I've been thinking a lot lately about disaster porn. You know what I'm talking about: all those movies we love where the world is threatened by nature and man, where earthquakes kill thousands, where our plucky heroes face an erupting super volcano and somehow make it out alive. What is it about disaster movies that excite us so much? It's not just the disaster itself. It's the fact that we can watch the stories unfold and reassure ourselves that we are the survivors. No matter what happens in the movie, we'll still be there in the end, and we can imagine that even if we were in the story itself, we'd have been one of the lucky protagonists who faced all the challenges and got to the end with life and limb in tact.
There's another kind of disaster porn that has gotten quite popular recently. The non-fiction sort. It doesn't take much effort to find articles, blogs, documentaries and even entire communities based around the frightening prospects of climate change and ecological destruction. Nearly all of these are focused on trying to find ways to avert the great disaster or preparing those in the know to survive whatever comes their way.