Apocalypse now? How films offer a false sense of security about climate change

Nothing is wrapped up in 90 thrilling minutes. We’re now into the third act in the real world and it may not end well.

A forest fire in Evia, Greece, on Aug 8, 2021. If our own apocalypse is a three-act film, then the last 200 years of environmental harms have been the set-up, the exposition. PHOTO: AFP
New: Gift this subscriber-only story to your friends and family

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's (IPCC) sobering "code red for humanity" report comes on the heels of months of devastating weather events around the world. Our front pages have been dominated by photos that look as if they've come from a film - images of heroic teams tackling forest fires against a bright orange sky, of planes dropping water and fire retardant, cars sinking into flooded streets and destroyed buildings.

One image - that of a ferry, carrying evacuees from the Greek island of Evia, surrounded by fire, helpless and in the middle of crisis - drew comparisons to the ferry scenes in the 2005 remake of War Of The Worlds. In the film, people poured onto a vehicle ferry in a desperate attempt to escape the extraterrestrial invasion.

Please or to continue reading the full article.

Get unlimited access to all stories at $0.99/month

  • Latest headlines and exclusive stories
  • In-depth analyses and award-winning multimedia content
  • Get access to all with our no-contract promotional package at only $0.99/month for the first 3 months*

*Terms and conditions apply.

Find out more about climate change and how it could affect you on the ST microsite here.