The Day after Tomorrow

April 28th, 2004

Posted by: Roger Pielke, Jr.

For the next month or so you can expect public discussions over climate change to be closely linked to the forthcoming movie The Day after Tomorrow. Reactions to the movie already have shown more than a little comedy and absurdity. For example,

*NASA reportedly asked its staff not to present themselves in discussions with the media as promoting the movie,

*a climate scientist commented with envy about how well the movie’s budget would fund his personal research,

*a long-time opponent of action on energy policy warning that the movie might, like The China Syndrome, lead to bad policies, and

*a prominent supporter of action on energy policy suggested that the movie’s scenario is real and worth investigating.

Meanwhile as the media seeks out comments scientists have been scrambling to position themselves politically and scientifically with respect to the movie, using various strategies. These various strategies will be worth closer examination in a future post.

In coming weeks I’ll have more to say about the movie – or more accurately, like everyone else I’ll use the movie to popularize our particular views on climate science and policy. I’ve got an article coming out soon and I’ll link it here.

For now, from here is the most honest and accurate comment (registration required) on the movie I’ve seen yet:

“Mark Gordon, producer on the $125 million pic, said no one involved in the picture planned to participate in the [environmental] campaign, and he didn’t think the sudden attention would affect “Day’s” box office potential.

‘If they want to use our picture to make people aware of their concerns about the environment, it’s not anything I have control over,’ Gordon said. ‘My biggest issue is that the movie opens to the biggest number we can. The fact that there is enthusiasm, controversy and discussion is only good for our business.’”

One Response to “The Day after Tomorrow”

  1. Tind Shepper Ryen Says:

    To clarify one point… NASA claims that they have told employees to not promote the movie, as the producers failed to sign an agreement to do such. See below for yesterday’s press release:

    “20th Century Fox is scheduled to release the feature film “The Day After Tomorrow” Memorial weekend.

    NASA worked with the producers, writer and director during the preproduction of this film. This included script research and development.

    NASA did not participate in this film due to the fact that the producers, director and studio would not sign a Space Act Agreement.

    It appears that we are now getting requests from reporters wanting to interview NASA personnel regarding this film.

    Please remember that we cannot participate in any publicity regarding this film. If you have any questions, please contact me at 202-358-4702.

    Bobbie Faye”