The film screenings were superb and well-attended. There were many intelligent, informed questions. And yes, the film covers near-term human extinction, even though filming was nearly complete before I reached that conclusion myself. Many of the scenes in the trailers didn’t make the final cut. Post-premiere Q&A is embedded below.
Mike Sosebee’s notes for the DVD:
Let me start with saying thanks for supporting our film. There had been a lot of stops and starts based on other commitments (by all parties involved) and there was a time a while back that I was completely out of money to pay my own bills so funding a film about “the end of the world as we know it” seemed a tad redundant. However in December of 2012 an anonymous source funded the final production and printing of this documentary film. Thank-you mystery person.
The story is primarily about Guy McPherson, Professor Emeritus, University of Arizona, who walked away from a tenured academic post to a permaculture settlement in New Mexico as a formal protest against “Industrial Civilization.” His “dire” messages from his academic post has been met with denial, obfuscation and he was largely marginalized.
Guy’s message over the years has become focused on the notion of NTE (near term extinction) based on increasingly pessimistic climate models and a growing biodiversity crisis.
If we are losing on the order of 200 species per day how many species can we lose before the survival of our own species is in jeopardy?
The question is now posed to the viewer: What do we do collectively and individually to confront our imminent oblivion?
Somewhere in New Mexico Before the End of Time: a review by Kevin Moore
To quote Robert Newman, British social commentator and comedian: where do you begin? For Robert Newman, 1609 was a good place to begin because that was when the Sea Venture sailed westward across the Atlantic with a cargo of “troublemakers” to repopulate the failing colony at Jamestown. Four hundred years later Mike Sosebee made a film which documents some of the destruction that Industrial Civilisation has wreaked upon the Earth, to a large extent as a consequence of the “success” of Jamestown, and the subsequent colonisation and industrialisation of the land mass that eventually came to be known as the United States.
Somewhere in New Mexico Before the End of Time tells two narratives at once; one narrative portrays some of the insanity of Industrial Civilisation and the culture of empire and consumerism which are in the process of rendering the Earth largely, or perhaps completely, uninhabitable for humans and other large mammals in a matter of a few decades as a consequence of escalating pollution and conversion of the natural world into stuff; the other narrative depicts the efforts of emeritus professor Guy McPherson to challenge the culture of empire and consumerism, and lead by example towards more sustainable ways of living.
In this film, Mike focuses attention on a man who was so disgusted by what he saw Industrial Civilisation doing to the living planet, and could no longer be a part of it, he quit his secure and well-paid employment “at the pinnacle of empire” to attempt to live a more normal way of life. The decision to leave the pinnacle of empire is described as “walking away from empire” and “going back to the land.” (Guy admitted that prior to locating to the thermally efficient straw bale house, referred to as “the mud hut,” his practical skills were severely limited; why would a successful university professor need to know how to use a screwdriver or a hammer? Why would a professor need to know how to grow vegetables, to keep bees or to milk a goat?)
The response of the viewer will undoubtedly depend on the previous exposure to the concept of real sustainability and their knowledge of how the Earth works as a complex physical-chemical-biological system; those with little knowledge or understanding may well dismiss Guy’s efforts to bring the crucial issues of our times to the fore as misguided silliness; those who have known Guy for many years and have taken an interest in the progression of western society “towards, and eventually off the cliff” are treated to behind-the-scenes revelations that demonstrate the determination of those in power to drive us all “off the cliff,” and know that to take a stand against looting and polluting incurs high personal costs.
No intelligent, caring, connected person can view this film without being deeply moved, and probably deeply saddened that the real heroes in western societies are largely ignored.
And I am certain that very soon a large number of people who are presently caught in the web of deceit that Industrial Empire spins are going to discover that they too will need to know how to grow vegetables, or keep bees or milk a goat.
Somewhere in New Mexico Before the End of Time may be the eye-opener that points them in the right direction.
Thank you Mike and all those who supported you.