Desert Apocalypse

70,000 Joshua Trees are threatened by a 16-square mile project called Sawtooth Solar, near Beatty, Nevada. This utility-scale solar project proposal is adjacent the Death Valley National Park, along the "Nevada Triangle" in a basin called Sarcobatus Flat. This project is just one of dozens being proposed as 9 million acres of public land are opened to solar development. Kevin Emmerich and Laura Cunningham of Basin and Range Watch are joined by filmmaker Justin McAffee in this third of the series Desert Apocalypse. They look at all the plant and animal life in these ecosystems that are at stake. Along the way they explore alternatives for addressing both the climate and biodiversity crisis we face.

  • Justin McAffee
  • Lisa Ortega
    Production Assitant
  • Project Type:
    Documentary, Short, Student
  • Runtime:
    18 minutes 32 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    September 27, 2021
  • Production Budget:
    1,000 USD
  • Country of Filming:
    United States
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
    Digital, Black Magic, Canon
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
    Yes - Nevada State College
Director Biography - Justin McAffee

I'm a film student at Nevada State College in my senior year. I started as a photographer. My work has been displayed in gallery spaces in the Las Vegas area, including the Clark County Wetlands Park and an award-winning photo at the Sahara West Library. My photographs have adorned the halls of government buildings and billboards and have been published in national outlets such as the LA Times and Forbes.
My first film, Great Basin Water Protecters (2018) follows the story of Native people on a prayer run to protect water and land in the Great Basin from a 300 mile water pipeline.
I’m currently working on a film series Desert Apocalypse about the assault on our deserts and the people resisting.

Add Director Biography
Director Statement

As an environmentalist who understands the immediate threat that climate change is to humanity and the planet, I knew making this film would raise some eyebrows. Still, I knew it needed to be done, because the biodiversity crisis is every bit as fatal to the planet and humanity, and we must find solutions that don't involved destroying vast areas of what habitat remains.