World Saved/World Doomed: A story for our times

October 22, 2020  •  1 Comment

Continuing with our themes of climate change and an uncertain future, I’ve been reminded lately of an old film, “The Day the Earth Caught Fire” (1961). The movie made an impression on me when I first saw it, and it continues to resonate after repeated viewings through the years. Although its premise is somewhat far-fetched, it’s a well-told tale of dystopian science fiction; literate, sophisticated, mature, all atypical characteristics of the genre. To its further credit, the film has a clearly anti-establishment agenda, with especially pointed disdain for nuclear testing.

Here’s the plot in case it's been a while since you've seen the movie. Unaware of each other’s plans, the United States and the USSR test two atomic weapons of incredibly destructive force simultaneously. The resulting explosion shifts the earth off its axis by a few degrees, leading to severe weather and catastrophic climate change. The only way to avoid a worldwide extinction event is to blast more nukes on the other side of the world, hoping that the explosive force will knock the earth back onto its original axis.

The film ends on an uncertain note, closing with a scene in a newspaper print room where two versions of a front-page have been prepared. One headline reads “World Saved,” the other “World Doomed.” The film ends without revealing which one will be published.

A similar inflection point is near. If the current occupant of the White House is re-elected he will continue to gut whatever environmental
protections he hasn’t eliminated already, and the climate situation will just keep worsening. All in the name of commerce.
Vote Blue, y’all, as if your life and the life of the planet depended on it.


 

 

 

 


Comments

Josef Tornick(non-registered)
We already voted, and are sincerely hoping the election will have a positive outcome, so much damage has been done in the last 4 years, on so many levels.
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