The Right Coast

May 16, 2004
Hollywood Junk Science
By Mike Rappaport

Climate Scientist Patrick Michaels argues in the Washington Post that "The Day After Tomorrow" is junk science. (Hat tip: Juan Non-Volokh) His real worry: That the movie may have a significant political effect, much as the 1979 China Syndrome movie did. That movie, combined with the Three Mile Island accident, effectively ended the construction of nuclear power plants in the US, ironically making it harder to restrict greenhouse gases. I doubt "The Day After Tomorrow" will have a similar effect (although I suppose it is conceivable that in a close presidential election it could have enough of an effect to change the result -- but, of course, any small effect would). A large problem that nuclear power plants faced was that people who lived near them were scared of nuclear power. I can understand that, I share that fear, whether rational or not. My guess is that the claims about global warming do not occasion anywhere near that amount of fear.