‘Extrapolations’ – TV Series Review and Analysis

“Recent wildfires in Canada that have caused the worst air pollution in decades across the Northeast U.S. this week have made me think about how our lives are becoming more and more impacted by the effects of climate change.”

Recent wildfires in Canada that have caused the worst air pollution in decades across the Northeast U.S. this week have made me think about how our lives are becoming more and more impacted by the effects of climate change. Growing wildfires, powerful hurricanes, sea level rise, melting glaciers, species extinction, and more acidic oceans are all causes for concern for people around the world and no country or people is likely to be exempt from at least one of the effects that have already been documented. What happens though in the next 50 years when we don’t take enough action now and in the past to reverse a possible future of no return?

That question is the premise for the first mainstream drama to focus on a future where climate change wins the battle that we are currently on track to lose if we don’t make drastic changes to our impact on the world around us. ‘Extrapolations’ is not a run of the mill documentary about climate change nor is it a disaster film that has become popular in Hollywood regarding disastrous storms. Instead, it is a rather intelligent take on the world soon when humanity cannot prevent global temperatures from staying at or below a 1.5-degree Celsius increase. The show covers what happens when humanity fails in its objective to keep the warming of the planet to a tolerable level. What starts out as 1.5 degrees Celsius becomes 2 degrees than 3 degrees until we become way past the point of no return past mid-century when 3.5 – 4 degrees Celsius is where the planet is headed.

Throughout the show’s eight episodes, we see the effects on the planet from Miami, Florida to New York City to London to Tel Aviv, Israel to Mumbai, India. From sea level rise wiping out the most popular nightlife areas in Miami including a historic synagogue to the constant wildfires that engulf Israel and the Middle East to limited outdoor time in Mumbai each day due to the overbearing heat and polluted air that causes deleterious effects to one’s health, the writers paint a grim yet realistic picture on what will happen if our climate change efforts fail miserably. More so than just the settings that are portrayed accurately in terms of how these popular cities may face their own negatives based on their geographic location, the characters in ‘Extrapolations’ have fully developed backgrounds, and you really get to know each of them over the course of the TV series.

There is a wide berth of society who are represented in this show from the wealthy billionaire who is interested in maximizing profits and takes advantage in his corporation from a dying planet to the Rabbi who is trying to wrestle with his faith in God as his synagogue slowly floods from the rising sea. What ‘Extrapolations’ does well is that it acknowledges that no one is purely innocent or purely guilty because of how badly climate change has warped the planet. Everyone is responsible in their own way, some more than others, but humanity is to blame for how we did not act quickly or unite fast enough to overcome our differences to reverse the worst effects to come.

The human effects of climate change are also explored such as how we are affected when we cannot go outside or must stay indoors to avoid heart or lung issues, why the extreme heat can prevent any work or leisure to take place, and how loneliness, depression, and atomization becomes more common when we despair at the worsening state of the planet.

My favorite episode in the eight-part TV series is ‘2066: Lola’ where we see how much augmented and virtual reality has come by then so that people are paid essentially to pretend to other people as a gig job and earn credits or money that can help improve their lives and insulate themselves more from climate change’s effects. The desire to connect with other people to distract ourselves from a dying planet is truly the TV series’ most impactful episode and makes you think about how much the emergence of augmented reality will make us both lonelier than ever and wanting to connect with others in untraditional and sometimes unseemly ways.

‘Extrapolations’ as a show really gets the A-list attention for a futuristic take on climate change’s effects on humanity with movie stars like Meryl Streep, Forest Whitaker, Kit Harrington, Edward Norton, Matthew Rhys, Gemma Chan, David Schwimmer, etc. All eight episodes are boosted by a stellar cast who really pour their hearts into the performances they give. I believe that they all truly cared about the project and how important it is to have a show like this become the center of attention. While Apple has been rightly condemned for some corporate practices that are harmful to the planet, it is a major TV show and movie distributor and should be commended for being the first major studio to have a series that doesn’t shy away from the brutal honesty of where we are headed if we don’t mitigate the worst effects of climate change to come.

If you are reading this article in 2023, you already know that the sea levels are starting to rise, wildfires are growing in both size and scale, bigger and stronger hurricanes that are also becoming more powerful, and deadly heat waves are becoming more common. While the first episode in this series takes place in 2037 and the last one ends in 2070, climate change is already here in 2023 as recent news events make clear and it has been affecting us for quite some time.

