There’s been almost a glut of good movies this summer. I really haven’t had time to comment on most of them yet, and probably won’t get to some of them. I was actually going to pass on making any mention of The Day after Tomorrow—it was a fun way to kill a couple of hours, a blend of sci-fi and disaster movie. It suffered from poor marketing and poor timing—being released against major blockbusters like Harry Potter III and Spider-Man 2; as well undeservedly negative criticism, much of which was ranting about possible political motives rather than simple critiques of a Sunday afternoon escape.
It has a suprisingly strong emphasis on the small-scale human perspective—a fairly good story for the disaster genre. Dennis Quaid and Jake Gyllenhaal play a father and son, separated by a terrifying new kind of storm, unlike anything witnessed by modern humanity. The storm is powered by global warming and wreaks an ice age upon Earth within a couple of weeks, as melting polar ice shifts the warm ocean currents out of the temperate zone. Effects are excellent, and well-worth the price of a ticket. My assessment was that it was pretty good sci-fi. I really didn’t think much more of it.
At least not until last night, when I read this in a interview with Ervin Laszlo:
“Right now, for example, with the melting of the ice deflecting the Gulf Stream, it’s entirely possible that in three years England will have the frigid climate of Labrador,which is at the same latitude. Spring and summer just won’t come. (What is Enlightenment? Issue 26, p.22 “will spring and summer no longer come?” )
Dr. Laszlo is not just any scientist, but the pioneer of systems theory, which has revolutionized all science. He doesn’t know everything, but he’s one of sharpest minds on the planet. Dramatic climate change in northwestern Europe possibly within three years? While the heather turning into tundra does not an ice age make, it sure doesn’t appeal to me. I happen to like spring and summer, and I can well imagine the Brits prefer their four temperate seasons to climatological catastrophe. Laszlo, BTW, is hardly alone in his concern: there seem to be a number of European scientists quite concerned about the declining health of the Gulf Stream.
Let’s pray it’s neither the day after tomorrow nor three years down the road, but that we can still prevent it.