Driver's EDitorial #09: Ease up on the Environmental Movies!
by: Brad Sturdivant
Our Driver’s EDitorial is a weekly column designed to express our opinion on something going on in Hollywood today. Sometimes we whine and complain about something we wish was different, other times we heap praise on the system for getting it right.
I’m not an environmentalist, but my family and I definitely try to reduce our carbon footprint as much as we can. We drive a hybrid, we recycle, we try to use “environmentally friendly” products and basically do what we can in our everyday lives to minimize our impact on the earth. We received the message loud and clear; the environment is deteriorating and if we don’t do something about it, we’re all going to die.
I’m appreciative of Al Gore and his INCONVENIENT TRUTH. I can honestly say that it inspired me to look at what I was doing in a new light and to analyze the way I was living. After that, we made some changes and I’d like to think we’ve made a difference. But in typical Hollywood fashion, Truth inspired several copycat movies that have taken the basic problem of “we’re killing our environment” and jammed it down our throat in relentless fashion. Movies like HOME, ARCTIC TALE, and THE 11TH HOUR are doing more harm than good at this point. People are starting to become numb to the idea. It’s not shocking and disturbing anymore, it’s frustrating and annoying.
So what happens when you go from shocking people to annoying them? People stop caring. When people stop caring, they stop trying. How about, instead of yet another movie where some aging actor tells us we’re killing the environment and everything we do is killing people, Hollywood makes a movie telling us the difference we’ve made over the past few years. Give us something positive, even if it is small. Then, after you tell us the problem and tell us how good we’ve done, you tell us what we can do to make it even better. This is called positive reinforcement and it’s used on little kids and dogs, but it works very well with the public masses as well. We’re sick of hearing about how horrible we are and how little polar bears are dying because we bleach our white socks.
Also, instead of pouring money into propaganda films that most people will never see, I’d like to see the Hollywood environmentalists take charge and actually do something about the environment other than bitching about it. Why don’t people like Clooney, Pitt, Cruise, DiCaprio, Hanks and other A-listers form a company to research alternative fuels? Because as much as I love that they drive $700k electric cars, it infuriates me that they fly around in $6 million jets, burning countless gallons of avgas. I understand that people have to live their life, but if you’re going to tell me to save the environment, you better be leading the charge by example.
Of course, if you don’t like environmentally themed movies, you don’t have to watch them. But the thing is; I do like them. I really love watching educational films with beautiful scenery and shots. But we can’t make it through 20 minutes of an environmental film without being told we’re evil, earth-killing people. Hollywood needs to understand that there are a lot of people out there that are trying to make the earth a cleaner place and with a little encouragement, there would be a lot more of us.