Predictions: Wrong

Says David Almasi:

In the new film “The Day After Tomorrow,” our “disrespect” for Mother Earth threatens mankind with extinction unless a brave climatologist can convince us to mend our global warming ways.

The science behind the movie is dubious. But this hasn’t stopped it from being used as a political tool by the likes of Al Gore and, who want people to see it as more of a documentary than the disaster film that it truly is. But none of this is new.

The 1970s was full of films predicting a bleak future if we didn’t mend our ways with regard to the environment. Let’s consider Hollywood’s track record from back then:

Soylent Green” (1973) — In 2022, 40 million people will be living in New York City, real food is a delicacy (jam goes for $150) and a conspiracy is uncovered in which dead bodies are converted into foodstuffs. “Soylent Green is people!” Today, genetically-modified foods are feeding starving people around the world and helping fight disease. After liberal obstructionism is overcome, starvation may be considered a thing of the past. Prediction: wrong.

Logan’s Run” (1976) — In 2274, environmental devastation has driven humanity into domed cities. To control population, authorities have mandated no one is allowed to live past the age of 30, and the police strictly enforce the law. Even the ending of this film proved the late economist Julian Simon right. There’s nothing man can do to the environment that the earth can’t handle and survive. Prediction: wrong.

Death Race 2000” (1975) — Four years ago, America was supposed to be so unruly that an extreme sport where auto racers battle each other to the death and score points by killing innocent bystanders had been created to prevent a revolution. Reality TV? The X-Games? Professional wrestling? Maybe this one actually came true!

Joking aside, Hollywood is no great prognosticator. Movie-makers are not especially wise guides to public policy. But liberals are trying to use “The Day After Tomorrow” to promote the United Nation’s Kyoto Protocol and the McCain-Lieberman bill in the U.S. Senate. Both would be costly mistakes that would do little to protect the environment but a lot to hurt our economy.

The National Center for Public Policy Research is a communications and research foundation supportive of a strong national defense and dedicated to providing free market solutions to today’s public policy problems. We believe that the principles of a free market, individual liberty and personal responsibility provide the greatest hope for meeting the challenges facing America in the 21st century.