‘Interstellar’ Climate Change

-By Gary Krasner

This is not political commentary. it’s just an interesting observation that there may be a political subtext to the movie interstellar.

I don’t know if anyone else has made this observation. But I made the connection as soon as I saw who played a certain character in the movie. And given that you may have read elsewhere that director Christopher Nolan appears to be a political conservative (e.g. his last Batman movie), this may have been intentional.

And I’m not referring to themes in the movie that some reviewers have construed to be pro conservative. Some were written by conservatives, no doubt desperate to discover something from Hollywood that is not propagandizing from the left.

Although this reviewer (“Jay” somebody), while also mentioning a political subtext at one point, without labeling it conservative vs. Liberal, presents an interesting science interpretation of the film, albeit getting loopy on one aspect about it (e.g. – our fake moon landing!)

OK, with that said, here’s my observation. And let me know if you found anyone else making this connection:

(spoiler alert)

Necessary background info:

Matt Damon is very political and especially about the environment. In 2012 he starred in an anti fracking movie, Promised Land, which was a fictional drama about hydraulic fracturing, which happened to use fictional science (OK, let’s just say politically biased science).

And in April, Damon’s massive Showtime documentary series will premier. It’s called, “Years of Living Dangerously.” It’s the most ambitious attempt to date to make everyone alarmed about climate change and how we must stop it, presuming we CAN stop it and SHOULD stop it (I must have missed those “debates”!).

Finally, you need to know that the most famous and earliest rationalization for climate alarmism came in 1998, when Dr. Michael E. Mann and colleagues published a paper in which the data showed earth temperatures increasing suddenly and dramatically, after high CO2 emissions from industrialization, like a abrupt curve in the shape of a hockey stick.

And you also need to know that the data Dr. Mann used in that paper was later shown to be fraudulent.

OK? So here comes Nolan’s movie Interstellar, which premiered on Oct. 2014.

And in the movie, we learn that one of the planets the protagonists may travel to is a planet upon which a Dr. Mann (a famous scientist in this future time, and in the movie is referred to only as “Dr. Mann” with no first name mentioned) had previously visited, and is still there in cryosleep, and who had uploaded data to an archive in space which indicated to the protagonist space travelers from earth that “Dr. Mann’s planet” had a climate which is hospitable to human life.

So the protagonist astronauts arrive in this galaxy, and they collect Dr. Mann’s climate data for his planet, and when they realize that Mann’s data on climate is good for humans, they set a course to go to that planet.

After they land, they find Dr. Mann in cryosleep, and proceed to wake him up. And when Mann emerges from his zip-lock bag, we see that it’s Matt Damon!

But that’s not the punch line. Here’s the punch line. Are you ready? The astronauts learn that Dr. Mann had faked the data on climate! He lied about it for his own personal advantage. The real data would have showed that the planet’s climate is not hospitable to human life.

So here we have a fictional Dr. Mann proffering fraudulent climate data, just like we had a real Dr. Mann who produced fraudulent climate data about earth.

And now my questions:

Of all the names which could have been used (other than “Mann”) and all the actors who could have played this part in the movie (other than Damon), how could this have happened by chance?

And given Nolan’s conservative leanings (I don’t know if he’s come out publicly as a conservative), could this have been an intentional political shot, albeit somewhat cloaked?

As an aside, I must mention that I found the dialogue in the movie difficult to hear. The words were too often drowned out by the non-dialogue background humming and droning audio. Very annoying, and very much like Nolan’s previous film, Inception, with Leonardo DiCaprio. Interestingly, DiCaprio is also an environmental activist in real life!

And now, for the really amazing thing. The Academy Awards nominated Interstellar for Best Sound Mixing and Best Sound Editing!

Copyright Publius Forum 2001