After the Warming SERIES


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1991, Total Running Time 110 Minutes (2 x 55 Minutes)

After the Warming reviews how climate change has always effected the destiny of life on earth. Social journalist James Burke examines how abrupt changes cooled the greenhouse world of the giant dinosaurs, triggering their extinction and leading to the rise of mammals.

Yet in the early 1700’s, a warm period resulted in abundant food, population explosion and the Industrial Revolution. Up to this point, it was always nature that altered the destiny of life on earth, sometimes slowly, sometimes with startling swiftness. But after the Industrial Revolution, humans became the trigger with their new technological ability to make massive changes on the earth...deforesting and settling whole continents, polluting entire lakes and river systems, and turning millennia-old grasslands into deserts, lowering water tables and draining wetlands.

Burke looks back from the future at several scenarios of global warming from increased greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, and the possible effects of these scenarios on continents, countries and humankind. He takes viewers back from 2050 to various possible turning points in the world’s history after 1990, when the environmental choices made had serious consequences. Most of the strategies he postulates are already the subject of international debate: a Law of the Atmosphere, carbon emissions tax incentives and a global “carbon” budget between advanced and developing nations.

After the Warming is a useful resource in considering the serious environmental issues with which we are faced at this point in the earth’s history.




A co-production of Maryland Public Television, Film Australia, Wiseman (UK), Electric Image (UK) in association with The Principal Film Company. © 2011 National Film and Sound Archive of Australia.

Free Teachers’ Notes - Download here


Director: Mike Slee

Writer/Presenter: James Burke

Year: 1991

Total Running Time: 110 Minutes

Classification: G

Curriculum Links: Agricultural Science; Environmental Studies; Science (general, environmental, biology), SOSE, HSIE (Geography Stage 6). Of particular relevance to NSW Geography Stage 5A3 'Issues in Australian Environments'.


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