I encourage ‘Extrapolations’ to be watched by viewers with an open mind but also a commitment to do better for the planet. Do not shy away to act and make your voice heard regarding climate change after watching the series. You may think you know how bad it can get in the future from watching this series but ‘Extrapolations’ importance as a show is that it is as clear as day to where we will end up if we don’t hit the collective climate target goal of 1.5 degrees Celsius or keep as close to 1.5 degrees as possible.

While the show does mention possible stopgaps and solutions that can mitigate the damage, by that time in the 21st century, these solutions are risky with side effects on the planet that can only be speculated about. While the billionaire tycoon character was likely modeled after a few people who are prominent in our current age, as the show makes clear, the blame does not fall on him alone. We all can do our part by taking action to reduce our own carbon emissions, to encourage others to petition for policies and solutions now instead of 10 to 50 years down the line.

If the show has one central message after its eight impactful episodes, we all have stake in making sure this planet is livable for future generations. Even if you won’t be around to see the worst of climate change, we all should do our part, advocate for solutions now, and to hold people in power and of great wealth accountable if they do not action as well on a larger scale. The clock is ticking and as ‘Extrapolations’ highlights from 2037 to 2070, it can go downhill and get worse than what are experiencing already in 2023. Let’s not make the show a reality but keep it as a cautionary tale of what would have happened if we did not act strongly enough in these first decades of the twenty-first century.

I recommend ‘Extrapolations’ based on its great acting, stunning visuals, excellent writing, and interesting plots, but most importantly, because it focuses on the biggest issue of our time and one that we cannot ignore or downplay anymore.   


Peace of the Ocean

“Some folks prefer the mountains, others prefer the river, but I prefer the ocean. As the saying goes, “The ocean has no memory.” It doesn’t care who we are or where we come from, it’s just glad that we are there.”

Witness the waves splashing down on the sand, hear the wind swirling throughout the beach, feel the coolness of the water lapping up against your feet, and experience the solitude that you gain from being by yourself at dusk or dawn with a full view of the brilliant ocean. These are just a few ways that the peace of the ocean can captivate us and keep us coming back for more tranquility. Some folks prefer the mountains, others prefer the river, but I prefer the ocean. As the saying goes, “The ocean has no memory.” It doesn’t care who we are or where we come from, it’s just glad that we are there.

In this increasingly fast-paced world based around complex technology that can be both addictive and time consuming, it’s truly peaceful to get away from it all if only for a short while by taking time to go to the ocean. You don’t even have to get in the ocean but by being near it, I believe it refreshes us, it calms us, and allows us to be left with our thoughts and our memories.

Some folks like to swim, some like to surf, others like to fish, while some enjoy lounging on the beach; in all, there are dozens of options on how to interact with the ocean allowing us to find our own peace by being in the ocean or nearby it. The beauty of the ocean is that every time is a little bit different for the person who goes there. The setting may be the same, but you’ve changed as a person and so do your thoughts, feelings, and desires upon coming to the ocean. You grow older, you change jobs, you move places, you bring new people with you, but the ocean and its bounty never truly changes.

How you interact with the ocean may change too and what you decide to get from it will also adapt but nothing that ever changes is that we all seek peace of our own from this beautiful locale. Regardless of the activity involved, the ocean recharges our batteries, lets us relax, keeps us honest, and allows us to leave our troubles behind for a little while. Because of its restorative powers, it is no wonder why millions of people live by the ocean and why billions around the planet seek to visit it year in and year out.

The ocean is such a powerful part of human nature that we bury our dead there at times, that we memorialize people who made a living from it, and that we honor those who preserved peace when wars were fought over access to it. Humanity is always linked to the ocean and if we do not protect and preserve the ocean, a part of our humanity would be lost in the process. The ocean is a living and breathing thing providing us with the oxygen, nutrients, and food that we need to survive each day.

In return for the calm, tranquility, and overall peace that it brings us, we must do our part to keep it clean, keep its inhabitants from becoming endangered, and making sure that it is around for future generations. When we can no longer fish the waters, swim in the waves, or relax ourselves at pristine beaches, we will lose a piece of ourselves, and we will lose our own inner peace that the ocean cultivates in those of us who go there to rejuvenate and restore ourselves each time.

The ocean gives us peace of mind, peace of body, and peace of spirit. It’s only fair that we strive to give back as best as we can by taking care of it and letting it be enjoyed far into the future. Acidification, pollution, loss of natural habits and pockets of floating trash threaten not only the ocean but the rest of the planet too. We will not be able to have as much as peace if the ocean is dying. When we can no longer fish the waters responsibly, swim in clean waves, or go boating with clean energy, we will suffer a true lack of peace. Our minds and our bodies won’t be at ease if the ocean is not at ease.

