01 May 2004 Don’t Trust Hollywood Science: Global Warming Wouldn’t Cause a New Ice Age
Promoters of the global warming disaster movie “The Day After Tomorrow” must believe most of us were born yesterday.
As most movie fans know, the much-hyped film focuses on a global apocalypse of cataclysmic floods, tornadoes, storms and blizzards that threaten to destroy civilization.
Two hundred and ninety-foot tidal waves surge across New York Harbor and dash against Manhattan’s skyscrapers, followed by a quick freeze that leaves Manhattan enshrouded in ice.
Dozens of other cities get hammered. A tornado levels Los Angeles, five-pound hailstones bombard Tokyo and San Francisco Bay freezes. It’s a New Ice Age.
It’s the latest brainstorm of German schockmeister Roland Emmerich, best known for “Independence Day” and “Godzilla.”
Those movies, of course, were enjoyable as good examples of the “sky is falling” flight-of-fantasy genre.
“The Day After Tomorrow,” however, is the subject of a multi-million dollar PR campaign touting it as if it were not fiction, but cinema verite – a realistic warning of what could happen if we don’t dismantle our modern economy to stave off global warming. Yet the extreme scenarios promoted by global warming theory advocates are supported more by political ideology than by science.
It’s probably no coincidence that this thinly-disguised political warhead is being launched in the midst of key election year. Nor would it be surprising to see it used in an effort to stampede the Senate to approve the McCain-Lieberman “Climate Stewardship Act,” a costly piece of legislation that attempts to impose key Kyoto provisions on American consumers and taxpayers.1
Kyoto was formally rejected by President Bush because of the draconian burdens it would place on our economy – mandates so stringent that independent economists believe it would trigger a prolonged recession, and because the treaty wouldn’t prevent global warming. Even treaty advocates admit it is “only a start.”
In one respect, Bush was merely heeding the advice of the then-Democrat-controlled Senate, which voted 95-0 in 1997 to urge President Clinton not to send a Kyoto-like treaty to Capitol Hill for ratification because of its rib-shattering economic impact on American workers.
Left-leaning Hollywood, of course, would like to portray Bush as an extreme environmental anti-Christ, despite the fact that Clinton also heeded the Senate’s advice, and didn’t even try to get Kyoto ratified.
There is little scientific evidence that documents the need for a Kyoto-style crusade against climate change, anyway.
Excepting the El Nino year of 1998, since about 1979, the Earth’s temperature apparently has not been increasing. What minor warming the Earth experienced over the past century primarily occurred before 1940, when there were far fewer motor vehicles and power plants.
The U.S., in any case, is not ignoring climate issues. Since 1990, the United States has spent $18 billion on climate research, three times as much as any other country. The U.S. government spent over $3.5 billion on climate change in 2003 alone.2
Many of the horrendous events predicted by global warming scaremasters have no basis in reality.
Paul Driessen, the author of a revealing new book entitled Eco-Imperialism, observes that the resurgence of malaria, yellow fever and dengue in Africa and Asia is related directly to the banning of the effective and cost-efficient pesticide DDT, not to global warming.
Virtually all of the major malaria and yellow fever outbreaks in the U.S. occurred long before the invention of the automobile. Wisconsin suffered surges of malaria in the 1880s, while yellow fever killed 19,000 in Memphis alone in 1878, Driessen says.
Even if global warming were to occur at the fast pace predicted by the alarmists, it wouldn’t unleash the New Ice Age predicted in “The Day After Tomorrow.” (The frequency of weather-related natural disasters has changed little over the past century.)
Says Andrew Weaver of the University of Victoria in British Columbia in the journal Science, “it is safe to say that global warming will not lead to the onset of a new ice age.”
So, other than the legitimate business of huckstering a new movie, why all the hype over “The Day After Tomorrow?” The obvious answer is contempt that Hollywood’s liberal elite holds for the intelligence of American voters.
They’re likely to have a rude awakening The Day After the Election.
Amy Ridenour is the president of The National Center for Public Policy Research.
1 “Film on Global Warming May Turn Up Heat for Bush,” The Guardian (as republished on The Hindu news update service website), available at http://www.hinduonnet.com/thehindu/holnus/003200403131329.htm as of April 27, 2004.
2 “Federal Climate Change Expenditures: Report to Congress,” Office of Management and Budget, Washington, D.C., August 2003, available at http://www.whitehouse.gov/omb/legislative/ fy04_climate_chg_rpt.pdf as of April 28, 2004.