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Don’t Look Up’s director ‘plans to get arrested’

The Hollywood mover behind the climate comedy, Adam McKay, wants to take his activism to the next step


Jennifer Lawrence and Leonardo DiCaprio in Adam McKay's film Don't Look Up!

Jennifer Lawrence and Leonardo DiCaprio in Adam McKay's film Don't Look Up!

Jennifer Lawrence and Leonardo DiCaprio in Adam McKay's film Don't Look Up!

As we tackle the west’s addiction to fossil fuels, provoked by Putin’s invasion of Ukraine and the dire warnings from the International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the Hollywood director Adam McKay (Don’t Look Up!) made an extraordinary offer last week. Speaking at an event jointly hosted by Extinction Rebellion (XR) and Just Stop Oil (JSO), he offered himself up for arrest.

If you say ‘McKay, we need you to get arrested [for climate activism]’, I am at your service. It is high time someone put the cuffs on me.”

JSO is planning a series of major climate protection actions to disrupt the UK’s oil and gas supplies this spring, in an effort to force the UK government to stop all new fossil fuel investments. Extinction Rebellion is planning another of their spectacular, peaceful direct action rebellions in London from April 9.

McKay’s blockbuster comedy was a metaphor for lack of action on the climate emergency by the media, governments and oil corporations. He also promised to ask other members of the star-studded cast if they would be willing to be arrested.

Some of them had become very committed to the cause following the film, mentioning that Meryl Streep and Jonah Hill “are now very activated”. McKay frequently referred to the failure of the corporate media to alert the public to the depth of the threat posed to humanity.

“I would triple down on the media as the roadblock to awareness. They are doing a lot of damage and are creating a sense of normalcy that is downright murderous.” McKay said that after reading the 2018 IPCC report he had been unable to sleep for days. This was when he first became aware the crisis was already unfolding and was far more frightening than we are being told.

It had him totally freaked out. It was while talking to the American environmentalist David Sirota that the idea for the movie emerged.

Speaking to this column, JSO spokesperson Sarah Lunnon said: “To wean ourselves off our fossil-fuel addiction, it is a no brainer first step, to just stop investing in new fossil fuels.”

 JSO say their action is not about calling for existing taps to be turned off, even though we need to wean ourselves off as fast as possible, but preventing yet more fossil-fuel taps. They are currently running talks across the UK to build the numbers of arrestee climate protectors and crews of non-arrestees to support them. They are also fundraising from their website for the cause.

Extinction Rebellion spokesperson Clare Farrell said: “Those in power are neither willing nor capable of acting on the crisis. They lack the courage and corruption is in plain sight.”

From April 9, XR will be staging “the greatest collective act of non-violent direct-action in human history”.

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The UK government’s declaration that it intends to maximise North Sea oil and gas means that at this last moment to avert utter catastrophe, it has chosen catastrophe for future generations, by prioritising short-term profits for the fossil fuel oligarchy and their cheerleaders in the right-wing media.

What choice does the upcoming generation have left but to launch peaceful direct action on a global scale? It is the last glimmer of hope. It just might wake up the global media barons to help humanity crawl back from the cliff-edge of climate annihilation.

I wish these protectors the best with their recruitment, fundraising and operational planning over the coming weeks. Join or help them whatever way you can. (© The Independent)

Donnachadh McCarthy is an environmental auditor, campaigner and is the author of ‘The Prostitute State – How Britain’s Democracy was Hijacked’.

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