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Last year, the astrophysicist Adam Frank implored an audience at Google that we see climate change – and the newly baptised geological age of the Anthropocene – against this cosmological backdrop. The Anthropocene refers to the effects of humanity’s energy-intensive activities upon Earth. Could it be that we do not see evidence of space-faring galactic civilisations because, due to resource exhaustion and subsequent climate collapse, none of them ever get that far? If so, why should we be any different?

A few months after Frank’s talk, in October 2018, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s update on global warming caused a stir. It predicted a sombre future if we do not decarbonise. And in May, amid Extinction Rebellion’s protests, a new climate report upped the ante, warning: “Human life on earth may be on the way to extinction.”


… apocalyptic prophecies are designed to reveal the ultimate moral meaning of things. It’s in the name: apocalypse means revelation. Extinction, by direct contrast, reveals precisely nothing and this is because it instead predicts the end of meaning and morality itself – if there are no humans, there is nothing humanly meaningful left.

The end of the world: a history of how a silent cosmos led humans to fear the worst









1362 – Our Planet (TV Mini-Series 2019)

Our Planet is a British nature documentary series made for Netflix. The series is narrated by David Attenborough and produced by Silverback Films, led by Alastair Fothergill and Keith Scholey, who also created BBC documentary series Planet EarthFrozen Planet and The Blue Planet, in collaboration with the conservation charity World Wildlife Fund (WWF).

The series addresses issues of conservation while featuring these disparate animals in their respective home regions, and has been noted for its greater focus on humans’ impact on the environment than traditional nature documentaries; centering around how climate change impacts all living creatures. It marked the first nature documentary Netflix has ever made. All episodes were released on 5 April 2019. A behind the scenes documentary was released onto Netflix on 2 August 2019.

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1361 – Oak Tree: Nature’s Greatest Survivor (2015 documentary)

Oak Tree: Nature’s Greatest Survivor (BBC Four) was a 90-minute documentary detailing a year-long study of a single 400-year-old oak in Oxfordshire. It might sound about as interesting as watching grass grow but this was classy, engrossing television. “I can promise you one thing,” said entomologist George McGavin. “You’ll never look at an oak tree the same way again.” He was true to his word.” (read more)

1/2 The Oak Tree, Natures Greatest Survivor – August to February

1349 – Aniara (2018)

timespace coordinates: 2038 (+) Aniara, a luxurious spaceship carrying settlers from Earth to Mars

aniara posterAniara is a 2018 Swedish-Danish co-production co-directed by Pella Kagerman and Hugo Lilja. The film is an adaptation of the 1956 Swedish epic poem of the same name by Harry Martinson.

The film is set in a dystopian future where climate change has left Earth ravaged, forcing people to resettle from Earth to Mars. When such a routine trip veers off course the passengers struggle to cope with their new lives. (wiki)

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Director Pella Kagerman & Hugo Lilja on the end of the world in Aniara


1311 – Southland Tales (2006)

Southland Tales is a 2006 science fiction comedy-drama thriller film and the second film written and directed by Richard Kelly. The title refers to the Southland, a name used by locals to refer to Southern California and Greater Los Angeles. Set in the then-near future of 2008, as part of an alternate history, the film is a portrait of Los Angeles, and a satiric commentary on the military–industrial complex and the infotainment industry. The film features an ensemble cast including Dwayne JohnsonSeann William ScottSarah Michelle GellarMandy Moore, and Justin Timberlake. Original music was provided by Moby. The film is an international co-production of the United States, Germany and France.

Southland Tales postertimespace coordinates: On July 4th, 2005, in a fictionalized United States alternate history reality, two towns in Texas (El Paso and Abilene) were destroyed by twin nuclear attacks, killing thousands and triggering a catastrophe of unimaginable proportions, sending America into a state of anarchy and hysteria, as well as a Third World War (a fictionalized version of what the nation may have become under the War on Terror), with the US government re-introducing the draft. The PATRIOT Act has extended authority to a new agency known as US-IDent, which keeps constant surveillance on citizens—even to the extent of censoring the Internet and requiring fingerprints to access computers and bank accounts. In response to the recent fuel shortage in the wake of global warfare, the German company Treer designs a generator of inexhaustible energy, which is propelled by the perpetual motion of ocean currents, called “Fluid Karma”. However, its inventor Baron von Westphalen and his associates are hiding the fact that the generators alter the ocean’s currents and cause the Earth to slow its rotation, and that the transmission of Fluid Karma to portable receivers (via quantum entanglement) is ripping holes in the fabric of space and time.

In near-future 2008, Los Angeles (referred to as “The Southland” by locals) is a city on the brink of chaos overshadowed by the growth of an underground neo-Marxist organization. The film follows the criss-crossed destinies of Boxer Santaros, an action film actor stricken with amnesia; Krysta Now, a psychic ex-porn star in the midst of creating a reality TV show; and twin brothers Roland and Ronald Taverner, whose destinies become intertwined with that of all mankind.

Southland Tales was initially planned to be a nine-part “interactive experience”, with the first six parts published in six 100-page graphic novels that would be released in a six-month period up to the film’s release. The feature film comprises the final three parts of the experience. A website was also developed to intertwine with the graphic novels and the film itself.  The idea of six graphic novels was later narrowed down to three. The novels were written by Kelly and illustrated by Brett Weldele. Kelly wrote them while making the film and found it very difficult as it pushed him “to the edge of my own sanity”, as he remarked in an interview. 

They have been collected together into one single volume:

The titles of the parts in the film are:

  • Part Four: Temptation Waits
  • Part Five: Memory Gospel
  • Part Six: Wave of Mutilation

The film remains enigmatic to many viewers and even some of its makers. In a 2011 interview, Justin Timberlake himself said, “To me, Southland Tales is performance art. I still don’t know what that movie is about [laughs].”

In a 2013 interview, Kelly said he considered this work as “the thing that I’m most proud of, and I feel like it’s sort of the misunderstood child or the banished child.” (wiki)

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[Southland Tales Soundtrack] tracks Aerial/Snowball -Moby / Southland Tales – Full Soundtrack (Score & Songs)   /   Sarah Michelle Gellar – Teen Horniness is Not a Crime