Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?

CleanTechnica

Air Quality

Extraordinary Storyteller Of The 21st Century — James Balog (CleanTechnica Interview)

In my last article, I summarized the extraordinary documentary The Human Element and added some of my own commentary about the touching subjects. In this article, I’m relaying the highlights of my interview with James Balog, the writer of the film. The documentary will be available on all major VOD platforms — iTunes, Amazon, DirectTV, etc. — on January 29, 2019.

In my last article, I summarized the extraordinary documentary The Human Element and added some of my own commentary about the touching subjects. In this article, I’m relaying the highlights of my interview with James Balog, the writer of the film. The documentary will be available on all major VOD platforms — iTunes, Amazon, DirectTV, etc. — on January 29, 2019.

Image courtesy of media files sent to CleanTechnica for the release of The Human Element online

I asked James Balog to speak on something I heard him say before — “If we change the chemistry of the air, air holds heat differently.” He responded:

“What I would like to share is something that just started to dawn on me in about 2010, 2011. It really has come to the fore consistently and constantly for me. And that is that this air that we breathe — it appears to be nothing, it appears to be just like the ether, something in outer space.

“But this air that surrounds us is, in fact, is a dimensional substance. It has weight and mass and volume and molecules. It’s a real material. It’s as real as the keyboard in front of you. It is as real as the telephone I am holding in my hands. And if we could see the air, we’d be having a whole different conversation about climate change. But we don’t have the sensing mechanisms in our 5 senses to properly see and comprehend the air.

“Think about this — you, there at sea level in Florida, that air weighs 14.7 pounds per square inch on your shoulders. 14.7 pounds. You don’t know that, but it’s real. And so, if you think of air as real and being consequential and having weight and mass and volume, it starts, at least, to acquire a sense of reality — a sense of reality that we need to have in order to think about keeping the air clean. Because otherwise we just say, ‘Oh, the hell with it. Let’s just dump our effluence into this nothing place.'”

James is also a former mountain guide. His voice takes on a quieter tone as I ask him about breaking through denial. He advises:

“I think the other part of this is — I’ll use a metaphor from mountaineering, because climbing mountains has been a big part of my life for 50 years — sometimes you reach an obstacle that you simply cannot go up and you have to say, ‘We’re going around it.’ And so you try a different strategy and you go around the obstacle. And there are certain factions of denial in this country that are unchangeable. And it’s not worth burning up energy throwing yourself up against a cliff that’s unclimbable.”

On engendering a lighter footprint:

“The short answer is there really is no silver-bullet solutions. There’s a whole bunch of small ones.”

I also ask James about his feelings on electric cars.

“I have very strong feelings and I own one. I think to the extent that one’s bank account can afford it, you should do that the next time you have to buy a car. Well, hell, if you can’t afford a full-on electric car, you get a plug-in Prius or a plug-in Ford C-Max. You do whatever you can with the tools you have and the resources you have.”

I mention that, yes, I have actually transitioned from an EV to an electric bicycle. Not only do I save money, but I am also happier from the outdoors and exercise. That is affordable compared to a car of any kind.

 

 

I also asked James to speak on his belief in a “willed optimism” and any wisdom he might share on rising above a sense of futility, exhaustion, or depression when dealing with societal and environmental concerns. I mention that he is a force of nature himself, stronger than many.

“Yeah, I get it. We all talk about that.

“Anybody who’s honest with themselves at this time has to recognize that they are on a seesaw — between hope and despair. And it’s just the nature of our time, and this subject matter, and this situation that we’re in now. And I battle, I battle that issue literally every day. And it is starting to get to be so long-lived — I’m starting to wonder if it is really getting imprinted in my actual mind now instead of just being a conscious choice — and that’s, of course, dangerous. I don’t want to be a manic depressive every day.

“So what I’ve come to in addition to the willed optimism idea is to recognize that if, as many psychologists say, despair is anger turned inwards, then action is anger turned outwards. Actually, they say if depression is anger turned inwards, action can be anger turned outwards.”

Visually breathtaking, his work will help you to transform your patterns of belief in environmental issues.

More of James Balog’s work can be found on his website. Here are a few closing quotes from James:

“Today, truth and evidence matter more than ever. The visual evidence shows that people are changing the other elements fast.

“Our deeds are leaving their imprint in the fabric of time. And what I want to do, is bring this story to life.

“It’s up to us to make the right choice.”

Image courtesy of media files sent to CleanTechnica for the release of The Human Element online

As he noted in another article I wrote about James and his work, “An imbalance in one element leads to an imbalance in another. People are the only elements that can choose to restore balance. And that gives me hope.”

Related stories & links:

Again, The Human Element will be on all major VOD platforms on January 29, 2019:

DIGITAL

  • iTunes
  • Amazon
  • Google Play
  • Vudu
  • Xbox
  • Playstation
  • FandangoNow
  • Redbox

CABLE

  • Comcast 
  • Verizon
  • Suddenlink
  • Mediacom
  • WOW!
  • Independent Systems 
  • RCN
  • Telus (CA)

SATELLITE

  • Dish 

All images used were part of the film’s press package or were screenshots from the film, The Human Element.

 
 
Appreciate CleanTechnica’s originality? Consider becoming a CleanTechnica member, supporter, or ambassador — or a patron on Patreon.
 
Sign up for our free daily newsletter to never miss a story.
 
Have a tip for CleanTechnica, want to advertise, or want to suggest a guest for our CleanTech Talk podcast? Contact us here.

New CleanTechnica Podcasts

Written By

Cynthia Shahan started writing after previously doing research and publishing work on natural birth practices. (Several unrelated publications) She is a licensed health care provider. She studied and practiced both Waldorf education, and Montessori education, mother of four unconditionally loving spirits, teachers, and environmentally conscious beings born with spiritual insights and ethics beyond this world. (She was able to advance more in this way led by her children.)

Comments

#1 most loved electric vehicle, solar energy, and battery news & analysis site in the world.

 

Support our work today!

Advertisement

Power CleanTechnica: $3/Month

Tesla News Solar News EV News Data Reports

Advertisement

EV Sales Charts, Graphs, & Stats

EV Press Releases

Advertisement

Our Electric Car Driver Report

30 Electric Car Benefits

Tesla Model 3 Video

Renewable Energy 101 In Depth

solar power facts

Tesla News

EV Reviews

Home Efficiency

You May Also Like

Buildings

One of the ways to slow the advance of climate change is to reduce your personal carbon usage. While we can’t efficiency our way...

Clean Power

A new gigascale green steel project in Sweden aims at sprinkling green hydrogen fairy dust on electric vehicles everywhere.

Air Quality

By Ann Alexander  California’s oil industry has an 800-pound gorilla reputation of getting pretty much what it wants in Sacramento. Armed with millions of dollars to pay...

Cars

Originally published on EV Annex. by Charles Morris China has rolled out the proverbial red carpet for Tesla. Last February, every automaker was forced...

Copyright © 2021 CleanTechnica. The content produced by this site is for entertainment purposes only. Opinions and comments published on this site may not be sanctioned by and do not necessarily represent the views of CleanTechnica, its owners, sponsors, affiliates, or subsidiaries.