A Final Comment on Don’t Look Up

It’s been over a week since I first saw, and blogged about “Don’t Look Up,” millions of people have written their own critiques since then, but the amazing thing is, nobody has changed their minds. We look at films as entertainment, and very few responded to the underlying message unless they were already in agreement with it. There is even some dispute as to what the underlying message was, which surprises me, because the satire was not exactly of the subtle kind. It kind of hit you over the head like a giant rock – a rock the size of Mt. Everest.
The basic, central message of the movie, as I see it, distilled down to two words, is “Trust scientists.” They are not only smarter than average people, they are way more knowledgeable in their specialties. When scientists tell you there is a dangerous, potentially fatal pandemic, you should do everything you can to avoid catching it, and avoid spreading it. When scientists tell you that we are heading for an environmental disaster if we don’t stop burning coal and oil, we should listen to them. Of course, scientists are seldom unanimous, and you can generally find one out of the millions of them to support your point of view, especially if the definition of scientist is ‘any bozo with a PHD.’ The director of NASA in Don’t Look Up was an anesthesiologist who had donated money to Meryl Streep’s campaign. But, there is such a thing as ‘leading scientists in the field,’ there is such a thing as ‘peer review’ and there is such a thing as ‘consensus.’
So, we should listen to scientists, and we should have zero tolerance for politicians or members of the press who do not listen to scientists. The opinions of anybody who shuns science should be shunned, and their advice ignored, because there is a real possibility it could get us all killed.

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