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Patricia Zurita on nature, climate and Don’t Look Up!

Like many millions of people around the globe, my family and I have enjoyed the latest Netflix blockbuster #Don’tLookUp. Like many of you I saw myself seesawing from the great fun the film and fabulous cast provide as entertainment, to deep reflection, and I admit aggravation, as it reflects to me exactly what the world looks like and how we are tackling (or not) the existential crises of nature loss and climate change.


I gather many others have criticised the film because they found the allegory connecting an imminent comet destroying earth with the climate crisis to be inaccurate or tortured. To be honest, I find this a bit ridiculous, and it feeds my frustration. They are missing the point. To me the film depicts the inability our culture has in dealing with and accepting reality – science – facts! This might be an even more devastating pandemic facing humankind. We see it across the board in our politics and society at large. Vaccines, nature, climate – you name it. I bet much media criticism stems from the film’s devastating portrayal of the current shallowness in coping with and scarcity of coverage of the climate and nature crises in the news.

As the leader of the world’s largest and oldest nature conservation partnership, which is the global authority on the science and conservation status of birds, I can tell you our scientists, policy teams and conservationists, and myself as well, have shared Leonardo di Caprio’s character’s challenges in getting the powers that be to act when presented with scientific facts. Birds are one of our most accurate and prescient indicator species for the health of our planet – and they are telling us, and we are telling the public and politicians, that the planet is in grave peril.

Nature loss is climate’s twinned existential crisis – without addressing one, we won’t solve the other. With over 1 million species soon facing extinction, the stakes are completely intertwined with the climate catastrophe.

So I salute and thank Adam McKay and Netflix for their trenchant, humorous and sharply pointed satire on the hurdles we face to convince the world’s governments, businesses and people to act now if we are to secure a future for nature, for all life, on earth.

Please consider joining and supporting our flock at BirdLife in 117 countries around the globe where we are tackling all fronts of the twin crises of climate and nature.

Header image: Netflix, find out more here.

“As the leader of the world’s largest and oldest nature conservation partnership, which is the global authority on the science and conservation status of birds, I can tell you our scientists, policy teams and conservationists, and myself as well, have shared Leonardo di Caprio’s character’s challenges in getting the powers that be to act when presented with scientific facts.”

Patricia Zurita, BirdLife CEO


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