Monday, July 05, 2004

The Year After Next?

L and I went to see The Day After Tomorrow on Saturday afternoon. If you haven't seen it yet then I suggest you do before it leaves the big screen. Some of the effects are very good but would lose a lot of their impact if viewed on your average widescreen telly.

I really enjoyed it, not because of the special effects or the storylines of the characters in it, but because of the simplicity of the theme and the message that goes along with it. Quite simply, if we do not act now we could face catastrophic climate change.

The film depicts a worst-case scenario, where the shift is so sudden that most of the northern hemisphere is covered by ice within a couple of weeks. Critics have pointed this out and talked about scaremongering and in doing so seem to have completely missed the point. Anything less dramatic would not make people think any differently about the possible effects of climate change.

We need to start believing that change of this sort of magnitude is possible, even likely, if we continue to abuse the environment as we do now. It may not happen anywhere near as quickly as in the film (it wouldn't have been so dramatic if it had happened over a couple of years) but the key point is that once it starts to change, there would be very little we could do to stop and the civilised world would change beyond recognition.

It is possible that it is already too late for us to do anything about it but if we don't try to change our treatment of the environment, on both large and small scales, and waste whatever chance we may have then we will only have ourselves to blame.

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