The planet will not perish quickly, as in the movie with Leonardo DiCaprio, but little by little – 12/12/2021 – Nabil Bonducci

The planet will not perish quickly, as in the movie with Leonardo DiCaprio, but little by little - 12/12/2021 - Nabil Bonducci

Invited by Marcelo Lima, a street cinema enthusiast who dared to reopen the old cinerte, in the midst of the pandemic, in the Congento Nacional, I went to see the cinema premiere of “No Look Up”, a satire written and directed by . Adam McKay will release on Netflix’s streaming platform on Christmas Eve.

The script isn’t such a big deal, but it does well for the message it sends to the general public, showing in a dramatic and entertaining tone how scientific denial and complicity between public officials and the private sector can affect the future of the planet. Is. ,

A doctoral student of astronomy, played by Jennifer Lawrence, visualizes the tail of a giant comet 100 kilometers in diameter, monitoring a supernova. starring his mentor, an astronomer leonardo dicaprio, suggests that the comet was on a collision course with Earth.

If nothing is done, in six months it will crash into the Pacific Ocean, causing a tsunami 1.5 kilometers high, earthquakes of 10 to 11 degrees on the Richter scale and the complete destruction of life on the planet. 66 million years ago, an asteroid crashed into the planet, killing the dinosaurs and many other living things.

Between science fiction, satire and comedy in the disaster genre, the film uses an event that is practically impossible (according to Amy Mainzer, from NASA, such an event occurs only once every 100 million years). Ignoring climate emergencies and other environmental disasters to warn about.

(spoilers follow)

In the film, despite the discovery being reviewed and confirmed by other scientists, including NASA’s planetary defense coordinator, US President Meryl Streep, the potential catastrophe is not given much importance, as some presidents did in relation to the Covid-19 pandemic. After all, as the President of Brazil Jair Bolsonaro (PL) said, everyone will die someday!

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In the press, the discovery is treated with distrust, with journalists doubting the seriousness of the situation. The public prefers celebrity features to believe that Earth could be destroyed in six months.

But the President, realizing that media action could improve his waning popularity, decided to take action. Set up a mega-operation to divert the path of the comet using the solution, rockets and astronauts suggested by the scientists.

When the operation begins, the CEO of a large private technology and cell phone company, one of the world’s richest men, persuades the President to stop it, as he learns that the comet contains very valuable ores. It proposes to decompose it when it comes close to Earth, so that its riches can be harnessed.

The proposal, developed by the company with the support of some scientists, has not been reviewed but has been advertised by a strong media campaign, which seems to have convinced many. The parents of a young scientist, who condemn the fragility of the operation, refuse to welcome her at home, arguing that she is harming the country, as it is the cause of the creation of jobs and the generation of wealth. is against.

When the comet is visible to the naked eye in the sky, society is divided between those who believe in impending risk and those who believe in the private operation’s marketing motto (“Don’t Look Up”, as in the film) is in the title). , recommending “looking down” while denying the scientific evidence.

The operation fails and life as we know it on Earth is destroyed.

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The satire is hyperbolic, has a sleazy humor and caricatures of characters, but warns of a catastrophe that will not happen in six months, or will happen suddenly, in the same extreme event, but every month, in different places. has been Planet.

The film’s message is clear (very clear) and deals with the denial of scientific evidence, the preponderance of private interests over public power, and the greed of capitalism that knows no bounds when it sees a good business opportunity.

As McKay said, when an event is radicalized, the film becomes mindful of concrete questions. Just read the weekend news, with more than 30 tornadoes ravaging five US states and flooding south of Bahia, to see which parts of the planet are slowly being destroyed.

While watching the film, I was reminded of the biggest urban environmental tragedy in Brazil, the disaster that occurred in Maceo (AL), Salgema, a company currently owned by Brascam.

In the 1960s, large quantities of rock salt were found underground in the city’s urban area, and in 1976, the company, with the consent of the local authorities, began digging mines about a thousand meters deep in the area. At the time, geologists had warned of the risks of the operation, but were not taken seriously as they were considered enemies of progress.

After three decades of underground exploration, buildings in five neighborhoods began to crack and in 2018, the city suffered an earthquake. A few months later, the Geological Survey of Brazil confirmed that Brascam’s 35 mines had destabilized the soil of a densely populated urban area that needed to be evacuated, putting thousands of residents at risk.

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About 15,000 houses were closed, due to which 57 thousand people were forcibly removed. The neighborhoods of Pinheiro, Mutange, Bom Parto, Bebedouro and parts of Farol became a ghost town with dozens of closed streets.

Thousands of buildings, including homes, housing developments and vertical buildings that were in use until three years ago, have been abandoned and are in ruins.

Fair Bluff, a small town in North Carolina (USA), is going through a similar process. Hit by Hurricane Matthew in 2016, it went into an abandonment process. Roads gave way, public buildings and factories were destroyed. A quarter of the houses were flooded. Two years later, in another storm, little was found to destroy Florence. The population has halved and the city has gone bankrupt.

This landscape of devastation and abandonment exists in many areas of the United States affected by extreme events related to the climate crisis, such as hurricanes, tornadoes, droughts, and wildfires. Series of reports by Marina Dias and Lalo de Almeida showing.

“Don’t Look Up” is a satire that should be taken seriously. Not because a comet is about to kill us, but because it shows how scientific denial and brutal capitalism slowly lead us to the scene of destruction.

About the author: Will Smith

Will covers public and private tech markets from New York. He was previously a Knight-Bagehot Fellow in Economics and Business Journalism at Columbia University, and prior to that was a reporter at the Los Angeles Business Journal. He has received a Journalist of the Year award from the L.A. Press Club and an investigative reporting award from the Society of American Business Editors and Writers.

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