The film tells the story of a great student who discovers a comet heading for earth.
Despite talking to the right people, nothing useful is done. Like the climate change, many people in the film delay any fight about doing something about it.
Climate change is an existential threat, yet despite over the last 50 years it going from something that only one or two people believed to widely known – we still haven’t done anything significant about it.
Why is that? Why when faced with something that is likely to kill large numbers of our descendants and make life very difficult for the remaining survivors, do we have no interest in doing something about it? Is it truly down to the greed of a few people? Electric cars nearly won out over gas cars, over a century ago. Were it not the market forces, they would have also taken off several decades ago.
In almost every aspect of human life, global warming is a threat and there are solutions – yet more often than not we are doing nothing about it simply because other people are making money.
It is as foolish to hear that climate change is happening, as it is to hear that an asteroid is heading for earth, be in a position to do something about it, but delay action -even worse because people believe they can make money from it.
In the film a businessman has the ear of the president, what it to find out what happens, but surfice to say the analogy to businesses continuing to get every penny despite their actions damning the planet is, to me, rather to firmly on the nose.
Will people continue to deny climate change for ever? Right now, it is only reasonable to deny were changing the climate if you want no news at all. Now we have an American president that doesn’t deny the facts of climate change, perhaps the world can start moving together – we shall see. The one a advantage to the film, is that we can still act – the sooner we change as a species, the more of the impact we can avoid.
So what did I think of the film? I thought it was good. There are a number of moments where the obvious outcome did not happen – quite jarring, but then this is the films point. The obvious reaction to the unescapable news that we are heating the planet, is to try to stop doing so – yet through a large dollop of apathy, politicians only interested in doing things that will see results while they are in office and vested interests we have barely started to address climate change. Arrhenius presented a first expression of the theory of global warming in 1896 and Callendar showed actual warming in 1938. During the summer of 1988 (I was 4) during an extremely hot summer a group of outspoken scientists managed to make enough noise to alert the majority of scientists aware.
What does this graph show? Well it shows the carbon emissions of the human race over time. What is alarming, is that 50% of emissions have been emitted in the last 30 years – in other words since the general public was aware of the danger of climate change.
There are 2 inescapable conclusions. First, our parents generation failed to listen and take action, and second that urgent action must now occur. This must be dramatic, government led and effective. We need to cut our emissions by almost 80% if we are to meet our targets (and 50% by 2035). Unfortunately the target was worked out in a scientific way, so this target can only be blown past at our peril.
Much of the easy gains have been made. Now we either need businesses to totally change how they work, or individuals up and down the country must stop dealing with any business which fails to take the necessary action.