Day after day, studies and findings arise that proclaim that the stakes for our planet’s environment are growing increasingly severe, with peril around the corner, if action isn’t taken soon. With issues such as rising temperatures, flooding oceans and uncontrolled deforestation afoot, there is a clear problem that has to be solved. Given the weight of the issue, one has to wonder if the dilemma is being addressed not only by the scientific community but also by Hollywood itself.
Indeed, there has been growing criticism that the entertainment industry is not doing its part to properly address the troubles of climate change. Alan Horn, the chairman of Walt Disney Studios, voiced dissatisfaction with the silence on the situation.
“I have often wondered what will be the incremental climate event that causes people to say, ‘OK, the validity of the science is clear,’” said Horn. Horn is also the chairman of the Natural Resources Defense Council, which is one of the most notable environmental advocacy groups in the world.
With all of the discourse related to the need to address climate change, the question arises as to whether Hollywood has always stayed quiet, or has admitted to grave reality. If Captain Planet and An Inconvenient Truth have the ability to articulate an opinion, then the answer is a reassuring “yes”, that Hollywood indeed has spoken out.
Captain Planet and the Planeteers is an American cartoon series that ran from 1990 to 1992. Created by Ted Turner and Barbara Pyle, the show was created as a form of edutainment, a combination of the words “education” and “entertainment”. The series intended to address issues related to environmentalism, encouraging viewers to be part of the “solution” to the problem, rather than be part of the “pollution”.
After the original series concluded, a new series, entitled The New Adventures of Captain Planet, aired from 1993 to 1996.
An Inconvenient Truth
An Inconvenient Truth is an American documentary film. It was released in 2006 and stars former Vice President Al Gore, who also wrote the film. In the film, Gore presents a slide show of information to the audience, in which he addresses the need for solutions to be proposed regarding the dangerous environmental situation. He additionally uses anecdotes, scientific studies and even a clip from the Futurama episode “Crimes of the Hot” to emphasize his point.
The film was well-received by critics and ended up winning two Oscars for Best Documentary Feature and Best Original Song for “I Need to Wake Up”.
Although Hollywood has not remained entirely silent on the issue of climate change, there is still far more work to be done. Even if Captain Planet and An Inconvenient Truth had good intentions and raised awareness on the issue in their respective times, the battle against climate change cannot be fought for merely a day. It requires continued spreading of awareness and information, so for there to be a future with an environmentally sustainable world, more projects will have to directly speak out about the issue. If everyone in Hollywood does their part and creates films and tv shows that say “no” to climate change, the issue will hopefully remain strictly in the past.