Prompt: “What is your favorite movie with an environmental message? Why? Do you think films that show what you value and do not want harmed (such as beautiful sunsets at the beach or healthy children playing at a park) or document a problem (such as people walking through apocalyptic floods or dirty water coming out of someone’s faucet) or portray a fictional time and place motivate people more? Why?”
When I was in tenth grade, I watched the ABC program Earth 2100, which attempted to predict the events of the next century based on our current [something] climate change, energy use, and treatment of natural resources. I wouldn’t necessarily call it my favorite environmental movie, but it is definitely the one that has had the biggest impact on me. It was terrifying to see that level of death and carnage laid out in a way that seemed entirely plausible, especially since they relied on an array of experts to make fact-based, logical predictions about the course of history. It gave me the impression of a dystopian future that was quickly approaching and nearly unstoppable, and I felt an overwhelming and slightly panicky sense of urgency by the end.
The advantage of depicting this hypothetical future was that the filmmakers had the ability to portray problems of a nature and dimension that have never been scene in modern times. Because it was a combination of the fantastically unprecedented and disconcertingly plausible, I think the film had a much greater emotional impact and motivated me more than it would have otherwise. Additionally, it not only showed what the world might look like if humans continue to ignore environmental disasters and global warming, but also took the audience through each failure and missed opportunity for action along the way, which made the subsequent destruction and loss of life far more devastating to experience.
Bednar, R., Bicks, M., Avellino, R., Hirsch, L., Hanan, M., Neufel, J., Thomas, A., … MPI Home Video (Firm). (2009). Earth 2100. Orland Park, Ill.: MPI Home Video.
Cox, Robert, and Phaedra C. Pezullo. “Chapter 4 The Environment in/of Visual and Popular Culture.” Environmental Communication and the Public Sphere. Los Angeles: SAGE, 2016. Print.