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An Inconvenient Truth vs The Day After Tomorrow

Yr 12 English (T) Comparative Texts

Miki de Smet

on 5 November 2014

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Transcript of An Inconvenient Truth vs The Day After Tomorrow

An Inconvenient Truth vs.
The Day After Tomorrow

By Mikayla deSmet
The End
The Day After Tomorrow (2004)
Roland Emmerich: disaster movie
Storyline- The North Atlantic Thermohaline Circulation system shuts down triggering extreme weather events worldwide (A new ice age)
Purpose was to provide entertainment
One of the most commercially successful movies, grossing nearly half a billion dollars in just over a month
Questionable Science
The film has of course met some criticism, many have argued that there is little science in the movie for audiences to learn about. Here is just a few of the science-related information, either valid or misleading from the film:
Global warming may disrupt ocean currents, leading to global cooling (TRUE)

Penicillin is used to treat infection (TRUE)

Scientists drill in the Arctic in order to obtain ice cores that offer information about climate change (TRUE)

Scientists use advanced super-computer generated models to predict future climate change (TRUE)

Climate change could lead to cataclysmic storms that would blanket the Northern Hemisphere in ice within a matter of days, and deep freeze almost instantaneously buildings, helicopters and people (NOT TRUE)

Burning a lot of library books in a large fireplace could generate enough heat to protect humans sitting in close proximity to the fire against the instant freezing effects of a cataclysmic storm (PROBABLY NOT TRUE)
Surveying the Impact: The Day After Tomorrow
Predictions were made on how people would react to the film
Proposed two extremes:
ONE: People will recognize how over-the-top the science is and as a result will dismiss the issue of climate change all together OR
TWO: Audiences would take the film too literal and it would cause a panic (which is a little far-fetched, I don't believe a blockbuster film has that sort of capability)
10 year on- can rule out the second extreme
Results of article:
Only 1% of viewers said they were less worried about climate change after watching the film
42% said they film hadn't change their opinion on climate change
Majority of the viewers did say the film made them more worried about climate change
Also concluded that viewers rated the chance of the United States being affected by global warming as more likely
There is a difference between accepting that an issue is there and truly believing it could affect you
Contemporary Political Themes
Protagonist Jack (scientist) has great difficultly communicating with the government, particularly with the VP
VP: Skeptic but also very concerned with the economy
This is a frustration felt by real scientists
Messages and warnings about climate change are not communicated as effectively as they should be
Politics plays a role in this especially when it comes to the economy
An Inconvenient Truth (2006)
The documentary features former U.S Vice President Al Gore
It blends information about Gore's life and career with his presentation which he has delivered to more than 1,000 audiences
PURPOSE: Convince the public that global climate change is real & dangerous
Film received a lot of attention and praise worldwide, the movie was criticized by doubters of global warming, who claimed the documentary was inaccurate
Scientists have defended the film as essentially accurate
"The small errors don't detract from Gore's main point, which is that we in the United States have the technological and institutional ability to have a significant impact on the future trajectory of climate change"
(Eric Steig)
There is a bigger picture explored in this piece
Audience: Mainly the US
Purpose was to communicate the message that global warming is no longer just a political issue but rather, the biggest moral challenge facing our civilization
List of developments that occurred after the films release:
Over 15 climate change bills have been introduced in Congress
Five countries- England, Scotland, Czech Republic, New Zealand and Germany incorporated An Inconvenient Truth into their secondary school curriculum
Change public perception, 33% of people surveyed before the film's release believed global warming is real versus 85% after the film's release
It was a successful documentary and it is believed that the film combined with the live presentation, Gore has reached over a billion people, which is an incredible audience size!
Documentary VS Disaster Movie
Global climate change is real & dangerous VS a 'popcorn' film

Consequences of abusing Mother Nature
Frustration felt by scientist trying to communicate the message of climate change (particularly to politicians)
Link between climate change and the economy

Criticism & Success:
Gore was criticized because one of the famous shots of supposed Antarctic ice shelves in the film was actually computer generated image from the movie the Day After Tomorrow!
21st Century- technological advancements, scientific discoveries, multimedia platforms. Both films were released in America (2004 & 2006) and in 2005 the US was hit with the deadliest and most destructive hurricanes of the '05 season- Katrina. Over 1800 people died making it the deadliest since 1928 and total damage was estimated at $108 billion
These films were affective in influencing public attitudes. People reacted! A reaction is evidence that someone has an attitude towards to the film or issues explored in the film. It is attitude that influences behaviours which is ultimately why these texts are significant
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