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Don't Look Up

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I saw this the other day and while I don’t think it’s the best analogy for climate change, this movie does a great job articulating how scientists feel.

As for why I don’t think a comet is a good analogy for climate change, climate change isn’t something that hits all at once. Also, a comet just happens for whatever reason whereas climate change is primarily driven by human activity.

That aside, the movie does a good job showing how society isn’t ready to handle existential risks. The thing that stood out to me in particular is how they wasted so much time by pinning their hopes on an unproven technofix. They started out with a decent plan early on (ironic to see early government action) but disposed of it just to make some asshole rich. Not sure why every other country hedged their hopes on the Americans until it was too late, but anyway.

The idea of wasting time to make some rich asshole richer does reflect on climate change. It’s called predatory delay. While I enjoyed Bill Gate’s book on climate change (review coming at some point), he deemphasizes the 2030 deep decarbonation target (possible with tech we have), opting to focus on net-zero in 2050 (reliant on the things he so happens to invest in). I agree that we need to do the hard things to get to net zero, but not wanting to act until we get perfect action based on unproven technology is a doomed strategy.

Outside of that, the reactions of the general population are apt. The portrayal is a bit condescending, but it can feel like that at times. It’s played up, but there’s also the moneyed interests imbedded in the US government. A touch of sexism can be seen (they name the comet after Dibiaski, lol).

In all, a really funny movie I hope will inspire us to get our act together to not only address climate change but any other existential risks we may face.

The Stinger

The rich assholes manage to avoid the calamity but they don’t survive. Turns out that surviving existential events by running away from them is much harder than you’d think.