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'Chasing Ice' team chases Ohio Congressman Pat Tiberi on climate change

The long, cold winter of discontent Ohioans suffered through this year had more snow and ice than was expected or wanted, but the solid form of water Buckeyes never want to see again is exactly the focal point of Chasing Ice, an Academy Award®- Nominated film that successfully converts the theory of climate change by the hands of humans, which is still denied by some, into a real and snowballing process to anyone who understands and accepts established scientific fact.

Chasing Ice Ohio Tour infographic.
Chasing Ice
Congressman Pat Tiberi's district in central Ohio has been selected as the test site for a communitywide educational outreach initiative the director of "Chasing Ice" hopes will tip Tiberi to act now that science has confirmed Climate Change.
Chasing Ice

Chasing Ice recently launched the Chasing Ice Ohio Tour 2014; an initiative to share the story and visual evidence of our changing climate to central Ohio residents through free screening events.

In its first grassroots, community-wide outreach effort, the Chasing Ice Team [CIT] has selected Ohio's 12th Congressional District, represented by Republican Pat Tiberi. Congressman Tiberi, 51-years-old, born and raised in the district, who has held it without interruption since 2000, when his successful election that year promoted him from aide to then-Congressman John Kasich, now Governor of Ohio since 2010, to officeholder. Kasich represented OH-12 for 18 years before stepping down to unsuccessfully run for president.

Watch Jeff Orlowski, the film's director and producer, on 60 Seconds Ohio.

In a special presentation for media Thursday morning, 30-year-old Orlowski provided both the visual evidence and the support Congressman Tiberi needs from his constituents to move to the tipping point between wary about and won over.

Tipping Tiberi

To help tip Tiberi and win him over, Orlowski and CIT want to show him his constituents would support him if instead of being evasive and vague, he see the science and get on the right side of history and the future of his constituents, young and old.

CIT offers "Ten reasons why Ohioans care about Climate Change," which include the effects on health, agriculture, children, national security, water, weather, religious and recreation. Survey results of OH-12 show that by wide margins, residents understand that climate change is real, not a hoax and some say it is, and that policy makers like Congressman Tiberi need to act before it's too late to avoid even harsher impacts in for future generations.

The coda to Ten Reasons reads: "WHY DO YOU CARE?? Tell Congressman Tiberi what matters to you."

Now having already hosted hundreds of screenings around the world, CIT believes the best way to make progress with climate change is to educate and inform political leaders on the established science that's nearly unanimously accepted by the world-wide scientific community.

Orlowski and his team understand that elected officials know ice is melting, so their goal now is to focus their attention on the science behind it. Unlike campaigns that might try to convince everyone all at once, CIT says the focus this time is to "support one Congressman at a time by providing them with both the visual evidence and the support they need from their constituents."

Orlowski said he's interviewed hundreds of scientists and has yet to meet even one who denies man-made climate change. The evidence is clear, he said, "voters are eager for action, and our political leaders need to listen to the public."

By taking Chasing Ice to Congressman Tiberi's district in Columbus, Ohio, Orlowski says he hopes the film will "inspire a movement that will reach out to Congressman Tiberi to tell him their thoughts on the issue. Hopefully, he will listen to his constituents and change his own legacy. We hope that by focusing our effort on a single community, we will mobilize Ohio voters in a way that will provide a model for future political action nationwide."

Congressman Tiberi has previously stated that he doesn't think there is a consensus among scientists about whether global warming is proved.

"If there's one thing I've learned from the climate-change debate, it's that I am not a climate scientist. I have had the privilege of hearing testimony from some of the top climatologists in the world," Tiberi has said that he added to his spectrum of opinions through conversations with many different members of the scientific community in central Ohio. The congressman says skepticism is the right reaction to any "politician who claims to have all of the answers."

Contacted today for an update on Congressman Tiberi's attitude toward climate change, Breann Gonzalez, spokesperson for Congressman Pat Tiberi, said, "Congressman Tiberi knows about Chasing Ice and has spoken with director/producer Jeff Orlowski when Jeff was visiting Central Ohio, and our policy staff has had an extensive meeting with him. Congressman Tiberi certainly appreciates informed constituents advocating for causes they care about and Congressman Tiberi anticipates the conversation continuing."

Gonzalez declined to answer whether Congressman Tiberi has watched the film or whether he would make time to see it at one of CIT's free showings in the district going forward.

So far over 4,500 people in Congressman Tiberi’s district, including the Westerville North, Central, and South High Schools, have seen it. Moreover, in excess of 1,000 DVDs—which showcase the most visual evidence of climate change—have been given out to the public, encouraging them to share the imagery so the science of climate change can be communicated to communities and political leaders, and in OH-12, that means Congressman Tiberi.

According to his congressional Website, Congressman Tiberi, who holds a seat on the House Committee on Ways and Means, has pushed policy on "issues that affect us all like: taxes, Social Security, Medicare, trade and healthcare."

Orlowski would argue that climate change also affects us all, but environmental issues have clearly not been Congressman Tiberi's favorite or forte in the past years.

Ohio State’s Byrd Polar Research Center, Ohio Interfaith Power and Light, Evangelical Environmental Network, Catholic Climate Covenant, and dozens of other local groups have enabled Chasing Ice to conduct free screenings of the film throughout central Ohio since early March. Orlowski and crew, who plan to continue their outreach effort throughout the spring, are now booking free screenings for any interested high school, university, church or religious organization, corporation, or community group of any political affiliation throughout the central Ohio area for April 2014.

Screenings of Chasing Ice are followed by Q&A sessions in which local community members who have been directly affected by climate change have shared their experiences with the film audiences. The point of this part of the program, CIT says, is to "connect the dots between changes we are seeing worldwide with the impact these changes are having in Ohio."

The tour also leverages an innovative Call to Action with new tools developed specifically for this tour, as well as a new Youth Ambassador Program that empowers youth, through the use of technology and multimedia tools, to be leaders who share and exchange innovations in their communities. Facebook, Instagram and Twitter are social media platforms CIT believes will enable young adults in the leadership program to work together and capture stories for the cause.

According to information at CIT's Website, "The tour aims to create a new movement around climate change that will inspire the public to reach out to their local political leaders and share the science.:

In addition to the screening provided to selected reporters today, a screening for the general public was held Thursday evening at the Gateway theater across from OSU.

The news article 'Chasing Ice' director chases Ohio Congressman Pat Tiberi on climate change appeared first on Columbus Government Examiner.

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