A Weblog monitoring coverage of environmental issues and science in the UK media. By Professor Emeritus Philip Stott. The aim is to assess whether a subject is being fairly covered by press, radio, and television. Above all, the Weblog will focus on science, but not just on poor science. It will also bring to public notice good science that is being ignored because it may be politically inconvenient.

Thursday, April 29, 2004

Frosty comment on 'The Day after Tommorrow'.....

I am looking forward to 'The Day after Tommorrow'. This £70 million film is launched by 20th Century Fox on May 28 and it is from the makers of the 1996 'sci-fi' blockbuster, 'Independence Day', in which, of course, the Earth (i.e. Washington DC and New York) was threatened by aliens.

This time we have the world in the throws of a mighty celluloid evironmental disaster - an Ice Age (Brrrrr!), no less. The trailer, which is available on the internet [Macromedia Flash required], so originally depicts the Statue of Liberty swamped by a tidal wave [spot the British irony?]. How did they come up with that image, I wonder? While tornadoes blast the open-planned Getty at Los Angeles [have you ever been there in the February rain?], and snow storms freeze New Delhi chapattis, our brave climatologist and hero, Dennis Quaid, finds himself battling to prevent the Ice Age gripping (inevitably!) the east coast of the US [anyone who has visited Boston in winter knows the feeling all too well. Those poor little ducklings].

"What larks, Pip!" But, far from plunging the world into fear and fomentation over climate change, I think this Godzilla-of-a-movie will have most of us rolling in the aisles. Moreover, I shall much enjoy the spectacle of the 'global warmers' earnestly explaining to every media outlet possible that, while the film is [serious and concerned face] most certainly a warning, it has got it all wrong and, in reality, we are going to fry. Unfortunately for the Frying Squad, our less then subtle popcorn-munching public might just start demanding the immediate emission of more CO2 and methane to keep us all snug.

Anyway, I'm going to let Robert Frost (1874 - 1963) have the first word on the film (he is, of course, dead lucky to be out of it). Thus, from his bitter little poem, 'Fire and Ice':

"Some say the world will end in fire,
Some say in ice.

To say that for destruction ice
Is also great
And would suffice."

So, will 'The Day after Tommorrow' be a mammoth success at the box office? I do hope so; after all, the more cartoon-like we can make the doomsters, the better.

Talking of which, I hope it is half-as-witty as The Ice Age, a film in which, much more realistically, the cartoon stars are a sloth, a mammoth and a sabre-toothed tiger. Now that's what I call fun.

Finally, here is a neat little comment on 'The Day after Tomorrow' from SciFi.com (April 28) 'Tomorrow Stirs Debate Today': "A rally featuring former vice president and environmental advocate Al Gore will take place a couple of blocks away from the film's May 24 premiere in New York....." [Hat Tip Barry Hearn].

"Holy icebergs, Batman!"

Philip, bidding for a new role as film critic of The Gloomiad. "Usher! Could you ask them to turn down that air conditioning? It's freezing in here! Thanks! Nachos, love?"

[New counter, June 19, 2006, with loss of some data]

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