If you saw a road sign warning you extreme weather would begin if you kept driving, what would you do?
Our auto use and industrial activity contribute to global warming. Global warming changes rainfall and snowfall patterns. Flooding and heavy rain impact communities and farms directly. But, in the news, global warming is rarely a personal story.
Science students at University of Massachusetts-Lowell dramatized the cold facts of global warming in a course this spring. On May 9, they presented their short films at a free festival called “A Look to the Future.” The festival was at Boott Mills Event Center and was standing room-only.
The film Mr. Mayhem stars a middle-aged businessman driving an SUV. Listening to the song “Party in the USA,” he ignores road signs about global warming and crashes into a tree. After he climbs out of the wreck, he tells the audience not to make the mistake he made.
In the film Inheritance, a four year-old boy’s parents toss him an earth-shaped ball. The boy sees the ball is covered with mud, is disgusted, and tells them to “fix it.”
Mystery Man and Monster in the Closet create bogeymen to represent global warming. The first one looks like a character from the James Bond series; the second looks as if he stepped out of the children’s story Where the Wild Things Are.
In real life, of course, global warming is not as sudden as a car crash. Nor is it a bad guy with a recognizable face. Maybe if global warming had a sign that was as clear as the one below, we’d pay more attention to it than we do now.
For more information about this event, you can visit the UMass-Lowell Climate Change Initiative website.