Don't Look Up

I just saw this movie. Wow.

Seems to be quite attuned to this moment. Have you seen it? What are your thoughts?

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Putting it on the “to watch” list.

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Mark Rylance’s performance was amazing as, approximately, Elon Musk. And President Meryl Streep should not be missed either. In all, a great movie.

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Hi everyone,

I haven’t seen the movie, but I’d like to make a few points, which are often overlooked in the current discussion of climate change.

  1. Combating climate change is easily the most difficult technological challenge that human beings have ever faced. The cost of the Manhattan project in today’s dollars has been estimated at $22 billion. The cost of the Gemini and Apollo projects is estimated to have been $288 billion in today’s dollars. The cost of fighting climate change is estimated by the Bank of America to be $150 trillion, or $5 trillion a year for the next 30 years. That’s hundreds of Apollos. Yes, I know that there are supposed to be payoffs down the line. But the money needed to replace carbon-emitting technologies with eco-friendly substitutes still needs to be spent up-front. Think of cement. Think of steel. And those eco-friendly substitutes will require massive technological innovations. Bill Gates listed no less than nineteen major innovations in his book, How to Avoid a Climate Disaster. That’s a massive undertaking, over a period of just thirty years, as Gates explains in this video here:
  1. Not only that, but we’ll have to persuade developing countries to adopt these new technologies and phase out their reliance on fossil fuels, over the space of just 30 years. Remember: the goal is to reduce the world’s annual CO2-equivalent emissions from 51 billion tons to zero, by 2050. That’s a pretty tall order.

  2. Crusaders in the fight against climate change need to practice what they preach. Do you have a car? Then unless it’s a zero-emissions vehicle, you’re part of the problem. Do you sometimes travel by air? Then you’re part of the problem. Do you use heaters and air conditioners in your home? Then you’re part of the problem. Do you buy products made of steel or plastic? Then you’re part of the problem. Do you eat meat? Then you’re part of the problem. Do you oppose nuclear energy? Then you’re part of the problem (see Gates’ video around the 32:00 mark).

  3. But the biggest obstacle to combating climate change isn’t financial or technological; it’s political. I’m referring to the growing rivalry between the U.S. and China, a country led by an increasingly bellicose dictator whose policies are destabilizing the planet and heightening the risk of nuclear war. It’s very hard to focus on two problems at once, particularly when both are urgent. And it will be very hard for America to focus on climate change and at the same time, focus on defending itself and its allies against a mortal threat to their freedom. I’m not optimistic that it can do both.

  4. Limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees above 1880 levels is probably unrealistic: too many pieces of the geopolitical jigsaw puzzle would have to fall perfectly into place for that to happen. However, limiting it to 2.0 degrees is doable. A rise of 2.0 degrees would be a climate disaster, but it would not be a catastrophe, on the scale of a massive comet or asteroid strike. You can read here what would happen: flooding, extreme weather, threats to food security, an increase in vector-borne diseases, and the disappearance of coral reefs. Bad as all these things are, they won’t wipe out civilization. That’s why I think the unstated premise of the movie, Don’t Look Up, is a silly one. Climate change is not like a comet strike. It is a problem in a category of its own. And it won’t be solved by running around like Chicken Little. It will require a sustained 30-year effort by scientists, economists and diplomats. Can we do it? Maybe.


America would have a big problem focusing on climate change even without China being a factor. Look at how America’s political leadership has responded to the immediate and relatively simple problem of COVID-19.

OTOH, if the Chinese gov’t decides to get serious about fighting climate change, they will get it done. This is a nation that made it illegal to have more than one child. They could ban cars and cars would be off the road the next day. They could decide to build hundreds of nuclear reactors, or ban all non-essential air travel, or any number of similar actions that could not be taken in a democracy. Ironic, but true.

This movie was great in part because it wasn’t actually about climate change, but our cultural response to existential crisis.


I will start by stating I wanted to like this film, so you know what follows will not be effusive. The critics score on Don’t Look Up on Rotten Tomatoes stands at a middling 55% from those who might be expected to be sympathetic, and I tend to agree. There were a few great moments, but they were isolated and somehow the movie did not pull together for me. Halfway I started to root for the asteroid. The theme that the public as well as political and cultural leadership will embrace a comforting narrative and distracting memes over the evidence of science is surely on point. With the level of talent both in front and behind the camera, and a license to satire, one could expect one for the ages. Instead, at best IMHO this was a film for the moment. Classics such as Being There, Brazil, and Dr. Strangelove show how it is done.

Delicious. This was the best element in the movie.

That is true, but I am important and my work is vital, so any reasonable person would recognize that it is in the greater interest of society that I receive an exemption. I reluctantly travel - and private aircraft is the only practical means given my busy schedule and public profile - to achieve the lifestyle changes so necessary for us to escape this existential threat. Be assured this is all carbon neutral; my foundation buys carbon credits which offset the fuel tonnage by cutting down old growth forest for biomass plantations.


I liked the movie finding it funny. I must admit I took it to be entirely about astronomy and asteroid impacts - something I know a reasonable amount about. It was only afterwards I saw articles suggesting it might be an analogy of reactions to climate change. It seems a poor analogy as there is a very specific prediction and timeframe for an asteroid impact whereas these things are missing for climate change.

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The analogy to climate change breaks down in ways. At the same time, it highlights that even if climate change were as obvious as a comet hitting the earth, we’d still see insane denialism and politicization.

It was a good choice to make it a comet for that reason. I think the analogy is far close to COVID denialism in the end.

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I used to install geothermal heat pumps. “to save the world” yet they really didn’t. It didn’t take long to realize I was saddling someone with costs.
Still in the process I learned that once you go about 6 ft down that temperature stays about the same all year around the average in my area is 55 Deg. If I remember correctly in Florida is in the 70s…
The average of all the daily temperatures generally equal the temperature 6ft down. Its not exact but close.
There are wells drilled around the world and with work you can find out what your average temperature is… Gov’ts have the information. Funny thing is, Climate alarmists do not depend on such a reliable collection of data and its very hard to even find it.
Considering they are selective in their use of evidence and that weather is very hard to track, I don’t trust the conclusions.
One other reason I don’t trust their conclusions is that many on line who claimed to be experts didn’t even know that ocean Ice doesn’t raise sea levels when it melts. Other claims that green land is melting seems far fetched specially with its location and some said 1 meter per year. There is 3KM of ice there some lower than sea level. So, if it did melt 1 meter per year (I did the math) it would raise sea levels 7 meters. It would take 3000 years. what are you doing in 3000 years.

You guys can try but its most likely going to be a waste of time as long as brazenly corrupt fellows lead countries like mine.


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