Current State of Climate Change
“11th Hour” and “Antarctic Edge 70 Degrees South” are documentaries focusing on the aftermath of the use of fossil fuels for the past one and a half century. Industrialization has prompted the demand for fossil fuels to go up and in the process, increase the amount of carbon dioxide emitted into the atmosphere. This gas, in conjunction with others, have green gas properties that contribute to a rise in the atmospheric temperatures. The rise in atmospheric temperature has resulted in the warming of the oceans. This warming of the atmosphere has resulted in a shift in the weather patterns, commonly referred to as climate change. Climate change increases the incidence of floods and storms in the wet regions of the world while making the arid regions even drier. These changes are a threat to human existence, as demonstrated by the two documentaries.
“The 11th Hour” explains the state of the planet concerning the effects of global warming. Industrial civilization and modernization have led to mass production of goods sourced from within the globe (Higashino & Stefan, 2014). Mass production of waste materials has, therefore, become a commonality and the planet is choking on pollution. David Orr, one of the experts interviewed in this documentary, claims that the more the planet gets destroyed by human activities, the higher the likelihood of humanity and other species to get destroyed in the process.
According to this documentary, the planet is sick. This sickness has been caused by mass production, which has led to an increased demand for the fossil fuels. The problem with humanity is that it is only interested in the satiation of the needs of the present moment, without worrying about the future generations. Increased levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere are resulting in climate change and the persons that matter such as the world leaders do not appear concerned. Climate friendly initiatives have been left to organizations that wield little influence, while the corporations that run the energy sector in fossil fuels have the financial advantage over them. The reality of the situation is already taking effect in various parts of the world. Severe drought in some regions of Africa and Asia, Tornadoes, and Hurricanes in the American continent and increased frequency of flooding in various places across the globe. These tragedies pose a threat to human existence on this planet. The catastrophes caused by climate change can be considered as the most effective weapons of mass destruction. These tragedies take thousands of lives, while the pollution has seeped into the food chain and is slowing poisoning millions of people.
The documentary targets the current generation across all cultures to act and become involved in efforts to conserve the environment. “The problem is fundamentally a cultural problem” Thom Hartmann, one of the experts in the documentary, says. Emphasis is on eco-friendly projects in energy production and technology. The transition of energy sources from fossil fuel energy to green energy in the form of geothermal, wind and solar is getting increased support. It reminds all people that this is the critical moment when change is necessary regarding how humans treat the environment.
“Antarctic Edge 70 Degrees South” is a documentary that focuses on the observation of high rates of glacial melting that is taking place in the Antarctic (Krumhardt, Lovenduski, Long & Lindsay, 2017). Sea water levels are rising, causing disasters along the coastlines and island areas (“Global sea levels are rising due to global warming,” 2013). Scientists have been gathering information over time on the changes in the marine ecosystem caused by global warming, and the results are not good. The marine ecosystem is changing as it reacts to the pollution and climate change. The documentary exposes the audience to the reality of the effects of climate change.
The Antarctic ice sheet, for example, is highlighted as one that is melting at an alarming rate than previously thought (Krumhardt, Lovenduski, Long & Lindsay, 2017). Scientists endure harsh weather conditions to bring into focus the changes caused by global warming. Rising water levels are threatening the existence of some animal and plant species. Adelie Penguins are declining in numbers as their habitat diminishes owing to increased water levels. This documentary targets conservation groups, urging them to speed up their efforts to protect the environment and humanity from adverse effects from climate change. Marine ecosystems are significantly affected by the rise in global temperatures.
Films and documentaries that focus on climate change play a crucial role in educating the population and the real effects that humans will have to grapple with because of human neglect. These documentaries involve actual footages collected from various parts of the world to remind the human population that global warming is a collective responsibility for all of us. Governments and corporations should implement the necessary legislations and solutions proposed by stakeholders to contain the effects of global warming. These documentaries are useful in informing and warning communities about climate change. Some communities are making efforts to conserve the planets. They have embarked on recycling of waste products such as paper and plastics which are persistent pollutants. Several governments have enacted legislations that aim to reduce emissions and pollution. Authorities are emphasizing on the production of biodegradable materials and decreased the production of environmentally hazardous materials such as CFCs and plastics.
These documentaries are informative; they bring attention the real threats facing humanity because of human activities and selfish lifestyles. Human actions are endangering their very existence, and many are not aware of the impending danger to the environment. One thing that remains controversial is whether humanity is ready and willing to correct the damage that has been done to the planet. The situation, as at present, is overwhelming. The environment has been polluted so much that the repercussions are inevitable. Humanity will have to adapt to the changes to survive the new and harsh environment. Both documentaries are similar in that they bring to focus the state of the planet concerning global warming and the dangers facing life support on the globe both to humans and creatures.
Higashino, & Stefan, H. (2014). Hydro-climatic Change in Japan: Impacts of Global Warming and Urbanization. Air, Soil And Water Research, 19. (4) http://dx.doi.org/10.4137/aswr.s13632
Krumhardt, K., Lovenduski, N., Long, M., & Lindsay, K. (2017). Avoidable impacts of ocean warming on marine primary production: Insights from the CESM ensembles. Global Biogeochemical Cycles, 31(1), 114-133. http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/2016gb005528
Global sea levels are rising due to global warming. (2013). Physics Today. http://dx.doi.org/10.1063/pt.5.027179