Wednesday, June 02, 2004

The Day After Reality
USATODAY.com - 'Day After Tomorrow': A lot of hot air: "Oh, the plot. 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."


I'm not going to join the chorus of conservatives angered by this film's innacuracies, or shouting that Global Warming is a load of hot air. (It is, as I once established in a research paper by inverting a chart of the length of sunspot cycles over the annual average Earth temperature, and finding that they tracked almost exactly.) I'm more concerned by the fact that some on the left are trying to use this to spark a renewed fear of Global Warming. The severe innacuracies (as outlined in the article linked above) will do some serious damage if the film is used that way, because people's concerns will be based entirely on misconceptions as they drive for policy changes. Bad science never makes for good policy.

Oh, and, by the way, as Tom Smith, guest-blogging at Volokh makes a great point: "I noted with amusement that when Dennis Quaid took his son to the airport, he drove a Honda Hamster, or whatever you call their vile, little electric vehicle. But when the time came to brave the mother of all blizzards, and drive to New York to save his ice-bound son, he elected to use a fully equipped, big manly 4 wheel drive pickup"

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