entered the LIA rather than staying and adopting the Inuit way of life. The options for them were 500 years of sitting by a hole in the ice or going back to
    Europe and joining in the mad, glorious party just kicking off there – known as the Renaissance. Tough call.

  8. Broadlands permalink
    November 26, 2020 3:00 pm

    This is reminiscent of an article published in 1922… “The Changing Arctic”:

  9. TomO permalink
    November 26, 2020 3:30 pm

    Having been to both Greenland and Svalbard several times over the years I feel I know emotive lefty green metro bullshit when I see it – the goons have the tale laid out before they jump on a jet from Copenhagen or Tromsø

  10. alexei permalink
    November 26, 2020 8:11 pm

    It was only 2 days ago that I read this:-

    Major Greenland Glacier Is Growing

    The open sea around about is now closed by walls of ice.
    Inland for three years the ice is getting thicker taller to the tune of a hundred feet a year.

    Hardly consistent with a warming planet………

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