Welcome to Gothic, Colorado—one of the coldest places in the United States. This ghost town has been abandoned since the 1920s, but there is at least one person who still calls it home. For more than 40 years, current resident billy barr has lived in a small cabin, recording data about the snowpack to pass the time. In this short film, Morgan Heim of Day’s Edge Productions profiles the legendary local who inadvertently provided scientists with a treasure trove of climate change data. Winner of the Film4Climate competition organized by the Connect4Climate Program of the World Bank (film4climate.net).
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Day’s Edge Productions:
He Spent 40 Years Alone in the Woods, and Now Scientists Love Him | Short Film Showcase
have you ever wondered if you watch the snow long enough what story is it might tell there is someone who has done it his name is Billy bar I spell out small D ily small B arr some people call him the snow guardian he lives in a cabin out in the woods picture this it's a snowy day it's dark and cold and you make us fire and you're sitting by the fire and you're reading with a cup of tea and it goes on for nine months Billy lives alone in this house he helped build here he grows his garden has an impressive hat collection loves cricket and dreams of Bollywood every couple of weeks he skis back into the nearest town for supplies he's been doing this for more than 40 winters but Billy does a little more than just read and drink tea for those 40 winters Billy has kept a meticulous record of snow in his little part of the world rocket said February 26 1978 10 and a half inches of snow that day January 20th – 11 and a half april 28th 1985 was 41 1997 1/2 inch nice know.they weasel is roaming around and inside the shack damn the birds were back I lived in an 8 by 10 foot old shack and had no electricity no water and I have nothing they nervous as their older the main thing I interacted with was the weather and the animals so I started recording things just because it was something to do I had nothing to prove no goals no anything actually a researcher at the lab wanted to look at it and then once he started looking at it scientifically then all of a sudden like these decade's worth of data were being used for more than my own curiosity he has done this every day twice it is all wrong keep going until the snow is gone if it snowed I really chord that no matter what the trend I see is that we're getting a permanent snowpack later and we get to bare ground sooner we'll have years where there was a lot of snow on the ground and then we lost no sooner than years that had a lot less snow just because it's a lot warmer now in a normal winter you'd expect to have four to five record high temperatures last year Billy recorded 36 not only is it a one lot warmer we're getting a lot of dust boiling in soon as you get dust on the snow that melts like that you're talking about the state the snowpack the water supply for most of the southwest I'm not real hopeful just because I don't know how you reverse something like that as we leave Colorado behind billion parts one last bit of advice it's like anything else you know I learned to ski to get around I learned how to ski better so I wouldn't fall down all the time over a period of time I kinda learned how to survive in this environment actually learning the fall was probably the most important thing you're gonna false it a lot easier falling on your butt than in your face you