From zombies to tsunamis, humans have battled cruel, inhuman, uncaring forces on cinema screens around the world. Apocalypse movies imagine how quickly the fabric of society would unravel should something utterly unprecedented occur. And while no two pop culture apocalypses are alike, many contain the same ingredients: blood, civil unrest, and decaying moral fiber.
But while zombie movies are exercises in imagination, eco-apocalypse films get at a reality that’s all too possible. In fact, the effects of climate change sound much like the symptoms of the apocalypse. Rising sea levels. Escalating temperatures. Expensive summer houses washed away by waves.
If you’re a masochist like me, you’ll watch these movies with a grim sense of foreboding. Consider us Cassandras, watching the world fall apart in movies before it falls apart on the news. As climate change’s effects become more palpable, CNN might start to resemble a movie.
Let’s hope we can get our act together before The Day After Tomorrow becomes our actual tomorrow.