The climate change crisis is not just about preserving the planet, but it is also about preserving our own mental peace of mind. The ocean allows us to feel better about ourselves, improve our social relationships, and spend quality time away from work or other commitments. If we lose the chance to enjoy the ocean, that lack of peace will hurt us as human beings. If we can no longer enjoy one of our best natural environments, we will lose a great way to relax, rejuvenate, and recharge ourselves to deal with life’s challenges and opportunities. I hope we can do better in the future to keep the ocean beautiful, clean, and vibrant because I enjoy the peace that it brings me in return.

See the Stars

“If you are going through troubles in your life, I believe it can be comforting to see the stars not only to realize that while our problems are serious and need to be dealt with, it is also good to realize the beauty in things and nothing is perhaps more beautiful than a clear, night sky where you can see the constellations, the full moon, and even a shooting star if you are lucky.”

One nightly ritual that should make a comeback is to see the stars. A simple yet effective way to remember our place in the universe and how small we really are when it comes to the cosmos. If you are going through troubles in your life, I believe it can be comforting to see the stars not only to realize that while our problems are serious and need to be dealt with, it is also good to realize the beauty in things and nothing is perhaps more beautiful than a clear, night sky where you can see the constellations, the full moon, and even a shooting star if you are lucky.

While not likely under the traditional definition for a ‘meditation experience’, I think that you can definitely get lost in your own thoughts or perhaps stop thinking for a while as you concentrate on the brightest stars or the allure of the full moon. Instead of thinking about your problems and your worries, you can try to map the ‘Big Dipper’ or ‘Orion’s Belt’, which can be a fun activity not just for you but for your loved one as well.

In our modern, fast-paced world, it is increasingly difficult to find places or open spaces where light pollution has not clouded the stars or has kept us from fully appreciating the sheer number of stars, galaxies, and planets out there in the universe. If you live in a major city or even a big town, light pollution as well as other forms of pollution have likely kept you from appreciating the stars in their full capacity. I honestly believe that shutting off the city lights or the town’s lights for just a few minutes for some simple star gazing would ease a lot of people’s anxieties, stresses, and worries as they look to the heavens to see the possibilities of what lies beyond humanity’s reach.

In my opinion, looking at the stars is more humbling than scary, more illuminating than disturbing, and more beautiful than dark. A clear sky on a full night is a precious gift and one for which we should all appreciate in those little moments of peace that we can make for ourselves in our daily lives. Not only is it healthy for you to relax, to grab a chair, and even make a snack over the fireplace while you appreciate the stars above, it’s a great way to bond with your family and your friends.

Sadly, you may need to take a vacation to a rural country home or to a mountain chalet in order to be able to immerse yourself in stargazing. Most of us around the world live in densely populated communities and cities where finding the stars is as difficult sometimes as finding the sky during the day due to the various forms of pollution. However, it’s good in general to go to quiet spots from time to time where the air is fresh, the water is clean to drink, and the stars are bright to enjoy nature in its fullest.

From open country fields to the mountain tops, there are still places out there in the world that are isolated from civilization and where you can really appreciate the stars at night. It may take effort and money to do so but it’s worth it to be introspective and to think about what could be out there, what it could be like to explore those different planets that may be habitable to man, and how cool it would be to be up in space where gravity is non-existent and where you can see how small and unique our little blue planet really is.

One tip that you should consider using to fully appreciate the stars is a really good telescope that can zoom in to see certain constellations and planets at a really high resolution and for which you can eventually become good at making a map over a week or a month of where they are located at in the night sky. Telescopes are the best tool for also seeing shooting stars or seeing what stage the moon is in during its monthly cycle. It can be a worthwhile investment if you live in a rural or unpopulated area where the night sky is always clear, and the stars are abundant to see.

Being able to appreciate the stars is a simple joy and one which is overlooked in a fast-paced world. However, I believe it is good for the soul and for our peace of mind. Looking at a full night sky has different meanings for different people but for me, it is reassuring. It’s nice to know what what we consider astronomical problems here on Earth are actually not that big in the grand scheme of the universe.

We should try to keep our small place in the universe in mind when we consider the scale of our own Earth-based problems. While it’s a definite fact that we must make our own planet more livable, freer, more just, and cleaner, we also have to acknowledge that we are most likely not alone in its great expanse. Our place in the universe and even in our own Milky Way galaxy is so tiny that we can’t help but appreciate what could lie beyond our planet and that maybe one day we will finally be able to find out what’s out there and to reach further for the stars than we did before to find out, once and for all, if we are truly alone in the universe and also what Earth-like planets would be there for us to discover and perhaps live on?  

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