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By Robert A. Vella

A new two-hour NOVA documentary on existential climate change was aired last night on PBS titled Decoding the Weather Machine.  The target audience appears to be people who are climate change skeptics and those who are either insufficiently aware of the science or unappreciative of its implications.  The film centers around a conservative meteorologist perplexed by our obviously changing weather who, in his determination to find the cause, discovers the frightening reality of what we humans are doing to this planet.  His revelation also provides an informative explanation of the difference between weather and climate.

Because of its focus, the documentary doesn’t get too technical and instead does a good job of conveying the science in an easy to understand manner.  It also does an excellent job of putting the subject of climate change into the proper perspective as well as detailing necessary solutions quite comprehensively.  The solutions offered take an all-or-nothing approach which essentially asserts that we must do everything possible to decrease the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere right now or face the inevitable consequences threatening modern civilization.

The length of the documentary will likely restrict its appeal, but I’m rating it as highly recommended.

From:  Decoding the Weather Machine

Disastrous hurricanes. Widespread droughts and wildfires. Withering heat. Extreme rainfall. It is hard not to conclude that something’s up with the weather, and many scientists agree. It’s the result of the weather machine itself—our climate—changing, becoming hotter and more erratic. In this two-hour documentary, NOVA will cut through the confusion around climate change. Why do scientists overwhelmingly agree that our climate is changing, and that human activity is causing it? How and when will it affect us through the weather we experience? And what will it take to bend the trajectory of planetary warming toward more benign outcomes? Join scientists around the world on a quest to better understand the workings of the weather and climate machine we call Earth, and discover how we can be resilient—even thrive—in the face of enormous change.

I’d also like to share more information on a related and very interesting story which I reblogged here today.  It concerns both the length of time advanced civilizations might be expected to survive in the universe from a statistical perspective, and why we haven’t yet observed any evidence of such extraterrestrial civilizations.  See:

Silurian Hypothesis: What If Humans Aren’t the First Civilization on Earth?

The Implications of Cosmic Silence

24 thoughts on “Review of new NOVA documentary on existential Climate Change (Decoding the Weather Machine)

  1. As I was reading your brief description, I kept thinking to myself that the people who NEED to see something like this … will never watch it. And even if they did, they’d no doubt poo-poo the presentation as being biased and inaccurate.

    It’s truly sad that our future generations are going to suffer. You’d think people would “get the idea” after all the fires and weather extremes that have occurred just in the last couple of years! But once your head is buried in the proverbial sand, the eyes are pretty much covered.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Very true. The suffering, however, has already begun. The documentary highlighted Norfolk, Virginia – among other places – where the effects of climate change are making believers out of the staunchest skeptics. Attitudes change quite rapidly when the impacts are directly felt.

      Liked by 4 people

      • I had forgotten about Norfolk, VA along with Miami and parts of Galveston and Brazoria Counties, TX and I’m sure several other major coastal U.S. cities/counties too. Now, I can just politely tell Climate-deniers “go to these U.S. coasts and see it for yourselves, then ask yourselves WHAT is causing the ocean and sea risings?” Maybe… just maybe they’ll ask enough/many questions as to why. (fingers crossed) 🤞

        Liked by 3 people

        • That meteorologist from Penn State, the ex-body-builder!? With way too much testosterone!!!!???? LOL 😄 If that’s true, and I hope it is, then it poignantly shows how $$$$$ and influence of big business mogols can totally blind and distort a person’s brain, critical-thinking, and “posh lifestyles,” huh? 😏

          Liked by 1 person

  2. As I was watching it last night Robert, I was hoping, but fairly sure you’d be watching it as well. Then I told myself — as I was getting more and more engrossed into the fabulous science in it — I wouldn’t be surprised if Robert blogs on the show! And guess what? Voilà! 🤗

    I can’t brag and highly recommend the show/series enough! It is very, VERY well done and as Rosaliene has mentioned, it is indeed comprehensive! What I was so impressed with was the last third of the show were a plethora of very VIABLE, proven, extensive, ready solutions to reducing CO2 levels globally! We NO LONGER HAVE ANY EXCUSES to not begin acting right now — except for blatant pathological lying and/or denial and manufactured ignorance of the sciences.

    Very happy you posted about it Robert! 😉 ❤

    Liked by 3 people

    • Thanks, Mary. It’s not off-topic because I included a link in this post regarding the Silurian hypothesis Gavin Schmidt and Adam Frank discussed in The Atlantic article.

      Indeed, because of the limited span of time technological civilizations might survive compared to the great expanse of geologic history, evidence of their existence would be difficult to find. The PETM example is compelling, although not inexplicably so. These kinds of discussions are very relevant today because anthropogenic climate change is forcing us to contemplate the possibility of our own extinction – or, at least the likelihood that modern civilization would collapse.

      Liked by 1 person

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