Green Imagination

Your Blog for Sharing Green Ideas.

Monday, July 12, 2004

The Day After Tomorrow

If there ever was a movie with a Green message it's this one. I saw it this weekend and although the acting and writing were only fair, the movie still had a prescient message: stop global warming or suffer the consequences. For those of you not familiar with the film, "The Day After Tomorrow" tells the story of a climatologist whose warnings of a possible massive, cataclysmic climate change caused by global warming go unheeded. His predictions come true sooner than expected and the northern hemisphere is deluged in a storm that ushers in a new ice age for half the globe. According to the film, global warming causes the polar ice caps to melt and break apart, disrupting the flow of the Atlantic current. I don't know if the science behind this film's premise is accurate, but the idea itself certainly is chilling. But that's just the main text.

There's also a subtext that requires a closer reading to uncover, and that is this film's cataclysmic events' subtle analogy with the events of 9-11. The characteristics are all there: New York city is utterly destroyed; a president seemingly incapable of making a decision relies on his VP to call the shots; the VP is proved utterly wrong in his assessment of the situation; families (including the main characters) are separated but searching desperately for each other; and finally at the end the glimmer of hope that society will be rebuilt.

I might be over-reaching in this analysis, but to me, the similarities are glaring. The only main difference is that the VP, who has assumed power because the president's helicopter crashed in the storm (possibly our own real-world nightmare) apologizes for his arrogance at the end. Imagine if Dick Cheney apologized!!

Anyway, with the reading of the sub-text, there still seems to be Green lessons to be learned aside from the obvious environmental concerns. Many, including myself, argue that 9-11 was the result of our government's own misguided foreign policies. The movie portrays a possible terrorist dream of wiping out 3/4 of the US wiped out. In fact, the movie seems to gloss over the fact that this storm-to-end-all-storms has utterly destroyed the US economy. For all intensive purposes, America is plunged into poverty (along with Europe), it's resources possibly unobtainable, leaving the "developing" countries in the southern hemisphere (Australia possibly excluded) the surprise reverse role of having direct power over American's lives. It begs the question of what this country would do if something so cataclysmic as a new Ice Age disrupted everything we take for granted in our way of life. Even though many of us are against the American brand of capitalism, we can't deny being a part of it or affected by it.

I'm not trying to be a doomsayer or a fear-monger, but it is a question that desperately needs to be asked and addressed in our foreign policy. So, what can Green policies could be put into place to "pre-empt" the 180 shift extolled in this film?

2 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

It is my understanding that what is presented in the movie is junk science; however, having said that, I should say that it is my understanding (could be wrong, of course) that the planet has passed beyond the "point of no return" and that we WILL be entering a brave new world of a superheated environment.

Nathan B.

12:12 PM  
Anonymous ashley simpson said...

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8:33 AM  

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