Don’t Look Up: Climate Change Lessons from the Movie

The world needs to promote a culture of accepting and understanding climate change and taking action against it. Scientists need to change the way they communicate.

In December 2021, the movie Don’t Look Up was streamed on Netflix. The movie is directed by Adam Mckay and is about the story of two astronomers (DiCaprio as Prof. Mindy and Jennifer Lawrence as Kate Dibiasky – Ph.D. Student) who notice a comet heading toward the planet, Earth and big enough to collide with the Earth in six months. They are trying to warn the government about it and its consequences: human civilization extinction and no more planet to be called Earth. Later NASA confirms their finding and meets the US president ( Meryl Streep as President Orlean) in the white house. Still, the president and her team consider their warning with a lack of enthusiasm and attention to be a concern. Mindy and Dibiasky do not give up and go live on national TV to warn people and politicians to wake up and find ways to save the planet, but the TV hosts treat their topic and warning as a joke and change the topic to more personal matters of astronomers, which again doesn’t influence public as expected.

Later months, the white house announces destroying the comet with a nuclear weapon, but Peter Isherwell, another character in the movie as CEO of BASH company, meets with the president and explains that the comet contains trillion dollars value of rare elements and BASH has the technology to mitigate collision risks and exploit it. Finally, the plan doesn’t work, the comet collides with the planet, and nothing is left on Earth.

I believe that in Covid-19 time all journalists became health and vaccine experts, and now we will have more climate journalists. Yet, conveying the right information and public awareness are key steps that media should take, and like in this movie, there is no time for jokes or misinterpretation of climate topics. The movie director, Mckay, believes that this movie is an inspiration for people to get into conversation, lobbying, critical thinking, and question their leaders’ actions. The movie’s main goal was about climate change awareness, the culture of accepting and feeling global warming, and taking sustainable steps now.

 

Climate Change Consequences

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bsd studio/ shutterstock.com

To bring your attention to climate change, our planet requires the greenhouse gases, which are being produced naturally, to keep its temperature around 30°C, because without the greenhouse gases, the Earth would not have been a habitable planet for humankind. The methane, water evaporation, and CO2 in the greenhouse gases act as heat cover against cold, but breaking this balance and increasing the greenhouse gases on the planet’s surface leads to global warming. Since the industrial age, fuel, coal, and gas consumption in different machines has emitted a high amount of carbon in various industries, especially in agriculture.

There has been a dramatic CO2 emission increase since the industry’s age in 1750. The dramatic changes occurring in the climate can influence the quantity and quality of foods we consume, the electricity we utilize, the type of transportation we use, our environment, and the way we live. Climate change will lead us to face destructive natural events that can include famine, animal and plant extinction, endangering the cities in coastal areas by the rise of water levels, and the inundation of seas. According to BBC, due to global warming between 2005 and 2015, the oceans’ water level annually increased by 3.6mm, and yet 2015 to 2018 had a high-recorded temperature rise worldwide. The changing patterns in the climate can negatively affect humans’ livestock and livelihood in crop diseases, nutrition, access to clean water, and so forth.

According to the World Economic Forum report in 2020, global warming will lead three billion people to inhabit high-temperature areas like sub-Saharan by 2070 if we do not take on-time actions and comprehensive decisions. It will cost us a hundred years to have back the temperature of the pre-industrialized time.

 

Food for Thought

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robuart/ shutterstock.com

Climate change has been changing the way we live, and either we escape from it and end our lives sooner or we speak up and change our living standards to be more eco-friendly. People possess the power to elect the government, choices to make in life, freedom to contribute to awareness programs, limiting falsification and wrong information on media, lowering our self-interests, and thinking long term for the next generations.

Everyone has the power to change, and it just needs a will to start the change.

This movie has been the frontline wake-up call for scientists to change how they communicate with the government and the public. Scientists are encouraged to get more in discussion with government officials, have more presence in public, and do not limit themselves in research and publishing it for readers. Billions of people use social media, podcasts, TV channels, and other media platforms. For scientists, it is more beneficial to have various channels on hand in addressing issues like climate change. And there is an interest for the public to have a culture of accepting and perceiving global issues by having their actions on local, national, regional, or international levels.

 

Photo: ParabolStudio/shutterstock.com

 


Read another inspiring story here:

Climate Change VS Young People


 

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