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Ice on Fire screens at Sebastiani

Sebastiani Theatre

Monday August 26th 2019 - 6:00pm to

An HBO documentary on climate change produced and narrated by Leonardo DiCaprio has sparked interest and conversation since its debut at Cannes Film Festival earlier this year. Now the film – and the conversation – is coming to Sonoma as Sonoma Ecology Center presents Ice on Fire at the Sebastiani Theatre on Aug. 26.

The Monday evening screening will be followed by a panel discussion led by Raymond Baltar, program manager of Sonoma Biochar Initiative at the Sonoma Ecology Center. Baltar appears in Ice on Fire to discuss the benefits of biochar, one of several practical solutions to the climate crisis presented in the film. He was interviewed for the film while working under contract with Redwood Forest Foundation, Inc. (RFFI) at a biochar project near the town of Percy in Mendocino County. The screening is co-sponsored by RFFI with major contributions from Pacific Biochar, Oregon Biochar Solutions, Agra Marketing and Benziger Family Winery.

Biochar is a form of charcoal that conserves water, sequesters carbon, removes pollutants and amends the soil. Thanks to the film, Baltar said, “Many, many more people will now have at least heard the term, and many more discussions can be had with those willing to try it, to help fund it, or to create legislation to help scale its use.” He added that the documentary “is surely the biggest platform I will ever have, since they are releasing the film internationally.”

Experts on climate change and “drawdown” – efforts to remove carbon from Earth’s atmosphere – are beginning to notice biochar’s useful qualities. A recent U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Special Report named production and use of biochar as one of the least expensive and most easily scalable carbon drawdown strategies that can be employed immediately.

This special screening begins with wine and refreshments in the Sebastiani Theatre foyer at 6 p.m. The film starts at 7 p.m., followed by a brief panel discussion moderated by Baltar and featuring Ice on Fire director Leila Conners, RFFI Chief Forester and Usal Forest manager Linwood Gill, and others. The Sebastiani Theatre is located on Sonoma Plaza at 476 First St. East, Sonoma.

Tickets are $20 at All proceeds from the event will help support Sonoma Biochar Initiative and RFFI.

Community Calendar

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