But their happiness is short-lived. When and how the Anthropocene should be defined and dated leads to campus violence. The giant Polyphemus moth who only has one day to live comes flying though what is left of the forest that has been destroyed by logging. Those with real power nod wisely and synchronised platitudes ensue as formation dancing. All advise Polyphemus to appear more cute and less obvious in his dying so as to reflect well on the history of big game empire and the exquisite taste of collectors. Acis goes further and calls Polyphemus an “eco-crusader turned criminal”. He accuses him of attacking the natural order. Our society is free and must be stoppered so there may be no disruption, he sings with a chorus of government officials. Polyphemus sings that this is only a refrain to make people afraid to protest further. Commuters carry out attacks on protesters while singing about how they are stopping them getting to work on time.
The atomic scientists responsible for the Domesday clock remind everyone of the time and sing about how due to the ineffectual response to the pandemic our present moment can be seen as evidence of government, institutions and public lack of readiness to deal with threats of nuclear weapons and climate change. There is no call for dancing but some mask-up in a studio to give the impression of crowds in search of a good time on New Year’s Eve. The Doomsday Clock is shown at just 100 seconds to midnight but Galatea interrupts the chorus of atomic scientists and declares her constancy to what she calls the natural order. Acis and Galatea now affirm their fidelity to one other which the audience suspected and had been invited to affirm through the use of participation buttons from under their sofas but the dying Polyphemus interrupts. After being stop searched he hurls a rock at Acis and kills him. Those who have now received their inoculations mourn his death live while taking advantage of tumbling prices to book holidays abroad before the return to school in the holidays begins. Some remember 1968 with rose tinted nostalgia and a fondness for parties and sexism. They are joined in lamentation by Galatea. They try to comfort her and remind her that with her brand of populism and a turn to the monarchy she can still save this way of life that has come to be known as the new normal.
Radar scientists announce the ability to track insects from weather data and so measure the the biodiversity of insect populations. It is unclear if anyone is listening. Galatea summons her powers and transforms the lifeless Acis into a chemically produced scented fountain which continues to pollute the fish in the rivers and have a devastating effect on the mayfly population for decades to come.