'This is how it feels to be a climate scientist today': Science laughs at 'don't look up', even if it's bad

‘This is how it feels to be a climate scientist today’: Science laughs at ‘don’t look up’, even if it’s bad

What to do if a meteorite threatens to destroy the Earth? nothing. Just look away. Climatologists perfectly recognize themselves in satire do not search. Although not every scientist can laugh at it.

Yannick Ferberkoms

“Are we not clear? We are all going to die 100 percent for sure!” Er is a scene in do not search That’s where Kate Dibaskey’s denial gets too much. She announced in a television studio that humanity would perish if action against the meteor was not taken quickly. But the astronomy student, who discovered the giant with her PhD supervisor, comes across as a madman.

do not search It may be cynical, but for many climate scientists, the reality in this landscape is frighteningly close. Famous NASA scientist and author Peter Calmos wrote, “I can totally relate to this.” Watchman. “So that’s how it feels to be a climate scientist today.”

In the movie, the scientists are also not explained. Dibiasky – played by Jennifer Lawrence – and her promoter, Leonardo DiCaprio, calculated that a meteor impact would wipe out the entire population of the world. The effect will occur within six months, according to their predictions.

But when they want to explain what they came up with in the TV studio, more attention is paid to the breakup of two celebrities. US President Meryl Streep has woken up again about the midterm elections.

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When the giant gets so close that people can see it, a countermovement begins, which simply looks away. “do not search”. It’s like, “They want you to look up so they can look at you.”

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Not looking for a gang

So the scientists are the head of Gott’s in the movie. They see it as their duty to share their findings. But everywhere they go, they are ridiculed or ignored. This is painfully recognizable, according to climate scientists. But that’s exactly why it’s “wonderful,” says Australian oceanographer Matthew England, among others. “I love it and I hear that many climate scientists are of the same opinion.”

VUB climate scientist Wim Thiery, who contributed reports from the IPCC, is also swayed by this frustration. He is very disappointed with the recent COP26 summit in Glasgow. “The goal was to limit temperature rise to 1.5 degrees by the end of the century,” Terry said. But if we take into account what the states are now promising, it will come out at about 2.4 degrees. As a scientist you believe: If you provide enough information, society will follow. But then you get it do not search-Syndrome.”

However, critics – and he – were less enthusiastic about the film. Major newspapers such as The Wall Street Journal She even spoke of a “cosmic catastrophe” because the printed humor was said to be very nice. The cast, which also included Cate Blanchett and Timothée Chalamet, couldn’t convince.

But now that the movie has been shown on Netflix, audiences are reacting quite the opposite. The film is directed by Adam McKay, which features The Big Short (2015) is currently the most watched movie on Netflix.

Then the Dutch website De Speld poked fun at the satire. “Scientists warn of ice shelf fragments, but everyone is sitting” do not search to watch.”

Sarah Vika, who conducts research on climate at the University of Antwerp, did not give the film five stars. But she can “appreciate it”. “Waiting and cutting back and doing nothing is an obvious analogy,” says Vika. “There are other recognizable elements in the film. Often people would rather shoot the messenger than take his message seriously.”

Unfortunately, Belgian climatologists can agree with this. They can’t give an interview to the media or Twitter spreads hate comments and threats come in the mailbox.

“I usually don’t look at it consciously,” Vika says. I know these reactions come from a small, big-mouthed minority. Sometimes I want to know what’s going on with them as I look anyway. Then I also think: the more trolls respond, the greater the effect.”

yellow laugh

Whoever is pleased with the praise of climate scientists and the discussion that the film has sparked is the director. Although he also believes that the message will not reach everyone. He says some will act like “robots watching a love movie”.

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Climate scientist Jean-Pascal van Ypersel (UCLouvain), who has already served as vice chair of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, was “not pleased” with the film. I chuckled a few times, but it was more like ‘yellow laugh’, he laughs nervously. “Everyone knows how frustrated climate scientists are,” he says. “I wonder what the climate movement will bring to make a movie about it. Can you rally people this way? ”

Calmus asks himself Watchman I also wonder if it’s time to do more imaginative work to get people started. Hollywood has already made climate disaster films like the day after tomorrow (2004). But isn’t it time to make a movie about how people can do something about global warming by working together?

Van Ypersele thinks this is a good suggestion. But first he wants to know if this movie is causing controversy among the general public. “It’s up to sociologists to study that,” he says. “I’m really curious about the studies that show the effect of the film.”

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