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A man takes care of an oasis in the middle of a harsh, toxic land.

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Credited cast:
Howard Whalen ...
The Man
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Leah Rochelle ...
Woman at phone booth
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A man takes care of an oasis in the middle of a harsh, toxic land.

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Short | Sci-Fi

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11 November 1970 (USA)  »

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$140,000 (estimated)
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Universal Studios held the script for Ark for six weeks and then passed on it. One year later they released the film "Silent Running" starring Bruse Dern, which was essential the same story. See more »

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Powerful, But Inappropriate for Grade School
26 September 2017 | by See all my reviews

I remember watching this movie in second grade, back in 1975. The message resonated and it left an impression on me about how the earth, as we were living, was going to become a hellish wasteland. I still recall people outside the phone booth rapping at the glass to get a breath of cleaner air.

Fast forward to engineering school, where I learn about The Ehrlich-Simon Wager. To summarize, Paul Ehrlich, the author of 'The Population Bomb' written in 1968, lost, and lost decisively, to the economist Julian Simon. Simon wagered that humanity, despite putting strains on the environment, finds innovative ways to overcome challenges (be they environmental, economical, or social), as long as we don't over-tax or over-subsidize scarce resources which have alternative uses.

Fast forward to the 'Peak Oil' scare, where scientists calculated that oil production would peak in the 2000s and would diminish from there, driving prices higher and radically transforming our economies....

Didn't happen.

Innovation again came up with new ways of drilling for these resources. They are finite, but they will not run out in my lifetime.

Fast forward to today. I look back on The Arc as a film that, while it can be shown in Jr High, along with some context, I find inappropriate to show to young, highly impressionable grade school kiddies.

Earth has not become a hellish place, at least not to those who live in developed countries. Not because of environmental activism, but through more efficient use of scarce resources. I would say that the closest thing on earth to a living hell would be those countries who live under socialism/communism.

To those who would answer that our climate is going to warm considerably with the geometric release of CO2 into our atmosphere, I would just remind you that it's easy to grab money and attention by fear-mongering. But I love science too much to see it politicized as it is, and that someday cooler heads will prevail and we will come to a gradual understanding that increased CO2 will warm the planet a bit, but not to the extent that subsidized scientists say it will, and that innovations in solar power will disrupt the energy industry in ways that we cannot (yet) envision, but that we need to have cheap energy to propel people out of poverty.

And that's why, looking back on this movie, it seems so dated. If you feel we should show it to children, then I ask you if it is fine to show 'Scared Straight' to the same kids? Both are driven by religious fanaticism.


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