The wheels of scientific progress can move ever so slowly.
With the summer movie season officially kicked off, I thought I could share a few movies that I know of with themes of climate change and its effects.
Godzilla vs the Smog Monster (Godzilla vs. Hedorah) (1971)
Watching Godzilla fight a monster created due to human carelessness and pollution? Do you need any more reason than that?
Mad Max (1971), Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior (1981), and Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome (1985)
Once again, humanity in its unfaltering stupidity has ruined the environment with war and pollution creating a world that’s a deserted wasteland. As everyone struggles to survive with oil being the main commodity, Max wanders the landscape fighting for himself and others.
Also, Mad Max: Fury Road comes out in the next few days… Just saying.
Like in the Mad Max films, the word in these films is a desert wasteland that humanity created with only a few Mega-Cities keeping everyone in. This creates more crime than can be handled, but humanity is left to deal with the consequences.
These are just a few off the top of my head. I’ll post more if I can think of any.
Captain Planet, a blast from the past pertinent to the present to preserve the future. In the 1990s environmental ecologists and activists sought to educate and reach out to a new audience to voice their concerns on the wasteful destruction of Earth’s resources by creating an eco-conscience cartoon geared toward college bound youngsters who would soon be entering and graduating from high schools. With the financial help of billionaire Ted Turner all of this came into fruition, Captain Planet was created. The plot behind the storyline is simple: a quintet of teenagers work together to encourage environmentally responsible behavior by protecting the Earth with their individual elemental powers of Fire, Water, Earth, Wind, and Heart; when their powers are combined they summon a superhero, Captain Planet, to deal with extreme ecological disasters. This blast from the past may be what is needed presently to reach out to younger audiences once again, as planetary climate-change is occurring more rapidly with tangible physical evidence of the changes that will affect future generations. Though this cartoon is no longer producing new episodes, the program does run in syndication on some networks and many episodes can be found on YouTube. This show also inspired the Captain Planet Foundation, supporting environmental education. The greatest accomplishment of this program is that it reached a younger audience and entertainingly exposed the seriousness of planetary destruction, the dangers of over consumption, and economic greed; while fostering respect for the Earth as it will abide to man because it will exist long after homosapiens are gone.
Hey everybody! Look at what I found! That’s RIGHT, an interview with cli-fi’s sweetheart, Dan Bloom! It’s actually pretty interesting. The interview was posted on January 19th, 2015 and it’s about his thoughts on cli-fi in general and how cities are portrayed in these worlds affected by climate. I figured this was a good post to leave you all with. I’ll see you all again someday, maybe, to finish that debate about whether or not clones are considered alive.
This morning Brittany Patterson of ClimateWire published a great article in which our class (and our moments of despair) is featured: Can ‘Game of Thrones’ get people to talk about climate change?
I’d honestly be eager to hear your thoughts in response to this question. We’ve taken on similar questions in class, but this is more immediate: how can making connections between trending pop culture (like Game of Thrones — 8 million people watched the Season 5 premiere three weeks ago) aid discussion about climate change issues and themes?
If I teach this class again, I’ll find a way to include Game of Thrones and the larger discussion it’s provoking:
The parallels between the television drama and both the political and scientific discussions related to climate change are striking, said Manjana Milkoreit, a research fellow at Arizona State University. Milkoreit conducted an analysis of how the television show is being used by a handful of “scientists, science communicators and geeks” to break through the hard-to-explain science to engage Americans about the dangers of rising global temperatures.
At one point in my Year of the Flood review, which Ted shared in class, I mentioned the bizarre results which came up as climate change “humor.” I thought I would share some of the strangest results I saved here.
Okay, so these are all pretty awful, though some may be a little sarcastic (gotta love the Jesus tears shirt). I’m not sure whether to laugh or cry overall. On the other hand, here’s my favorite result to prove that not all of the results were bad, just most:
Has anyone heard about this? This guy is pretty hardcore. Definitely an event that I would like to keep tabs on.
I was just prancing about Google and I figured I’d do a little more research on how cli-fi is portrayed in the movies and if it’s really having any impact on people. I found this great article written by the New York Times that explains why they think global warming dramas can sometimes be misleading.
Also on this page are links to other related articles also written by the New York Times that are there for you to click on. The one that interested me the most is titled, “Will Fiction Influence How We React to Climate Change?”, written in July of last year. But again, there are a million different articles you can read that have links on either of those pages if you don’t dig the one I suggested so much.
I’ll see you guys tonight!!
OH, and HAPPY EARTH DAY!
Interesting article I came across that discusses the messages the public are exposed to via the media and popular culture. There is a small mention of Snowpiercer.