Climate Change: The Big Picture

Scene from '2001: A Space Odyssey

The destruction of this planet would have no significance on a cosmic scale: to an observer in the Andromeda nebula, the sign of our extinction would be no more than a match flaring for a second in the heavens: and if that match does blaze in the darkness there will be none to mourn a race that used a power that could have lit a beacon in the stars to light its funeral pyre. The choice is ours.

Stanley Kubrick
Playboy interview, 1968

Screen capture from 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)

Related: Visual Allegory: How 2011 Will Look to Future Historians

1 thought on “Climate Change: The Big Picture

  1. I love this. Kubrick is so great. Reminds me of the beginning of that Nietzsche text “on truth and lies in a non-moral sense”.

    “Once upon a time, in some out of the way corner of that universe which is dispersed
    into numberless twinkling solar systems, there was a star upon which clever beasts invented
    knowing. That was the most arrogant and mendacious minute of “world history,” but
    nevertheless, it was only a minute. After nature had drawn a few breaths, the star cooled
    and congealed, and the clever beasts had to die.”

    Kubrick also speaks in that interview of the smallness of humans in the infinite universe – not as a reason for resignation but as a reason to be. The point of view of the Star Child is strongly resonant with our own techno-being today. That great thing you write on your twitter account about old gay clubs and casual meetings…

    The Star Child looking back on earth in 2001 has a strange ambivalence, it is not altogether comforting – what will be the future of humanity? Technology is that which has given human beings the “view from the outside of the human” – it is potentially creative and potentially destructive.

    I liked this anyway. Thanks

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