Don’t Look Up is an allegory about the urgent crisis of climate change. Instead of climate change, which is a human-made result of capitalism, the film is about an external threat to the survival of humanity. Jennifer Lawrence plays a young astronomy grad student who discovers a “planet killer” comet due to hit earth in six months. She and her professor (Leonardo DiCaprio) immediately meet with the US President to warn her of this crisis. But the politicians are so concerned with their own image and marketability that they avoid taking action.
The movie shows that – as with the climate crisis – the usual avenues people look to for change are dead ends. Politicians are completely useless. Big business sabotages efforts to stop the crisis so they can make profit. The corporate media is more interested in reporting celebrity gossip than explaining what’s going on. Meanwhile, the scientists are horrified as world leaders squander the chance to avert human extinction.
Climate scientists, environmentalist, and anyone paying attention to what is happening to the planet today feel the same. Reports about climate change have been clear – it’s effects are already here. Droughts, fires, floods, heat waves, violent storms, as well as other catastrophic events, are caused by climate change every day, killing and displacing countless people. The big, world ending, changes are about to hit. And the world leaders do nothing.
This movie will likely leave any viewer with a pit in their stomach, but as the saying goes – don’t mourn, organize! Young people and activists around the world have already begun to expose the inactivity of those in charge. Workers are beginning to fight back. As the movie show us – we cannot look to politicians, the rich, or anyone else. What it doesn’t show is that we are the solution – ordinary working people who make society run with our labor. We must look to ourselves to organize and fight for our future. So, we recommend watching Don’t Look Up, and channeling its warnings into action. As they say in the movie, “look up!” But don’t just look up… Get involved in changing the world, because we have no time to lose.