Science historian James Burke, the brilliantly engaging presenter of systems thinking show Connections, produced this forerunner to An Inconvenient Truth back in 01989; After the Warming.
It takes the form of a documentary "from the future" (set in 02050) and despite its age may well strike a viewer in 02008 as oddly ahead of its time -- and not for the obvious reason. That is, while the ostensibly futuristic wrapping may not have aged too well, the contents have really come into their own.
I won't say much about it here, except (a) even at 1 hour 47 minutes in length, it's well worth watching; (b) the "retrospective" format of setting a nonfiction program decades into the future is a rare and interesting one; and (c) the top Google hit for "After the Warning" is a 01997 review excoriating the show.
The review comes from The Energy Advocate, a newsletter self-published by retired physics professor Howard Hayden (listed at DeSmogBlog as a climate change "denier"). No further comment, just take a look.
Says Hayden's review, in part:
[Burke] brings us a blatant propaganda piece, After the Warming, where he decides to explain how mankind is ruining the earth through the greenhouse effect. This show on The Learning Channel is a sort of fantasy, wherein he plays James Burke doing a Connections program in the year 2050. It is an apocalyptic prophecy of the near future disguised as a retrospective look at humanity and the earth.
His review gets a bit more entertaining and a lot more polemical from there. I find it instructive, though not at all unusual, that a disliked hypothetical future is serially dismissed as "propaganda", "prophecy", and "fantasy". No chance, then, that Burke's offering could be seen instead as an imaginative interpretation of a distant future, based on a theory with which he, Hayden, happens to disagree?
How, I wonder, do people come to be so sure about things?