April 30, 2004

IF A BUTTERFLY BALLOT FLAPS ITS WINGS, does it lead to volcanoes and tidal waves? In Hollywood, yes.

UPDATE: More here:

Hollywood has never been known to let scientific fact get in the way of a good story, and recent releases provide plenty examples in which a filmmaker will rely on technical fudgery so as not to bore an audience. In Godsend, for instance, the parents of an eight-year-old car accident victim employ some technologically dicey methods to clone their son after his death. Last month’s Enternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, in which Jim Carrey plays a man who erases all memory of his ex-girlfriend from his brain, intentionally glosses over the neurological aspects of such a procedure, preserving a sense of possibility without the burden of scientific realism. It should come as no surprise, then, that Fox’s upcoming The Day After Tomorrow might not offer an entirely accurate portrayal of global warming. . . .

What one might not expect, however, is seeing well-known environmental policy advocates rally behind the erroneous earth science upon which Day After Tomorrow is founded. Yet this is exactly what they plan to do. In a “town hall” meeting scheduled for the same night as and literally down the street from the premiere of the movie, Al Gore, Robert Kennedy, Jr., and MoveOn.org will use the film to draw attention to Bush’s record on environmental abuse. “The Day After Tomorrow presents us with a great opportunity to talk about the scientific realities of climate change,” Gore said to Variety. “Millions of people will be . . . asking the question, ‘Could this really happen?’” In true Hollywood cliffhanger fashion, the former Vice President offered no answer, implying that the voters will have to tune in to find out.

I’ll spare you the suspense: The answer is “no.”