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After the Warming 

Using "virtual reality" computer simulations, social journalist James Burke traces the Earth's history of ice ages and warming trends, and presents several possible scenarios caused by the ... See full summary »


James Burke




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James Burke James Burke ...  Himself -Presenter


Using "virtual reality" computer simulations, social journalist James Burke traces the Earth's history of ice ages and warming trends, and presents several possible scenarios caused by the greenhouse effect during the 1990s to 2050. The video release consists of two videos, "The Fatal Flower" and "Secret of the Deep." Written by Fiona Kelleghan <fkelleghan@aol.com>

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An interesting look at a possible future.
30 April 2013 | by BlueghostSee all my reviews

James Burke is nobody's fool, and does his best in this 1989 production to project a possible scenario where climatic change, energy and resource management goes in the usual human directions, and how the two collide and culminate in world wide environmental situations that pit the countries of the world against one another, but also force them to create alliances and force other nations to capitulate in order to save the world from itself.

Even so, and again this program was made with a late 80's perspective, there are a few more variables than I think mister Burke accounts for. He understands climate change very well, and shows us how climates alter local environments, but I'm not sure that his projected scenario is all that practical. Because for all of the scientific breakthroughs and revamping of energy and resource management, his solution on how to get countries to capitulate is somewhat Pollyannish.

I won't reveal specifics, but how do you enforce global litigation, particularly when some of the participants are at political odds with how you run your country? All wars are fought over natural resources. Whether it's two tribes or collections of cavemen fighting over a kill or watering hole, or the U.S. military leading a coalition to oust Saddam Hussein from Kuwait to keep the oil supply flowing. There are no exceptions. And if you're a country that's doing well in spite of the global catastrophe going all around you, and you have the will and military might to maintain your independence from the rest of the world, then why on Earth would you do anything the United Nations asks you to?

But that's always the problem of futurists and TV programs dedicated to projecting the future. Whether it's a feature film like "2001 One Space Odyssey" or a book text book or book written for masses telling about wondrous things that may happen with scientific achievement, they run into the trap that they might be wrong.

James Burke warns us about how the mechanisms in the naturally occurring climate model can only handle so much of man's activities, and how those activities, activities we, in theory, ostensibly control, will change the environment in which we live. The obvious conclusion is that we are the masters of our own destiny. This is assuming nearly all, or a good significant portion, of what James Burke, or whatever author in question, is correct.

Whether you believe him or not, whether you agree with the conclusions of the hard data on climate change or not, Burke's views are always highly entertaining and informative. Shot on video and using a split screen process to segue from an artificial future surrounding to live action shot on location, this series lends itself to science fiction. It's up to the viewer to decide how much science and how much fiction is in this piece.

Either way it is a snapshot on how a significant portion of the scientific community back in the 1980s viewed a possible future if their data and conclusions from that data was correct. My personal view? Well, I've had it brow beaten into me that during the age of the dinosaurs the Earth was predominantly warm the world over, and that that climate lasted for hundreds of millions of years--entire epochs of jungle or hot forest like conditions the world over. If that's the case, then how is it we're worrying about a climate that would appear to be going back to normal? But then I don't know anymore than your average layperson whose read a few books.

Give it a shot. It's dated, it might raise a grin because of it, but I think the program still holds up.


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