“Noah” As A Stealth Climate Change Movie?

Could “Noah” be a metaphor
For global climate change?
At first, the claim is ludicrous–
At second, merely strange
The people didn’t listen,
And the global waters rose:

Replacing “God” with “Scientists”,
The story likewise goes.
Our sins will lead to flooding,
That plot, too, remains the same–
A global warming metaphor
That dare not speak its name!

It seems odd, given that more than one US congressman has cited the Noah story as proof that anthropogenic global climate change cannot possibly be happening, but the cinematographer for Noah reveals in a Daily Beast interview that the new Noah movie is actually a Global Warming Epic, a movie with a strong environmentalist, pro-science message:

That was the largest theme of the film: environmentalism. In the marketing of the film they shy away from it. I don’t know why it’s a taboo thing to say “environmentalism” cause you’re going to scare off half the population because they’ve been told “environmentalism” is a bad thing? The idea that we have to stay away from the issue because we’re going to polarize half the audience speaks to how fucking dysfunctional we are.

We also find out that Superstorm Sandy caused serious damage to the ark set, on Long Island–of course, a true global flood in the time scale of of the Noachian story would dwarf Sandy, so I guess they just don’t build arks like they used to. Or never did, or whatever.

I have not been paying attention to the reviews of Noah–indeed, this interview is the first I have heard the environmental angle spoken of.



  1. Menyambal says

    Yeah. I had read one review/analysis that said there wasn’t really a god in the film, just a feeling or a dream, and that Noah was all about saving the animals. He even tries to keep the people from breeding. That reviewer said it was very much meant to be about climate change. Can’t remember who wrote that, but it made me wonder how the fundamentalists could have missed that.

  2. lorn says

    Well of course they don’t build arks like they used to. Try to find tape measures incremented in cubits and gopher wood. it is all but unobtainable.

  3. Cuttlefish says

    Of course not. Not only do I not, but the majority of Christians do not, either–they accept that such a global catastrophe would have a distinctive geological footprint, and that the absence of that evidence, and indeed the cumulative evidence of geology, biology (a population bottleneck like that would have a genetic fingerprint as well), physics… as well as historical evidence of myths other than the Abrahamic traditions that reference Mesopotamian floods as a cultural ancestor to the adapted Noachian story… all these things convince any unblinkered thinker (again, including most Christians) that the Noah story is pure myth. I have suggested that even Ken Ham must not believe it. Indeed, anyone who has ever thought about it realizes what a horrible story it is, so they tell a completely different version to kids to make it all warm and fuzzy. Cos any way you look at it, it tells the story of a flawed and sadistic god.

    So no, not only do I not believe in it, but you’d have to do a lot of convincing to get me to think that *you* do.

  4. woozy says

    Kind of funny ’cause when *I* was a child *every* interpretation of the Noah story had an environmental slant. (Environmentalism was big in 1972. And fundamentalism was barely a blip. Or so it seemed to this 10-year old atheist in Santa Fe and Berkeley. It was probably different in other households. But we *really* need to take back our interpretations. I know we’re atheist so we don’t have any reason to try to turn god into a liberal but the fundamentalists *need* to learn that turning god into a republican is neither normal nor the default nor actually acceptable.)

  5. impact says

    So Cuttlefish, you are an atheist right? Could be wrong about everything you think you know?

  6. Cuttlefish says

    Take a look around the site, impact; your questions will all be answered.

    Of course I could be wrong; I was wrong once before. I used to be a born-again Christian. I don’t think I’m wrong now, but I didn’t then, either. One major difference, though, is that my current world view does not need to deny the preponderance of the scientific evidence. I know an awful lot more now, about everything from cosmology to geology to physics to chemistry to biology to psychology, and in every one of those (and more), a world view in which the Noachian flood is a true story *must* necessarily deny huge chunks of scientific understanding. And no, it is not merely a different interpretation of the same evidence; rather, it is that the flood myth is incompatible with the evidence all around us. (Well, it is not entirely incompatible with psychology–the fact is, it is very easy to get people to believe things that are false, and to believe them with every fiber of their being. The strength of your belief should not be confused with its accuracy.)

    Again, take a look around the site. Most of the questions you have, have been answered many times, and usually in verse.

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