This big budget climate change movie is stirring up intense feelings for all the right reasons
Don't Look Up has been streaming on Netflix since December 24, 2021. It has been exciting and infuriating people around the world largely divided along political and idealogical lines. Progressives and people keen to see the world change fast are applauding this hard hitting and hilarious climate change allegory. Conservatives and others invested in business as usual are panning the film and voting it down. The battles rage on and reveal as much about the climate change debate as the movie itself.
So... obviously it is time for Ecohustler to get involved! Here are our 4 reasons why you should watch Don't Look Up and encourage your friends and family to do the same...
The film stars Leonardo DiCaprio and Jennifer Lawrence in unusual roles. They both play nerdy scientists thrust from obscurity onto the world stage. The supporting cast includes: Ariana Grande, Cate Blanchett, Meryl Streep, Timothée Chalamet, Rob Morgan and Ron Perlman as well as many others. Many of the roles are obviously based on real people. For example, Meryl Streep is the charismatic, bombastic and unintelligent US President (take your pick). Jennifer Lawrence smoulders as a Greta Thunberg type character battling the obfuscation of people who should know better.
Ariana Grande hilariously plays a pop star wrestling with various romantic issues. Writer-director Adam McKay has credited Ariana with coming up with the songs funniest lines including - "We’re all gonna die. Turn off that shitbox news..." She goes on to sing “Listen to the goddamn qualified scientists / We really fucked it up this time...”
The film has been celebrated by multiple climate scientists who deeply resonate with the themes of the film. Communicating climate change is notoriously hard. Creating a film where one of the world's biggest pop star is singing about how we need to listen to scientists is pure genius.
Mark Rylance plays Peter Isherwell a weird and irksome character who is the CEO of BASH Cellular. He is a grotesque amalgamation of Elon Musk, Mark Zuckerberg, Jeff Bezos and their ilk. In the film he throws the first attempt to divert the comet off course because he sees the hot profit potential of mining the comet for rare earth minerals. Sadly, this isn't so much an allegory as just how it is.
Billionaire tech moguls could solve climate change if they focussed their efforts. Turning off fossil fuels isn't technically that hard - it just requires the kind of consistent effort it takes to get into space.
As Elon Musk likes to point out. In theory, the only way humanity can become truly sustainable is if we become a multi-planet species. Once humans exist on many worlds - if one is taken out by a comet - the species can continue. However, it is clearly crucial to prioritise being able to sustainably exist one one planet before investing too heavily in the rocket technology to get to another planet. If we can't keep our planet's ecosystem stable - how the hell are we going to get an ecosystem on a spaceship to work and then terraform a distant world? Sustaining life on our home planet should be the easy bit.
The climate emergency isn't happening because world leaders are indifferent or not taking enough action. They actively drive it.
Sarah Palin and other US Republicans chant "Drill, baby, drill!" Scott Morrison the prime minister of Australia brought coal into the House of Representatives. Perhaps more surprisingly, Joe Biden has approved 2,100 drilling licences on public and tribal lands the highest level since George W. Bush was president. This is all happening at a time when parts of the world are increasingly uninhabitable, the highest temperature ever recorded on Earth was just broken, forest fires are everywhere and ice and the poles of the planet is fast disappearing. The insanity that could lead to the collapse of civilisation is institutionalised.
The scientists in Don't Look Up try their best to communicate in a rational way and ultimately totally lose their shit. Is it time for everybody to do the same?
The time to shoot down the
comet (comet) fossil fuel industry is now.