By Jacob Freydont-Attie: The Cross of the Moment


This excellent 2015 documentary is a series of bright minds discussing the human predicament from different insightful perspectives.

Most of the big issues like over-population, fossil energy dependence, climate change, and species extinction are discussed with honesty and an absence of denial.

I particularly like how the director Jacob Freydont-Attie set the ominous tone by opening with a discussion of the Fermi Paradox.

A couple of participants made the common uniformed claim that we can easily continue business as usual without emitting carbon, and no one commented on how odd it is for such an intelligent species to deny it’s predicament, but on balance I think this is one of the best documentaries I’ve seen on human overshoot.

Thanks to GailZ for bringing this to my attention.

Here is some information from the home site:

A deep-green, deep-time, highly cerebral discussion of the environmental crisis, The Cross of the Moment attempts to connect the dots between Fermi’s Paradox, climate change, capitalism, and collapse. Interviews with top scientists and public intellectuals are woven together into a narrative that is challenging, exhausting, and often depressing as it refuses to accept the easy answers posited by other overly-simplistic climate change documentaries. No fancy graphics or distracting introductions detract from what is essentially an 80 minute constructed conversation among a group of highly informed experts on the most important topic in human history; will our species survive catastrophic climate change?

The film is divided into seven chapters that start from the widest perspective, why do we appear to be alone in the galaxy, and slowly narrows its focuses through a series of topics including Rare Earth Theory, human impact on the biosphere, potential solutions, structural barriers to implementation, the possibility of the collapse of civilization, and a final call for immediate engagement at all levels of society.

Interviewees are Don Brownlee, Roger Carasso, Robin Hanson, Mark Jacobson, Derrick Jensen, David Klein, Bill McKibben, Guy McPherson, Bill Patzert, Gary Snyder, Jill Stein, Peter Ward, and Josh Willis. Some of these are household names, other are more obscure scientists working in academia or for government institutions such as NASA. What they all share is a pressing concern for the future of our planet. Certainly more demanding on its audience than similar films, there is also present here a layer of humor and, more importantly, a deep sense of humanity. By the end the audience has not just explored our current crisis from a variety of thoughtful perspectives, but also become acquainted with these highly original intellectuals as people seeking truth as we all are.

The film takes its title from a stanza of W. H. Auden’s poem The Age of Anxiety, published in 1947.


5 thoughts on “By Jacob Freydont-Attie: The Cross of the Moment”

  1. Is this film really so different than the standard platitudes about “solutions” involving more growth of machinery, if not people? I see Mark C. Jacobson and Bill McKibben in the interviewee list. Both of them believe that spoiling what’s left of the world’s scenery is justified by mediocre carbon reductions from ungainly wind turbines that require fossil fuels to exist, and will continue to kill birds and bats commensurate with their numbers.

    McKibben ironically published his most famous book with a dead bird on the jacket, and Jacobson is behaving like a salesman more than a scientist by suing people who reviewed his “100% renewable energy” plan as deeply flawed. When I saw the suit amount was $10 million I knew something was even more rotten in WindMark.

    Building ugly mega projects rebranded as green is business as usual. We’ve seen all that before, including wind power cameos in the latest Al Gore film. It’s now considered hip to show industrial landscapes as progress (as long as no smoke is coming from them; though nacelles often catch fire).

    Someone needs to make a true un-denial documentary, sober enough to admit that we may be up a creek. (ugly, noisy, lethal, futile)


    1. You’re mostly right. I automatically ignore everything McKibben says and should have stated that he is as deeply in denial as they come. LOL, he still calls his organization when we long blew past 400 ppm.

      Some of the other speakers were better.

      For a deeper dose of reality you might like these videos by Jack Alpert.


  2. Thanks for posting this. As respect silence says, there are more than a few pipe dream nuggets in there that are simply thermodynamicaly impaired. Good overall though.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks! I listened to it and thought it was pretty good although I thought it very odd that the title of their book is “Denying to the Grave” yet she did not even mention let alone attempt to draw a connection to our first, most powerful, most universal, and wackiest belief of all: denial of death. Maybe the author is in denial too?


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