A few notes from the Apocalypse

Cross posted from Monitor Duty.

The Day After Tomorrow certainly looks like it’ll be cheese on the scale of Armageddon, but I can’t help thinking I’ll still go and see it.

But how valid is the science?

Despite the phenomenon’s name, Global Warming isn’t about anything as simple as a uniform rise in temperatures. The global climate is a complex and chaotic thing. A rise in average temperatures means there’s more energy in the system and it’s being driven to extremes.

Judging from the trailer a major plot point of TDAT is the theory that melting icecaps and increasing fresh water rainfall in the North Atlantic will disrupt or even destroy ocean currents such as the Gulf Stream. This would cause temperatures in currently temperate areas warmed by the flows to plummet. The ice caps have been shrinking at an alarming rate

But before the next Ice Age overtakes us, we’re probablty due a few more extreme summers. Claims that the world is getting warmer aren’t just fantasies, but are backed up by physical evidence. It’s such a plausible threat that the Pentagon has drawn up a report of possible repercussions, though it runs the risk of being ignored by an anti-science US government.

Even if you don’t believe in global warming there are still numerous arguments for reducing our dependence on fossil fuels and other pollutants. From local effects, congestion and the personal damage of a car culture to the global danger of the West consuming so much of the world’s resources and being dependent upon unstable regions for our fuel supply.

Science fiction is about taking a theory and expanding upon it. It’s highly unlikely that a perfectly rendered wave is going to wash away Manhattan and Liberty is going to turn into a popsicle, but it is one- very dramatic- possible outcome of recorded trends. And we may not be living in Highlander 2’s ozone-less dystopia, but that doesn’t mean the hole’s getting any smaller.


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