Front Page















The Day After Seeing "The Day After Tomorrow"
June 1, 2004

By James L. Hirsen, J.D., Ph.D.
contributor to

In terms of disasters, it has them all ­ storms, floods, tornadoes, tidal waves, blizzards and more. I'm not talking about an outtakes reel from the Weather Channel. I'm talking about the PC piece of celluloid called "The Day After Tomorrow" that I saw the day before today.

Actually, the thing's a rollicking comedy. Or at least that's how it hit me. While watching, I found myself alternating between restrained chuckles and outright guffaws. I'd suspected it might be a side-splitter when I heard that the snarling Internet inventor who's suffering from "mad Howard Dean disease" had endorsed it.

For those of you who may actually be thinking the film is serious, I have to tell you it contains scenes that could only be there for laughs.

Apparently, filmmaker Roland Emmerich relied on his prior "Godzilla" experiences for the project, because it has the same kitschy quality of the original Japanese monster movie and generates about as much fear as his 1998 remake.

Tidal waves crash against Manhattan's skyscrapers. Huge balls of hail knock over billboards, bend steel frames and crunch cars as crowds of Japanese people scream and run for cover. Twisters descend on Los Angeles and devour the Hollywood sign, as well as the Capitol Records building. Finally, a super fast-freezing storm encases New York in ice, leaving Lady Liberty partially submerged in a cinematic déjà pew.

Characters are heard prattling on endlessly about how we got ourselves into the frosty mess. Being a science fiction buff, I found myself wondering how the writers could think they could pull off such a snow job, believing that no one would recall the climate change that occurred eons ago had zip to do with greenhouse gases or SUVs. Maybe they're under the illusion that liberal science fiction doesn't have to be consistent.

The Kyoto Protocol is brought up in the movie more than once, in reverential terms, of course. (You remember, Kyoto was the UN treaty that the Democrat-controlled Senate under Bill Clinton voted down 95 to nothing.)

And there's a presidential character who's a Dubya look-alike. The guy becomes a victim of greenie circumstance and is killed off. Shortly afterwards, a veep-turned-prez Cheney replica apologizes to the world for not having seeing the enviro light sooner.

Razzie musings aside, I can't help but connect with reality for a moment. The science on global warming is far from settled. The temperature on the ground shows that there's only been warming of a little more than one degree over the last one hundred years.

But even with that, ground measurements have been discredited by new equipment. Satellite and weather balloon measurements are considered to be more accurate and show that very little warming has occurred since first used. It seems to me that there has to be a heck of lot more warming before the climate goes bonkers and we all become popsicles.

Some greenies are hoping that the McCain-Lieberman Climate Stewardship Act, which forces Kyoto down our throats via legislation, will gain support from this film.

As for me, I'm hoping that Woody Allen considers re-dubbing the flick for a "What's Up With the Weather" release the day after tomorrow of the week before yesterday of next year.

Reproduced with the permission of . All rights reserved

Copyright © 2004
James L. Hirsen, J.D., Ph.D.

All Rights Reserved