New film highlights human’s role on a quickly changing earth

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In a new documentary, ‘The Human Element,’ National Geographic photographer James Balog travels the country to show how water, earth, air and fire have all been impacted by a fifth element: humans. The change is evident even here in sunny Southern California: extended droughts, bigger fires, intensified storms, and deadly flooding. The film screens for free on March 2nd at the Granada Theater as part of UCSB Arts & Lectures .

In Virginia Beach, VA, one of the hot spots for sea level rise in the U.S., a mother and child symbolize the fact that the world as we know it today will be profoundly different in the future. Photo credit: James Balog