It’s hard to write about the climate crisis, let alone to entertain with the material or be funny. This (4:48) scene from the TV series “The Newsroom” that a friend of mine characterized as “gallows humour” is rare because it does both, and without compromise to the urgency and severity of the threats posed.
It’s very well-conceived, researched, written / structured, performed, directed, shot and edited. It is also efficient, informative / educational.
Sure, there are many things one could take issue with. As David Roberts of Grist has written (here), a government representative would never be this blunt, bleak, or off-the-cuff on camera, at least not while still employed. The story would not be a surprise to the staff or considered a ‘scoop’ in the ways depicted. They would not react with such alarm. And so on.
I’m not a fan or proponent of ‘hope’ and feel it should have no motivational relevance whatsoever (more about that here), but my main criticism of this stand alone scene would be that the EPA administration official’s (fact-based and not irrational sense of) hopelessness does not convey the sentiments below that I’ve come to embrace over time (as applied to our current phase of the crisis).
Regardless of odds or potential outcomes (our choices / strength of character / what we stand for / our legacies should be based on principles of common sense, compassion, fairness / equity / equality / justice, wellness, survival, NOT the likelihood of success or failure), we ALL — especially those of us with greater privilege, opportunity, voice than so many others — have the power and moral responsibility to ACT, get informed, step up AND out, volunteer, participate, contribute, advocate / spread the word, protest, entertain / embrace considered risk at times, try to help however possible and, in doing so, INSPIRE others to do the same.
Because if we take the decision / path to see AND face the true — indeed, the existential — wickedness of our now-shared, undeniable, inescapable predicament, there will at least be possibilities. Perhaps even some we haven’t imagined — yet.
Nevertheless, I consider this particular scene to be a minor masterpiece. And for your interest, here’s a version with a few extra minutes of set up (8:00).
Articles, posts, compilations
- Post – Sorkin tackles climate change on “The Newsroom,” D. Roberts, Grist
- Post – We fact checked Sorkin’s climate science on “The Newsroom,” J. West, MJ
- Compilation – Psychology of climate crisis denial, inaction, immobilization
- Compilation – FEAR is a good thing and HOPE is not an action verb
- Compilation – CON JOB – Part 1, Part 2, Part 3 (especially Part 3)
- Compilation – COP19 Warsaw UN Climate Summit 2013: Betrayal of life
- Compilation – +4°C by 2060s or sooner incompatible with organized civilization
- Compilation – EMERGENCY human impact reports expose the greatest crime against humanity, most life and most future life EVER
- Compilation – The sixth ‘great’ mass extinction, wildlife population decimation, biodiversity liquidation and the global climate EMERGENCY
- Compilation – Arctic meltdown / methane time bomb and the global climate EMERGENCY
- Compilation – The threat of sudden / abrupt system shifts / tips / flips and the global climate EMERGENCY
- Compilation – Sea level rise, commitment, acceleration and the global climate EMERGENCY
- Compilation – Geoengineering and the global climate EMERGENCY
- Compilation – The war on science and the global climate EMERGENCY
- Post – The mendacity of hope (“the rope on which we hang.”), George Monbiot
- Article – Study finds a downside to hope, Cathal Kelly, healthzone.ca
- Post – A different perspective on fear, Julie Johnston, Greenhearted.ca
- Article – Beyond hope, Derrick Jensen, Orion Magazine
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