Two hours in a darkened theater watching the acclaimed documentary Chasing Ice.
That’s how long it took 59-year-old Lolly Hellman, a self-professed climate change skeptic, to switch sides in the global warming debate.
“There must be something I can do…to help our children, to help my grandchildren,” says an emotional Hellman in a video testimonial taken moments after she left a recent screening of the film at the Nuart Theater in Los Angeles. “I thought it [global warming] was bullshit…and that is because I listened, I believed Bill O’Reilly…and I saw this movie and now I will apologize to anyone I ever talked into not believing in global warming.”
In Chasing Ice, director Jeff Orlowski follows National Geographic photographer James Balog’s quest to document disappearing glaciers in Greenland, Iceland, Alaska and Montana.
“The only reason I saw it was so I could sit there and smirk about it, and enjoy a good laugh…I thought,” wrote Hellman in an email obtained exclusively by TakePart. Hellman crafted the email to friends and family the night she watched the film.
“Instead, I sat there and watched it and actually started to cry. I cried because I was so ashamed of myself for not believing in global warming. I could not even move from my seat once the documentary was over because I was so stunned by this revelation. If I can be of any assistance to 'global warming' organizations, I'm going to help. I'm going to pick up these old bones and find a way to get there and help, because I have grandkids who will have children, and I CARE ABOUT THEM."
Hellman's passionate revelatory moment comes at a critical time for the climate, as world leaders are currently meeting at a U.N. climate summit in Doha, Qatar.
If our elected officials can't navigate their differences and summon the collective global will to deal with the single greatest crisis of our times, we should be prepared to plunge off the climate fiscal cliff.
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An Angelino by way of Wilkes-Barre, PA, Sal holds a Political Science degree from George Washington University. Though he began his career in sports, he's written about all things environment since 2007. @SalCardoni | Email Sal | TakePart.com