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May 25, 2004
Day After Tomorrow: "Lies Cloaked As Science"

USA Today published an op-ed piece by Patrick Michaels, a senior fellow in environmental studies at the Cato Institute (via Drudge), that reviews the science in the upcoming disaster flick The Day After Tomorrow and finds it ridiculous and impossible:

Global warming causes the Gulf Stream to shut down. This current normally brings tropical warmth northward and makes Europe much more comfortable than it should be at its northerly latitude. The heat stays stuck in the tropics, the polar regions get colder, and the atmosphere suddenly flips over in a "superstorm." The frigid stratosphere trades places with our habitable troposphere, and in a matter of days, an ice age ensues. Temperatures drop 100 degrees an hour in Canada. Hurricanes ravage Belfast. Folks in Japan are clobbered by bowling-ball-size hailstones. If we had only listened to concerned scientists and stopped global warming when we could.

Each one of these phenomena is physically impossible.

The Day After Tomorrow is yet another in a series of scare films that Hollywood regularly regurgitates in an effort to be hip and aligned with leftist political and environmental causes. Powder, for instance, opposed deer hunting; Michaels himself mentions The Day After, which this film obviously wants to evoke by its title, which supported the nuclear-freeze movement. The China Syndrome shut down nuclear power plant construction for a generation and has contributed, ironically, to the growth of so-called "greenhouse gases" in the atmosphere when nuclear power could be providing massive electricity now generated by fossil fuels. But just as Hollywood routinely botches history both to score political points and sometimes for no reason whatsoever, TDAT uses ridiculously tortured science to promote a climate theory that is at best controversial, and at worst nothing more than another anti-industrial, anti-capitalist movement dressed up as research.

For instance, Michaels points out the following:

Carl Wunsch, a professor of physical oceanography at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, knows more about ocean currents than most anyone. He thinks the nonsense in The Day After Tomorrow detracts from the seriousness of the global-warming issue. So he recently wrote in the prestigious science journal Nature that the scenario depicted in the movie requires one to "turn off the wind system, or to stop the Earth's rotation, or both."

The stratosphere will become the troposphere when all three laws of thermodynamics are repealed. Hailstones can't reach bowling-ball size because their growth is limited by gravity. Hurricanes can't hit Belfast because the intervening island of Ireland would destroy them.

So where does the movie derive its scientific logic? From the book on which it's based, The Coming Global Superstorm by Art Bell and Whitley Strieber. Michaels also notes that Streiber's previous work was Communion, in which he stated that aliens told him of the impending apocalypse.

So who else have aliens told of this apocalypse? Perhaps Michaels' description of the film's willing spokespeople will explain American politics over the past few years:

Will Godsick and Gordon get their way? They're sure being aided and abetted by, the liberal advocacy group and billionaire George Soros' policy toy. They've got Al Gore front and center, plumping the film. They've got their Web site using the movie to drum up support for legislation by Sens. John McCain, R-Ariz., and Joe Lieberman, D-Conn., to reduce carbon-dioxide emissions, which only failed by 12 votes last fall. There's a huge drought out West, which a New York Times editorial blamed on global warming. The issue is hot enough to influence votes out there.

Gore and Soros, communicating with aliens? Yes, leftist politics make a lot more sense in this context. With any luck, their alien friends will beam them up sometime after this movie disappears -- which shouldn't take long at all.

Sphere It Digg! View blog reactions
Posted by Ed Morrissey at May 25, 2004 8:22 AM

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