What do Anne of Green Gables, the greenhouse gas effect, and climate change all have in common? Well, more than you’d think.
In 1896, Swedish scientist Svante Arrhenius (1859-1927) concluded that “industrial-age coal burning will enhance the natural greenhouse effect” according to this BBC timeline on climate change history. And because the story of Anne of Green Gables begins in 1896, writers of the newly released CBC/Netflix series decided to make reference to this scientific discovery. In the second episode, at 12:13, a paper boy can be heard yelling the latest news headline: “extra, extra, scientists predict greenhouse effect”. While the term “greenhouse gas” likely wasn’t used at the time, this subtle inclusion in the new series illuminates how the writers are making the story of Anne relevant to today’s social climate (no pun intended). Young viewers may find more ways than one to relate to this turn of the century heroine.