Movie, panel discussion to explore devastation around changing environment

  • Southern California wildfires triggered mass destruction, hurting families and the economy. Pictured here are firefighters battling the so-called “Thomas Fire” in 2017. Courtesy photos

KAILUA-KONA — How prepared is Hawaii for a climate-related crisis?

A panel of experts will address just that Wednesday as part of a movie screening and discussion hosted by BeyondKona, an organization that focuses on daily news, research, analysis, and commentary on Hawaii’s changing climate as well as all the elements shaping life in the islands and around the world.

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The free film screening of “The Human Element” begins at 5 p.m. at the West Hawaii Civic Center, County Council Chambers.

The movie, an Earth Vision Film Production, follows environmental photographer James Balog, who documented fires, natural disasters and other widespread destruction caused by conflicts between Mother Nature and humans.

Humans are a force of nature, Balog realized while capturing the images that comprised his work. And at the same time, human activities alter the basic elements of life – earth, air, water, and fire – and change human life.

It’s those very conflicts the film explores.

“When I became a photographer, I wanted to celebrate the elegance and beauty of nature,” Balog said. “But I soon realized there was a more complex story going on in the world about the collision between people and nature. And I felt a great sense of urgency to bear witness to that.”

The goal of the project is to inspire people to reevaluate their relationship with the natural world.

Doors open at 4:30 p.m. and pupus and beverages will be served.

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Following the movie a panel of local experts will join the audience in a discussion titled “How prepared is Hawaii for the global climate crisis now developing all around us?”

The event ends at 8 p.m.

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