Say, Can Hollywood Save Us From “Climate Catastrophe”?

In other words, are we set for more preachy movies about Hotcoldwetdry?

Can Hollywood save us from climate catastrophe?

By taking on the link between football and brain injuries, the recently released movie“Concussion” reminds us of the potential for Hollywood to shape attitudes and beliefs about controversial topics through entertainment.

The film has put America’s most popular sport under a microscope and sparked a dialogue about children participating in contact sports and the role of the National Football League in preventing injuries to its players.

Would this be the movie that bombed? And made even less money this past weekend. And isn’t even being mentioned at major sports sites like Fox Sports, CBS Sports, Sports Illustrated, and ESPN, among others. While an important issue, no one is talking about it. So, I’m not sure if this is the best example.

Certainly, there is the potential for a similar movie to be made about climate change — one that builds on “An Inconvenient Truth” and speaks to a new generation.

Let’s hope so, because it’s amusing when Hollywood makes a preachy movie and it tanks. People do not want preachy at the movies: they want to be entertained.

Some from the scientific community argue that interjecting Hollywood into the climate debate may be a bad thing, as it could further blur the lines between fact and fiction, especially with a public that remains skeptical of science.

But, with a public that holds views on climate change that largely align with political affiliation, Hollywood might offer a rare opportunity to cut across these lines with a message that is both entertaining and eye-opening. Indeed, there is already evidence that movies such as “The Day After Tomorrow” can change consumer attitudes and beliefs about climate change.

Funny part is, The Day After Tomorrow is more about a coming ice age than “global warming”.

As scientists learn more about the potential impacts of climate change, more stories are emerging that easily could be spun to read like nightmarish sci-fi movies. Here are a few examples:

  • Ancient bacteria brought back to life as glacier ice melts cause pandemic
  • Global food stocks collapse from widespread drought, ocean acidification that dissolves shellfish and the spread of neurotoxins in fish, unraveling social order and leading to war, or worse, nuclear confrontation
  • Rising temperatures shut down photosynthesis by phytoplankton, the source of most breathable oxygen on earth, suffocating all life

They would bomb. And bomb badly. The old 50’s monster movies did well because there was concern, legitimate, real concern, over a real issue: nuclear weapons. They were new, and scary, and movie makers used them to great effect to create monsters, such as Godzilla and giant tarantulas, to entertain without preaching.

Hey, I have a great idea: perhaps the Cult of Climastrology could produce rock solid evidence, based on the Scientific Model, that proves that mankind’s release of CO2 is mostly/solely responsible for climatic changes.

Crossed at Pirate’s Cove. Follow me on Twitter @WilliamTeach.

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