This is an expression of grief, dread, and anger at humanity’s role in fueling the climate crisis.

I want this project to communicate the gravity and present reality of climate collapse through an audiovisual experience: an artistic, emotional blend of music and collage footage, in contrast to densely-packed, data-heavy papers, reports, and documentaries. 

From a broad collection of topical songs, I selected ones that represented varied genres, gradually refined the music mix, and created new pieces (Anomalies, Birdsong, Oceanscape, Stormscape) to supplement the existing works. I gathered footage and still images with a focus on extreme weather events, shifting landscapes, and universally-understood suffering. Views of people are purposefully limited, as I wanted to emphasize that individual contributions to climate change are minimal compared to powerful entities: the corporations that have been aware of their impacts for decades and spread disinformation for the sake of profits, and the governments that allow and perpetuate that blatant disregard for life on Earth. 


The End Is was created by Courtney Staples for Harvard Extension School’s Digital Media Design capstone. It consists of existing music, original audio pieces, audio samples, public domain/government footage, b-roll, stock video, and still images, which are listed below in order of appearance.

Disclaimer: The appearance of U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) visual information does not imply or constitute DoD endorsement.

Excerpt: Carl Sagan testifying before Congress in 1985 on climate change

“Because the effects occupy more than a human generation, there is a tendency to say that they are not our problem. Of course then they are nobody’s problem: not on my tour of duty, not on my term of office, it’s something for the next century, let the next century worry about it. But the problem is that there are effects – and the greenhouse effect is one of them – which have long-time constants. If you don’t worry about it now, it’s too late later on. And so in this issue as in so many other issues, we are passing on extremely grave problems for our children, when the time to solve the problems, if they can be solved at all, is now.”


Aural representation of global annual mean temperature data from 1880-2021, sourced from GISS Surface Temperature Analysis (GISTEMP), version 4, NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies, sonified through TwoTone.io, and edited in Ableton Live.


Before-and-after satellite images courtesy of NASA Global Climate Change’s Images of Change:

Childish Gambino – Feels Like Summer

On a day like this, the heat
It feel like summer
(I feel like summer)
I feel like summer
(I feel like summer)
I feel like summer

Every day gets hotter than the one before
Running out of water, it’s about to go down
Go down
Air that kill the bees that we depend upon
Birds were made for singing, wakin’ up to no sound
No sound

Chancha Via Circuito – Rio Arriba


Composed primarily of recordings of birdcalls from species considered Vulnerable, Endangered, or Critically Endangered on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species:

with continuation of Chancha Via Circuito – Rio Arriba

Run The Jewels – goonies vs. E.T.

Amazing, ain’t it, how we made it and didn’t fake it?
Life’s a disguise, the truth is butt naked
Used to be a time I’d see it and not say it
Now I understand that woke folk be playin’

It’s the funniest shit, finally the money up
And print on the kid and the planet hit skids
Livin’ in a valley of flames like “I win”
Skyline ablaze in a Bob Ross pic

Any good deed is pummeled, punished and penalized
Rulers of the world will slice it up like a dinner pie
Race in a nation told you to identify
People take false pride and warfare incentivized

Swear to goddamn the whole city odd
Make a romance hard, we got scars for hearts
Shit for odds, baby, living in a one chance LARP
So I stick to the art, oh my god, I’m

Ultra mag, put cash in bag
Running through dead zone, hope I don’t crash
Tenor Saw motherfuck ring it up fast
Be alarmed, I’ma harm what I can and then dash
Fuck y’all got another planet on stash?
Far from the fact of the flames of our trash?
That is not snow, it is ash, and you gotta know
The past got a wrath, it’s a lover gone mad
But I promise

with continuation of Kelly Lee Owens – Melt!


Mos Def – New World Water

New World Water make the tide rise high
Come inland and make your house go “Bye”

You can laugh and take it as a joke if you wanna
But it don’t rain for four weeks some summers
And it’s about to get real wild in the half
You be buying Evian just to take a fuckin bath

While these knuckleheads is out here sweatin they goods
The sun is sitting in the treetops burnin the woods
And as the flames from the blaze get higher and higher
They say, “Don’t drink the water! We need it for the fire!”

New York is drinkin it (New World Water)
Now all of California is drinkin it (New World Water)
Way up north and down south is drinkin it (New World Water)
Used to have minerals and zinc in it (New World Water)
Now they say it got lead and stink in it (New World Water)

Fluorocarbons and monoxide
Got the fish lookin cockeyed

with continuation of Kelly Lee Owens – Melt!

Marvin Gaye – Mercy Mercy Me (The Ecology)

Mercy, mercy me
Things ain’t what they used to be, no no
Where did all the blue skies go?
Poison is the wind that blows from the north and south and east

Mercy, mercy me
Things ain’t what they used to be, no no
Oil wasted on the ocean and upon our seas
Fish full of mercury

Mercy, mercy me
Things ain’t what they used to be, no no
Radiation under ground and in the sky
Animals and birds who live nearby are dying

Mercy, mercy me
Things ain’t what they used to be
What about this overcrowded land
How much more abuse from man can she stand?

with continuation of Kelly Lee Owens – Melt!


Låpsley – Through Water

The majority of impacts will be felt through water
Through water
Through water
Next ten years
For the next ten years
This is followed by the failure of litigation and adaptation
Adaptation, litigation
Adapt–, adapt–, adapt–, adapt–
Litigation and adaptation

Adaptation, litigation
Adapt, adapt, adapt, adapt
Litigation and adaptation
Extreme weather events through crises
Through crises
Connected with the water and the water cycle
Connected with the water and the water cycle
Connected, connected

El Búho – Into the Void (Instrumental)

with continuation of Oceanscape

Monte – Habitat Sur

with continuation of Låpsley – Through Water


ANOHNI – 4 Degrees

It’s only four degrees, it’s only four degrees
It’s only four degrees, it’s only four degrees
It’s only four degrees, it’s only four degrees
It’s only four degrees, it’s only four degrees

And all those rhinos and all those big mammals
I wanna see them lying, crying in the fields

I wanna see them burn, it’s only four degrees
I wanna see them burn, it’s only four degrees
I wanna see them burn, it’s only four degrees

I wanna burn them, I wanna burn them
I wanna burn them, I wanna burn them


Laurie Anderson & Kronos Quartet – Old Motors and Helicopters

S.a.t.a.n – Forest Shredder


Composed primarily from personal recordings, with support from the Climate Sample Pack by DJs for Climate Action & Greenpeace.

with continuation of ANOHNI – 4 Degrees


Phoebe Bridgers – I Know The End

Mix version sourced from NPR Music’s Phoebe Bridgers: Tiny Desk (Home) Concert.

Driving out into the sun
Let the ultraviolet cover me up
Went looking for a creation myth
Ended up with a pair of cracked lips
Windows down, scream along
To some America First rap country song
A slaughterhouse, an outlet mall
Slot machines, fear of God
Windows down, heater on
Big bolt of lighting hanging low
Over the coast everyone’s convinced
It’s a government drone or an alien spaceship
Either way we’re not alone
I’ll find a new place to be from
A haunted house with a picket fence
To float around and ghost my friends
I’m not afraid to disappear
The billboard said The End Is Near
I turned around there was nothing there
Yeah, I guess the end is here
Yeah, I guess the end is here
The end is here
The end is here
The end is

with continuation of Stormscape