Monday, January 31, 2011

What’s Likely to Happen the Day After Tomorrow?

This weekend, I watched a movie on DVD – “The Day After Tomorrow,” released in 2004 and starring Dennis Quaid as a government scientist who sees that the earth is heading fast toward eco-catastrophe, and Jake Gyllenhaal as his college student son stuck in a New York city library with friends, as the city freezes over. The premise of the story is that global warming is upon us, but it’s going to happen through abrupt climate change where the world’s northern hemisphere at first freezes over and enters a new ice age.

As the blizzard wipes out the northern hemisphere, Americans have to beg for access to Mexico and ironically go south of the border. The president freezes to death and a conservative vice president takes over, goes on TV at the end of the movie, and admits he should have been supportive of natural resources and could be partially to blame for this nightmare occurring. Scientist Quaid gives a presentation earlier in the movie about global warming happening, but that it will also trigger a new ice age where people will freeze to death if outdoors. He takes on the cause of going to New York City and saving his son, making up for abandoning him earlier.

So the movie boils down to two things – a 1970s style disaster epic in the family of “Earthquake,” and “The Poseidon Adventure,” and it becomes a father/son bonding flick. Throw in the cute girlfriend that Jake wins over in the library, and you get the idea.

I don’t think it was really about public education on global warming, and what needs to be done about it. It is very interesting that the movie came out in 2004, two years ahead of “An Inconvenient Truth,” with Al Gore, which is given credit for raising awareness of global warming and environmental catastrophe and helping the sustainability, clean tech, and green car sectors move forward. So obviously, the topic was hot enough (or cold enough) to allow for funding and distribution of a global warming survival flick seven years ago.

On the subject, the Pew Center on Global Climate Change had a few things to say about the movie and didn't think it was a realistic forecast. They had this to say...

If “The Day After Tomorrow” is fiction, what is the truth about global warming?
The truth is that global warming is happening and that it is already too late to avoid some of the effects. Even under the most optimistic circumstances, atmospheric scientists expect global climate change to result in increased flooding and droughts, more severe storms, and a loss of plant and animal species. These events will occur, even if climate change is gradual.

What can be done about global climate change?
There is no single cause of global climate change and there is no single answer. Most experts believe that technology will provide the solutions. Technologies that reduce emissions (energy efficiency, hydrogen fuels, carbon storage, nuclear energy, and renewable energy) and technologies that remove carbon from the atmosphere may all play a role. Government policies that encourage businesses to develop and use these and other technologies are also very important. Many states and businesses have already found they can reduce emissions while saving money.


Leonard Conly said...

Jon LeSage says:

"There is no single cause of global climate change and there is no single answer."

This is a very depressing and misleading article. Bashing Al Gore is very popular with the right wing global warming denial machine these days, and for whatever reason you have played along with.

Al Gore is not the issue. The issue is that global temperatures are rising because of unprecedented emissions of carbon dioxide into our atmosphere caused primarily by the burning of fossil fuels.

Blizzards and flooding are getting worse because the water content of our atmosphere has increased by 4% due to increased ocean temperatures.

I suggest that you spend some time reading the blog ClimateProgress (, run by Joe Romm, a former Deputy Director of the Department of Energy.

We are entering a very dangerous period, and it may be that there will be no recovery from it. Carbon dioxide remains in the atmosphere for 1000 years.

That there are other greenhouse gases than carbon dioxide is true, but their significance is small in comparison.

I also suggest you read the UNIPCC report on climate change before posting more articles like this.

Keep in mind that there are no Republican or Democratic carbon dioxide molecules: they all trap heat and are leading us towards catastrophic climate change.

Leonard Conly
MIT, '63

Anonymous said...

Global warming is based on theoretical computer projections and scaremongering ...NOT scientific observations. Scientists from the Australian governments Antarctic Division in the article "Observing and detecting climate change in the Southern Ocean" of the Australian Antarctic Division magazine 4 Spring 2002 state that,

1) Much of the debate about climate change has been about the evidence for climate change within the limited data sets that are available, and the skill of the coupled ocean-atmosphere models used to create scenarios of future climate, and

2) The ocean has an extraordinary capacity to absorb heat – approximately 1000 times that of the atmosphere. A direct consequence of the oceans' capacity to store heat (and gases) is that under climate change conditions the ocean can add very long delays to the climate system before coming into equilibrium. Depending on the particular water masses (and depth) the time delay may be decades to centuries to millennia.

...therefore, OCEANS are the major controller of global temperatures NOT carbon dioxide (CO2)!!

Also, one of the worlds leading climate change research centres in the university of East Anglia of London was recently caught out manipulating data on global warming. The Australian newspaper "Sunday Telegraph" reported the incident in an article on 22 Nov 2009 which states that hackers targeted the climate research centre and published the files on the net. One of the files they found suggest altering the temperature data to hide the decline in world temperatures!!

Another important fact ignored by global warming fanatics is that, scientists Sallie Baliunas and Willie Soon found water vapour is the dominant greenhouse gas ...NOT carbon dioxide (CO2). Their report titled "Pioneers in the Greenhouse Effect" show the spectra of absorption in the earths atmosphere by the greenhouse gases Water Vapour is 88% and CO2 is 12%. The report can be found on the "World Climate Report" dot com site volume 4 number 19.

According to the 1997 Oklahoma Climatological Survey, 100% of heat from our solar system comes from the SUN of which...
* 51% is absorbed by the earths surface (38% by OCEANS, 13% by land)
* 30% is reflected back into space (20% by clouds, 6% by atmosphere, 4% by earths surface)
* 19% is absorbed by the atmosphere (16% by atmosphere, 3% by clouds) ...of the 19% WATER VAPOUR controls 17%, carbon dioxide (CO2) controls 2%
...therefore CO2 has only a 2% influence on global temperatures!!

As US congressman Dana Rohrabacher recently summed up global warming fanatics so well ...there are protons, neutrons, electrons and morons!!

Alex Chabry