Weather Gone Wild 2014
Distributed by Bullfrog Films, PO Box 149, Oley, PA 19547; 800-543-FROG (3764)
Produced by Sue Ridout for Dreamfilm Productions Ltd.
Directed by Melanie Wood
DVD, color, 88 min.
Middle School - General Adult
Global Warming, Weather
Date Entered: 11/05/2015Reviewed by Cliff Glaviano, formerly with Bowling Green State University Libraries, Bowling Green, OH
The rise in global temperature has increased the unpredictability of long range weather forecasting. Scientists can predict that sea levels will rise and ocean temperatures will increase, giving rise to changing weather patterns, including droughts, severe storms and floods. Unprecedented flooding occurred in Alberta and 99% of flooded homes in Toronto in a 2013 storm were not in predictable flood areas. Rising ocean levels in New York and Miami added to the impact and destruction of Hurricane Sandy on residences in Staten Island and on flooding in Miami Beach. Elsewhere, droughts and fires in western U.S. have led to catastrophic losses in agriculture, in personal property and have severely impacted the tourist industry. Weather gone wild indeed!
The viewer is shown the effects of the storms and droughts with an excellent selection of archival footage combined with on location views of reconstruction and reclamation efforts. The aim of much of the discussion in this documentary is to navigate paths to a safer future through better building codes, adapting to drought resistant farm crops, erecting protective shore and flood barriers, possibly to overhauling the insurance industry. Planning to avert or lessen the impact of future storm and drought losses will be expensive. Educating those who will be impacted by future wild weather events will need to be innovative to be effective and change present day mindsets.
Weather Gone Wild is highly recommended for giving the viewer an excellent overview of the weather extremes we have been experiencing in recent years and will likely continue to experience. The solid reporting in the documentary makes it difficult to deny that global warming is not having an adverse effect on the weather and points up the need to provide resources and planning for future habitations along the ocean shore and in drought zones. The film also presents scenarios for crop change from winter wheat to corn and soybeans in Alberta and explores the dynamics of the protective machinery and dike system that keeps the Netherlands from reverting to the sea. It’s interesting that the allocation of resources in the Netherlands, where 20% of the land and 50% of the population are below sea level, keeps the land and the Dutch safe from rising waters and increasingly dangerous storms.