Oppenheimer: Manhattan Project for a Decarbonized Future

July 22, 2023

Oppenheimer: Manhattan Project for a Decarbonized Future

Charlie and the Atomic Factory

SAN FRANCISCO — July 22, 2023 — Members of the Anthropocene Institute team were honored to attend a private screening of Oppenheimer at the San Francisco AMC IMAX Theatre. The film chronicles the life of J. Robert Oppenheimer, a theoretical physicist who was pivotal in developing the first nuclear weapon as part of the Manhattan Project, and thereby ushering in the Atomic Age.

In their introductory remarks, J. Robert Oppenheimer’s family, including his grandson Charles Oppenheimer, noted it’s time to call for a “Manhattan Project” for carbon-free energy production. This includes the expansion of nuclear energy as an environmentally friendly solution to address both the world’s energy problems and as a catalyst for peace and unity.

Charles Oppenheimer (r) meets Anthropocene Institute's Micah Brown (l).

With the goal of promulgating J. Robert Oppenheimer’s belief that we must address the existential threat of climate change, the family has founded The Oppenheimer Project, which takes a three-pronged approach: promote open discussion, increase energy production, and transition to carbon-free energy sources, including nuclear energy. 

In his final remarks, Charles Oppenheimer quoted his grandfather: “If you’re a scientist, you believe that it's good to find out how the world works. It's good to find out what the realities are. It is good to turn over to mankind at large the greatest possible power to control the world and deal with it according to its likes and values.” Charles concluded by saying, “There’s a shared dependence of all people that is recognized now, and we all have to deal with that.”


In creating a truly immersive experience, director Christopher Nolan chose to film the movie in 70mm IMAX. While only a handful of theaters are capable of showing this film in its full form, the feedback from moviegoers has been overwhelmingly positive.  Micah Brown, Anthropocene Institute's Art Director said, "The Citizen Kane of our era! 70mm picture perfect detail. An experience like no other."

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