Planet Climatewood

By Keith Kloor | February 28, 2011 12:32 pm

Can Hollywood save the planet from global warming? The LA Times reports that Ban Ki-moon, the United Nations Secretary General, made his sales pitch last week at a UN outreach event:

“I need your support,” he told entertainment industry insiders during a daylong forum Tuesday that focused on recent heat waves, floods, fires and drought, which scientists link to human-induced climate change.

Despite the lack of lack of nuance in that “link” (disaster movies aren’t known for their nuance), industry execs and players featured in the article sounded doubtful they could make much of a difference.

CATEGORIZED UNDER: climate change
  • Sashka

    Responsible and honest scientists would tell you that no individual weather event can be linked to climate change. The notion that the weather is getting more extreme is statistically very weak. Any connection it climate change is currently devoid of any scientific basis.
    I really don’t know what the Hollywood could do. Another “Day After Tomorrow?”. I believe as a piece of propaganda this was counterproductive. Something more realistic (and nuanced) could work but I don’t know how to make it entertaining. Perhaps, an epic story of life of multiple generations on an island that gradually goes under water? Watching such a film won’t be my idea of spending a Saturday afternoon with children.
     

  • Tom Fuller

    Movie studios have been pressed into service on behalf of government initiatives in the past, notably during war. Didn’t result in many memorable movies, sadly.

    I’m sure skeptics will call this the next coming of ‘Triumph of the Will’ while consensus advocates will cast it as ‘Born Free’ or ‘Free Willy.’ It’s neither, really.

    Films like ‘The Road’ and ‘The Book of Eli’ recently, and ‘Waterworld’ and ‘The Day After Tomorrow’ either explicitly or implicitly draw apocalyptic scenarios from extending environmental trends towards disaster. It hasn’t changed people’s votes, and probably not their opinions, either. That ABC TV show last year sort of disappeared without a trace.

    If Ban Ki Moon wants to make an impact, he should be subtler in his approach. Much the way smoking has almost disappeared from Hollywood movies, green solutions could become the new product placement, with the Fast and the Furious being run with Teslas and the next cliffhanger turned into dangling from a wind turbine. Bad economic behaviour could be elided into part of a character study while green virtue associated with heroes.

    Green shouldn’t be the theme–it should be part of the scenery. Until the remake of Easy Rider, at least.

  • Marlowe Johnson

    “Green shouldn’t be the theme”“it should be part of the scenery”

    careful Tom.  keep talking like this and people might start paying attention to what you write :)

  • Tom Fuller

    You’re just realizing now what my adoring fans have known for ages ;)

  • Bill

     “On the Beach”, “Farenheit 451″, “Graphs of Wrath”, “A Hard Rain’s a Gonna Fall”.

     There’s a few ideas for titles

  • Stu

    “The Endless Summer”, “March of the Thermometers”, “Twister (2)”, or probably the best one…

    http://www.funnyordie.com/videos/48c27b503a/none-like-it-hot-from-poundsmack

     

  • Bill

     Agree. “None like it Hot” is the best yet!

  • http://hro001.wordpress.com Hilary Ostrov

    I really like “Graphs of Wrath”, Bill … but let’s not forget “Apocalypse Now (or at least faster/sooner than we thought)”. 

    OTOH, consider the fact that Moon’s interest in climate change has, according to recent reports, officially waned in favour of who-knows-what …. perhaps the “biodiversity crisis” which according to some “may be an even bigger threat to us than the climate crisis”.  

    Then again, perhaps Moon is, uh, moonlighting as an agent who is angling for the “transubstantiation” of Pachauri’s novel purple prose into an Oscar-winning silver-screen script ;-)

  • http://hro001.wordpress.com Hilary Ostrov

    Two links lands me in moderation?!  What have I done to deserve this, Keith?!

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Collide-a-Scape is a wide-ranging blog forum that explores issues at the nexus of science, culture and society.

About Keith Kloor

Keith Kloor is a NYC-based journalist, and an adjunct professor of journalism at New York University. His work has appeared in Slate, Science, Discover, and the Washington Post magazine, among other outlets. From 2000 to 2008, he was a senior editor at Audubon Magazine. In 2008-2009, he was a Fellow at the University of Colorado’s Center for Environmental Journalism, in Boulder, where he studied how a changing environment (including climate change) influenced prehistoric societies in the U.S. Southwest. He covers a wide range of topics, from conservation biology and biotechnology to urban planning and archaeology.

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