2022 is shaping up as the year of the entrepreneur The worst year for the climate crisis yet, so it’s fitting that the #1 movie on streaming giant Netflix is a thinly-veiled satire about climate change.
Adam McKay’s star-studded Don’t Look Up uses the allegory of a large comet on a collision course with Earth to represent the very real climate threats we’re facing. The astronomers in the film try to alert the media to the urgency and implore the U.S. president to take action before it’s too late. They are however routinely ignored.
The film inspires passionate conversations about the climate crisis and the film itself It is how we talk about it. This is understandable, as the movie’s characters struggle with how they will present their findings to different people. The movie itself is a huge budget piece in climate communication.
It’s thrilling to see so many folks engage with these topics. One question we keep getting asked is, “So, how accurate is Don’t Look Up?” Let’s take a look at how the comet crisis in the film compares to the climate crisis in our world.
SPOILER ALERT: Major Don’t Look Up details below!
How does it work? Don’t Look Up‘s Comet Crisis stack up to the Climate Crisis?
COMET: Scientists find the comet and identify it as a threat.
CLIMATE: Scientists have been monitoring climate change for many decades. Since centuries, indigenous communities have been following it..
COMET: A comet will collide directly with Earth in exactly 6 and 14 days.
CLIMATEClimate change is more dangerous than a simple countdown towards destruction. Gradual changes are more difficult to observe. It would be simpler to explain the gradual decline in destruction if you just count down.
COMET: The comet is a looming threat that doesn’t impact anyone until it hits.
CLIMATE: In many ways, the climate crisis is already here.
COMET: All human life on the planet will be destroyed by the comet.
CLIMATE: Climate change won’t affect everyone at the same time, and The effects won’t be equally distributed among people.
COMET: If scientists believed the U.S. President, he could save everyone.
CLIMATEThe climate crisis is a problem that affects all of us and will require our collective efforts to solve it. It’s not solely a U.S. issue and can’t be solved by any one individual.
COMET: The media doesn’t care about a fast-approaching planet-killing comet because it’s too sad of a story.
CLIMATEClimate journalism has made great strides in the past five years. Many amazing Climate journalists! But often, the mainstream media doesn’t capture the urgency of the crisis and are too willing to take polluting corporations at their word.
COMETScience communication is difficult to do well.
CLIMATE: Don’t we know it! The Story about climate change doesn’t fit into a neat three act structure, there’s no silver bullet, and no individual hero to save the day at the final hour.
COMET: The U.S. could solve the threat by launching its nuclear weapons at the comet.
CLIMATE: While we know how to combat climate change, it will require a global effort. It will require all people to take action.
COMET: Tech billionaires won’t save us from the comet.
CLIMATE: Tech billionaires won’t save us from climate change. The richest people on the planet aren’t as motivated to solve the crisis since they’ll be amongst the last to feel it.
COMET: Celebrities are bad because they distract ‘everyday’ people from the comet.
CLIMATE: Climate crisis is a result of climate change, and it is corporations and governments that are to blame, not individuals.. People may be interested in several things at once. Celebrities often use their platforms and platforms to highlight the climate crisis. Jane Fonda, Fire Drill Fridays.Check out these celebrities. Don’t Look Up!
COMETThey will have a better chance at solving the comet crisis by acting quickly. Waiting for the crisis to be resolved will require more drastic measures.
CLIMATEWe have a better chance at solving the climate crisis by acting quickly. It will take more drastic measures to wait.
COMET: All you have to do is believe in scientists.
CLIMATE: We must believe in scientists to solve climate change. Indigenous peoples and communities are at the frontline for fossil fuel extractionClimate change is already affecting communities that are experiencing fire and combustion.
COMET: We’re all going to die!
CLIMATEWe know that collective action is possible quickly. For example, we have seen individuals, governments, as well as corporations, drastically alter their lives in order to address the covid pandemic.
It’s not too late, but we need your help
Satire doesn’t require absolute accuracy to be effective. (It wouldn’t be satire if it did.) The movie simplifies the climate crisis but it resonates with many people emotionally.
We want everyone in the world to know that We still have time to address the climate crisis.—but we need each of you to join the fight. We won’t even ask you to stop caring about pop stars.
Join the fight—volunteer today