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View Full Version : Bad science movies raise awareness of real-life environmental issues?



Inferno
2006-Jun-07, 03:27 AM
The below article got me thinking - Are bad science movies, such as The Day After Tomorrow, acceptable if they raise people's awareness of science and environmental issues?


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From The Australian newspaper
http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/story/0,20867,19387195-16947,00.html


June 07, 2006

NATURAL disasters have long made for spectacular cinematic storylines, but film-makers and audiences are increasingly aware of the blurring of science fact and science fiction.

As scientists come to a greater understanding of freak forces in nature, be they hurricanes, earthquakes, bushfires or volcanoes, audiences, too, have become more savvy about the facts behind disaster movies.

Rest of article removed by moderator - please don't post entire articles as it's a copyright violation.

Weird Dave
2006-Jun-07, 11:22 AM
"...could have been completely scientifically wrong." :think: Only could have been?

I don't think this is helpful to environmental issues. For a start, it's crying wolf. The suggestions in the 70s that the world was cooling, perhaps towards a new ice age (some debate here (http://www.bautforum.com/showthread.php?t=41981)). Whether or not this was a serious concern among scientists, or just media hype and imagination, is a moot point. Many people remember it as "they said an ice age was coming, it didn't. Now they say global warming is coming, it won't." Which is a big problem if global warming is real. The same thing will happen when today's more apocalyptic predictions don't materialise, which is why all media should restrain their imaginations, stick to the facts and headline the most probable outcome, rather than the most extreme. That's not to say that apocalyptic eco-disaster movies should be banned. But they should come with a big Fiction Disclaimer.

Another problem is that Hollywood will only ever highlight big, dramatic, US-centered disasters. You'll never get a film about drought in sub-Saharan Africa, how ever many people die. This could seriously skew people's perceptions.

Swift
2006-Jun-07, 02:01 PM
An interesting question, and not just limited to environmental issues - one could have the same discussion about medicine, other sciences, or even social issues.

As a general rule I would say a little exaggeration or bending of the truth, either to make a point, or for dramatic effect, is ok. But it is a slippery slope.

ToSeek
2006-Jun-07, 02:24 PM
I'd rather see them get it right. As Swift says, if they want to bend just a little for dramatic purposes, I can tolerate it, but too often they're just making stuff up.

Gerrsun
2006-Jun-07, 05:23 PM
about bird flu that it COULD KILL MILLIONS! <Their emphasis>

Fear-monger much? :P

Wife and I have gotten to whenever we watch the news we holler, ."..AND IT COULD KILL MILLIONS!" to any random story.

"Tractor trailer overturns on I75, spills lumber across three lanes..." AND IT COULD KILL MILLIONS!"