Elizabeth Scripturient (the delinquent, ecumenical (hermionesviolin) wrote,
Elizabeth Scripturient (the delinquent, ecumenical

Environmental stuff gets its own post.

sigrun posted:
Dear MoveOn member,

Beginning this afternoon, millions of Americans will go see "The Day After Tomorrow" -- the movie the White House doesn't want you to see. Thousands of MoveOn members will be there to enjoy the show, to help get people talking about the real danger of a climate crisis, and to take action to prevent one.

Get a sense of this movie's drama and spectacular imagery for yourself by viewing the movie's trailer at:


It's an exaggerated story, intended to thrill, but it will leave people wondering, "Could this really happen?" Today and tomorrow, thousands of MoveOn members will be handing out flyers, designed to answer people's questions, and to give them a way to take action.

This is an unparalleled opportunity to help people do something to prevent a climate crisis. Twenty million people are expected to see this movie.

Can you help us make the most of this opportunity? Join in the fun at:


Thanks for all you do. It makes such a difference.


--Carrie, Joan, Noah, Peter, and Wes
The MoveOn.org Team
May 28th, 2004

viciouswishes asked: Why do they say that the White House is boycotting the movie? I hadn't heard this before.

I responded: My guess it's more of an assumption that "Oh, the big bad White House Administration doesn't want people to see this movie, because then they might realize that if we fuck with the environment too much we will all die, and they will have a revelation that the Bush Administration is the worst thing to happen to the environment since the last Ice Age."

sigrun agreed and pointed out this press release. Is the movie really making the Bush administration nervous? Or do environmental activists just hope it does? My guess is the latter. I mean, they’re the ones pumping out the PR connecting the movie to what might happen if we all acted like GWB. I don’t think anyone in the Bush administration would be made nervous by an over-the-top clearly-unrealistic disaster movie without some prompting.
The right wing has already cranked up its PR machine to discredit the movie as "fright flick" propaganda cooked up by climate change conspiracy theorists. Never mind that they're relying on stone-age science, or that they're light-years behind the curve on the public's acceptance of global warming as a real environmental threat.
Oh puh-leeze. Examples, por favor? I mean, i have no doubt that people are saying “The movie is wholly unrealistic; continued global warming is not going to cause an instant Ice Age.” But point me to the “stone-age science” anyone is using to say that global warming is a myth.

Clearly i hit the blogrolls, and i found Daniel Drezner’s take on global warming.

I also found interesting commentary on this attempted link between the movie and current environmental problems.

"The catalyst for the movie's meteorological mayhem is an ice age brought on practically overnight by a vaguely specified disturbance in the Atlantic current caused by melting icecaps. But the effect is not to deliver some kind of chilling, potentially mobilizing warning about the perils of our current environmental policy. Instead, the fantastic and sudden global catastrophe turns a genuine issue into a sci-fi threat: It puts global warming in roughly the same category as attacks by Godzilla or The Blob. In the film's context, a debunking of the film's "bad science" comes off like one of the Comic Book Guy's cavils about the use of polarity-reversal on a Star Trek episode, or a fervent insistence that radioactive spider bites are not, in fact, likely to imbue people with a quasi-psychic danger sense. In short, the movie makes a genuine (if tractable) problem into high camp. It's about as likely to spur political pressure for more environmental regulation as the X-Files movie was to prompt demands for an alien invasion defense force."
-Julian Sanchez

"You can have a pretty good time snickering at it—unless, like me, you think there's something to this global warming thing, and you shudder at the irony of a movie meant to warn people about a dangerous environmental trend that completely discredits it. [...] Meanwhile, global-warming experts I know are already girding themselves for a major PR setback, as everyone involved in this catastrophe becomes a laughingstock. Is it possible that The Day After Tomorrow is a plot to make environmental activists look as wacko as antienvironmentalists always claim they are?"
-David Edelstein (Slate)

Okay, back to The Left.

MoveOn.org members believe Bush has thwarted efforts to curb global warming, particularly by refusing to sign the Kyoto Protocol, the 1997 global treaty to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Okay, i’ve been meaning to write about Kyoto for ages and have had these links hanging out since December.

December 11, 2003: Tyler Cowen quotes George Will that "13 of the 15 EU members will not meet this year's emissions targets stipulated by the protocol. Only Britain and Sweden will comply; France, which lectures America about multilateral responsibilities, will not."

December 11, 2003: Juan Non-Volokh follows up to Tyler’s post and says things like: "it is important to add that Britain's compliance with its greenhouse gas emission targets has little to do with any environmental policies it adopted, and nearly everything to do with broader changes in the British economy over the past fifteen years."

December 12, 2003:
Eugene Volokh points to Ian Murray commenting on how Europe stacked the Kyoto protocol in its own favor.

December 12, 2003: Juan Non-Volokh recalls Gregg Easterbrook with criticism of selective coverage of environmental policies.

Yes of course i should do more research into Kyoto and not just do the bitchy thing pointing out double-standards. But i just don’t care enough.

Allie keeps mentioning GWB and the environment and telling me i should care enough to want to research it myself, but i just don’t. Plus, we know how much i enjoy trawling through lots of anti-GWB stuff. So this is the closest you’re gonna get to an entry on this until someone gives me specific stuff to respond to (intelligent, factually-based, well-reasoned explanations of how GWB is horrible for the environment).

One of the many things we got from the Mankins was some George Carlin tapes. So much of comedy is based on generalizations, so of course watching it wasn’t without problematics for me, but some of it i did really like. He points out that people don’t really care about the environment; they care about themselves. The Earth can take care of itself, has recovered from far worse than us, but what environmentalists are really worried about is that we’ll mess up the Earth in ways that make life difficult for ourselves. Which of course i think has a lot of truth to it. He said maybe the Earth wants plastic. Maybe that’s why we exist. The Earth couldn’t make it itself. Now that it has it, we’re expendable. I was amused.

My grandfather lived in Alaska for 30 years and he didn’t see the big deal about the Alaskan oil pipeline. “There’s nothing there!” There’s potential for catastrophe, of course, but my mother says there was an earthquake or something and the failsafes all worked. And hey, now that the pipeline’s there, the caribou probably don’t care.

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