Watch: Self-Described Climate Skeptic Says She’s Changed By ‘Chasing Ice’ Documentary

This YouTube video of a self-described climate skeptic was posted earlier this week and picked up yesterday over at Take Part. After watching the new film “Chasing Ice,” in which a former climate skeptic documents the decline of glaciers around the world, 59-year old Lolly Hellman said she completely changed her perspective on the problem of global warming:

“There must be something I can do … to help our children, to help my grandchildren…. 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.”

The video was filmed by Justin Kanew, who told me he filmed it outside the movie theater and that Hellman “was on the verge of tears. The film had an effect on a number of people.”

And here’s what Kanew wrote today on his YouTube page:

People have been asking me if this video is set up. I promise it isn’t. I was at the theater helping with the release of the movie all weekend, mostly managing the guest list. Many people came out of the movie emotional, but none as emotional as this lady. She started talking to me in a very real way, with tears in her eyes, essentially apologizing to me for her previous position on the subject and letting me know she was a Fox/O’Reilly watcher who just had her mind changed by the movie. It occurred to me that that was a pretty powerful moment, and one you don’t see every day, so I asked her if she would mind telling me that on video. She said she wouldn’t, so I pulled out my camera, and what you see here happened.

The production company behind “Chasing Ice” sent out the video in a promotion for its film earlier today.

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15 Responses to Watch: Self-Described Climate Skeptic Says She’s Changed By ‘Chasing Ice’ Documentary

  1. Lionel A says:

    One awakening, this lady seems truly shocked and I don’t think for one moment that her reaction is acting.

    Many more awakenings required.

    I have been following the great work of James Balog and his colleagues for awhile now their commitment is huge, the photographs are stunning and the message is stark. As are the messages from droughts, floods and Sandy.

    Watch out for O’Reilly & Co. heading for hide-outs sometime soon.

  2. Mark Shapiro says:

    Thank you for posting this powerful interview.

    Question: how do we climatehawks welcome people like her to our blogs and other discussions?

    I tend myself to be very caustic and “off-putting” at times.

    Would this woman feel welcome getting good information here without feeling like we are being unnecessarily ad-hominem?

    I honestly don’t know. But I will try to keep it in mind.

  3. catman306 says:

    Doesn’t Bill O’Reilly own a house on Long Island? Did it survive intact?

  4. Zimzone says:

    Fox & O’Reilly should have a permanent icon saying ‘BS’ on the screen at all times.

    I look forward to seeing Balog’s documentary, but it looks pretty much confined to metropolitan areas. I live rural, so it’s a bit of a conundrum to drive from the country to the city to watch a film about the country!

  5. Lou Grinzo says:

    While it’s always good news to see people, or even one person, escape the mental clutches of the right wing noise-o-sphere and start accepting objective facts, I have to admit that this kind of incident makes my blood boil.

    Why the heck is it that so many people have such a freaking hard time understanding basic science that’s explained and presented in many thousands of pages of books and articles and web sites? Why do they need to see a documentary before the light goes on in their heads and they say, “Oh — it gets warmer, so the ice MELTS!!!”

    I am increasingly convinced that the inability of many people to visualize anything (even when they haven’t been brainwashed by the right wingers) is a major stumbling block to dealing with climate change, among many other problems.

  6. Dollars to doughnuts she continues to swallow O’Reilly’s poison.

    Also, remember what they say about a reformed smoker.

  7. Lionel A says:


    It is because many live in that bubble of Fox propaganda and have no leadership to change and explore other sources of information. If more people can now be reached through the like of Chasing Ice then the critical mass of opinion will shift against the propagandists.

    It will still be an uphill struggle for many cannot take their cognitive frameworks being shaken.

  8. M Tucker says:

    I’m sure it is a great documentary and it doesn’t matter if she continues to listen to OReilly and becomes convinced the melt is part of a “natural cycle” and that global warming is really the hoax she originally thought it was. She is now part of the promotion. A former denier (Stop Saying Skeptic – it is f’ing insulting to true skeptics!) convinced by a documentary made by a former denier. Perfect!

  9. D. R. Tucker says:

    Two young eco-preneurs who are changing our world for the better on today’s show. They are Natalie Fleming of EcoScraps and Nikhil Arora of Back To The Roots. Be inspired by what each is doing to reduce food waste and take food that would otherwise be thrown away and turn it into fertile compost and edible plants. Next the producer and director of the new documentary, Chasing Ice joins us to talk about all the buzz around Jeff Orlowski’s just released film. We’ll also hear from someone who saw the movie and called it “life-changing” as well as “mind-changing”.

    Read more:
    Under Creative Commons License: Attribution

  10. Brooks Bridges says:

    I’ve reached the point where I will, if I have to, sacrifice friendships and family relations in my attempts to convince people we have a climate crisis requiring WWII, Apollo project efforts.

    I’m having a difficult time getting through to a very good friend. I don’t even get angry anymore. He’s become a guinea pig in an experiment to find what it takes to convince other, similar people. I know one thing: It requires getting them to talk – just keep asking questions.

    We’re not going to achieve large scale acceptance that we have a climate crisis without each of us going after the people we know one-on-one.

    Start by getting getting people you know near DC to commit to the Feb 18 demonstration – and then getting them to do the same with others. This effort must go viral.

    We need the sledge hammer of a huge demonstration to break through the MSM and government refusal to accept the reality of our climate crisis.

  11. Brooks Bridges says:

    Thanks. I needed this post.

  12. Mulga Mumblebrain says:

    ‘Smoke ’em out!’.

  13. Mulga Mumblebrain says:

    It’s the Dunning-Kruger phenomenon. Rightwingers are generally (in my invariable experience) from out of yonder shallow end of the gene pool. One thing they resent, therefore hate, is people smarter than themselves. They call them ‘know-it-alls’, ‘smart-arses’, ‘clever-clogs’ and worse. It is quite useless arguing with them because denialism is an act of faith, not rationality. They are told by the High Priests of the Cult (ie the MSM Thought Controllers) what to think, and apostasy is very seriously frowned upon in their peer groups. We will never see them admit defeat, so we have to save humanity ourselves. There may be the occasional defector, who should be welcomed like the prodigal, but the vast majority will simply grow more extreme and dangerous.

  14. Jay Alt says:

    Stories will trump a collection of facts. The misinformers and confusionists give everyone a grab-bag of interesting tales from which to choose. And she clearly found them believable.
    That is, until Balog showed her a true and more compelling drama.

  15. Ray Kondrasuk says:

    Recommended reading to ease your puzzlement about why they think as they do:

    Chris Mooney’s “The Republican Brain: The Science of Why They Deny Science… and Reality”