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Commentary: Movie generates irrational fears in impressionable editor

I’m fearful regarding global warming.

I must admit that this fear came on rather suddenly, immediately after watching the current “summer blockbuster” The Day After Tomorrow.

I’m not overly concerned that greenhouse gases will, in a few days, melt the polar icecaps, sending gazillions of gallons of fresh water into the oceans, altering the delicate ratio of fresh and salt content, dropping water temperatures and spawning all sorts of horrible weather events such as rogue tornadoes, global storms and butt-numbing cold spells.

What I fear is that all the hot air the studio has expended promoting this film will, indeed, generate enough BTUs to turn the Polar Regions into something resembling West Texas in the middle of an August heat wave.

Penguins and polar bears will find competing with coyotes and roadrunners losing propositions as they forage for food. The white bruins, for instance, will have no floes to flop onto while they maul those cute little seals. Coyotes, on the other hand, will find land-locked baby seals easy pickings. And Penguins have no chance against the far faster roadrunners. Waddle, waddle, waddle versus, beeep beeep, zzzzziinnnngggg.

But, as one of the actors admitted on one of the 47 talk shows he appeared on promoting this movie, “It’s a movie!”

I must admit, that I enjoyed it. Although hardly accurate and unbelievable to the extreme, I found it quite entertaining, amusing at points. The science, although based on a gram or two of possible theory, stretches the limits of the key to disaster movies, suspension of disbelief.

For example, I can’t imagine any weather reporter in a helicopter zipping around a dozen or more killer tornadoes in the middle of Los Angeles to get exclusive footage of the worst storm in the history of weather reporting. Well, maybe I’ve listened to a few who would do that. Bad example.

I thought the escaped wolves roaming New York City in search of teenagers was a bit over the top, as was the huge freightliner that foundered in front of the New York Public Library.

But it was fun. I also enjoyed Spider Man, Armageddon, and the Creature from the Black Lagoon (mainly because the hysterical female lead was quite stunning in a white swimsuit), and I have fond memories of watching Abbott and Costello run from Dracula, Frankenstein and the Wolfman, sometimes all in the same movie.

However, I don’t believe a spider bite can transfer super powers to people. It can make you itch, and, depending on the species of spider, it can kill you. But spitting webs from your fingernails and swinging through the streets of New York City? Don’t think so.

But scary movies bring folks to the box office and Day After seems to be pulling them in by mega-millions (as long as we’re exaggerating).

Unfortunately, a few will take it seriously and use the alleged science to support fringe causes. And those extremists likely will continue to polarize (no pun intended?) folks, limiting what should be done to take care of our environment.

There should be no doubt that environmental stewardship should be now and should continue to be an international priority. Building concrete towers and cutting down forests changes the environment and it makes perfect sense to study those changes and prepare ways to mitigate them. And to do that, reasonable people must develop reasonable solutions. Extreme views, either way, will get in the way of planet stewardship.

Recommendation: Go see the movie, enjoy it. But don’t move to Mexico just yet.

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