Film review: Extreme Realities (2014)



Extreme Realities investigates how weather patterns are changing rapidly and how climate change is causing it. It also effectively links these issues to other problems such as food security, oil supply and national security, demonstrating why action must be taken.

The filmmakers argue that extreme weather events, from droughts and floods to heatwaves and hurricanes, are occurring more frequently, meaning that what used to be a 1 in 100 year event will soon occur every decade. As a result, they state the world must adapt and prepare for a new normal.

Interviewees are used throughout the documentary to offer different perspectives and insights, including representatives from the World Bank, Greenpeace, Oxfam and the New York Times, as well as scholars and scientists.

One of the interesting points the film makes is that everything is connected and that extreme weather events in one area of the world can have implications elsewhere. For instance, drought could affect crops in one region, but, because we often export food, other countries will feel the impact.

The effects of climate change could also lead to an increase in conflict, as countries are already trying to stake a claim on the Arctic in a bid to obtain the oil that is underneath the rapidly melting ice. This has the potential to lead to conflict in the future.

Paul O’Brien, of Oxfam, explains, “Climate change, erratic weather, pushes people over the edge. It goes very quickly from being a local economic problem to being a local political problem.  And when it becomes a local political problem it becomes a global security problem.”

Despite the stark warning in Extreme Realities, it does offer solutions and calls on individuals, communities, industries and governments to work together.

Photo: marnanel via Flickr


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