Despicable Me 2: Surprising Energy & Climate References

DESPICABLE ME 2 2013, Universal Pictures

2013, Universal Pictures

I watched Despicable Me 2 (2013) with my kids recently, counting on a good laugh based on Steve Carell’s and Kristin Wiig’s involvement.  However, the movie went beyond that, surprising me with two energy (and climate) references on top of the laughs.

First, the opening scene shows a research station based in the Arctic Circle with an array of large-scale wind turbines. While the wind turbines are destroyed by the super-sized magnet that a villain uses to raid the labs, their presence suggests distributed renewables as a viable off-the-grid solution in remote settings.

Second, when the head of the Anti-Villain League (AVL) lists the types of crimes that are worthy of the AVL’s elite crime-fighters’ attention, those that are global in scale and particularly destructive, he specifically mentions “melting the polar caps.” It’s noteworthy that this animated movie singles out our collective crime against nature (e.g. emitting so many greenhouse gases that the polar caps are at risk of melting) as being particularly egregious. The only problem: there’s no single bad guy or group of bad guys to stop for this particular crime. We all share in the blame. Maybe Despicable Me 3 will address this issue?

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