Guest Expressed: “3 Films About the Horrors of Pollution (That Make it Look Pretty Cool)”

Today Chris Farnell makes a return with a post on how awesome pollution can make things. Ahem, according to some movies, that is. Enter Chris:

The horrors of global warming are a serious threat we need to do everything in our power to prevent. It is the job of film makers and entertainers to communicate that warning to the masses, so that everybody knows that we should all do our bit to protect the environment.

Unfortunately it doesn’t really work if, when you’re showing the terrors of the post apocalyptic wasteland, it looks a lot more fun than the one already around you. This why, when teaching people about the perils of not caring for the environment, you should probably avoid showing them:

3. Waterworld

To be fair, you shouldn’t show anyone Waterworld anyway, nobody has done anything to deserve that.

But the main problem with Waterworld is, well, the title. You see, Waterworld is set in a future where the icecaps have melted, drowning all the land and creating a world where dirt is as precious as gold.

The trouble is, if we completely melt the icecaps, just go up there with a hair dryer or flame thrower and just go to town on all that ice, you know how much the water levels would rise?

By about 68 meters.

Now 68 meters is a lot. Coastal cities would be completely destroyed, flood plains would just become big lakes, islands would completely disappear. A rise in sea level of 68 meters would catastrophic. But the amount of dry land left over would be this much:

License: Creative Commons (Image Source)

2. Mad Max

Mad Max is the reason why nearly every apocalypse ever committed to film or video game looks like the outback in Australia. Set in a world where the oil has run out and energy shortages have caused society to collapse, humanity’s only hope is Mel Gibson (but before we found out about all the crazy alcoholism and racism).

But, I’m just saying, for a film that’s about a world where the oil is running out, there are an awful lot of car chases and explosions.

Surely a realistic dystopian post-peak oil future would see mad men riding about on their souped-up battle bicycles, bike jousting in horrifying displays of grace and violence that continue until someone breaks a chain or has a wheel come off.

1. Wall-E

Wall-E is set in a future where our garbage and waste has made the planet uninhabitable. The planet is in such a terrible state that the only two living things on the planet are a  cockroach and a single plant (which, if you look closely, should probably be dead since it has no access to sunlight until Wall-E finds it).

Humanity meanwhile has fled the planet to go and live on a deluxe spaceship where our every need is met, constantly.

So where, exactly, is the downside for humanity? That we look fat? Who cares, so does everyone else! The health complications that are a problem for obese people now clearly aren’t an issue by then, as it’s made obvious we’ve evolved to cope with it.

And we don’t have to get fat- the ship has a pool, tennis courts, lots of space to run around. Quite frankly if you want to get exercise, you can get exercise. Really, everything goes fine until Wall-E comes along and starts an entire robot uprising, then takes everyone back to a polluted wasteland with ONE PLANT AND A COCKROACH and hopes that somehow they can completely rebuild civilisation using only what they’ve learned in Wikipedia.

The problem here isn’t that we don’t have enough offshore wind farms, it’s that, looked at rationally, life is way better aboard the space station.

So thanks a bunch Wall-E, you dick.

Chris Farnell is a freelance writer, which is a skill he’s sure will be valuable come the collapse of civilisation.