Children of the dark and Australians of other persuasions, you have come to the right place. I’m sure you’ve heard whispers and ruminations about the mysterious black box coming to Tasmania, but how much do you really know about this post-apocalyptic tool that will outlive us all?
Well to start off, the box is actually called Earth’s Black Box, a very on-the-nose title for something that isn’t so straightforward.
It’s a big-ass steel box that’s going to be plonked down in Tasmania, about four hours from Hobart, somewhere near the western coast. Apparently, Tassie beat out Malta, Norway and Qatar for the most geologically stable location to play host to this ominous harbinger of death and destruction.
So what is the box? Well, it’s a complex little piece of technology that plans to record the downfall of all humanity. No, I’m not joking.
It’s a nifty box powered by solar energy, with a heap of storage drives and a backup battery, which collects information from the internet from newspaper headlines, key climate events, species extinction data, human population rise and falls, energy consumption and ocean acidification, to be a historical collection of how Earth came to fall due to our climate becoming unliveable.
“The idea is if the Earth does crash as a result of climate change, this indestructible recording device will be there for whoever’s left to learn from that,” Jim Curtis from Clemenger BBDO (the marketing company behind the box) told the ABC.
“It’s also there to hold leaders to account — to make sure their action or inaction is recorded.”
And it comes at a good time, too, because by 2100 we’re expected to hit 2.7 degrees Celsius of warming thanks to climate change, which is not very good at all.
Earth’s Black Box is supposed to be a relic of our life on this planet once we’re all gone, which is existential and downright scary. And yes, the problem of deciphering the box has also been discussed.
“It is impossible to anticipate who or what will find [it],” Curtis told the ABC.
“But it can be assumed that it will not be of any use unless it is discovered by someone or something… with the capability of understanding and interpreting basic symbolism.”
Great, so instead of trying to put efforts into reducing the effects of climate change, we’ve just skipped to leaving remnants of our civilisation for the aliens. Love it.