We are living in a disaster movie


I love a good disaster movie, and always have.

I remember my mom taking me to see the movie “Earthquake” when it came out in 1974. I was 11 at the time, and a huge fan of the movie’s star, Charlton Heston. The best part, however, is that the movie was shown in something called Sensurround, which made it feel and sound like the moviegoer was in an actual earthquake.

It was quite the thrill, I can tell you that. I don’t remember much about the movie except it was loud and the destruction was total.

There were a lot of disaster movies in the 1970s – “The Towering Inferno,” The Poseidon Adventure,” “Airport.” Something about going to a crammed theater and watching people in peril must have really resonated with people in the age of Watergate and gas shortages.

I never really lost my love for those types of movie and still enjoy a big special effects driven movie. One that I really liked, and still watch when it comes on TV, is “The Day After Tomorrow.”

When the movie came out in 2004, a buddy and I went to the theater to watch it and it didn’t disappoint. It was basically about the disruption of the current in the north Atlantic Ocean brought on by climate change. That current shift brought dramatic changes in the weather that basically ushered in a new ice age.

It happened quickly and with deadly consequences for many in the movie. While politicians argued in Washington that climate change wasn’t real, people were dying.

Yes, it was just a movie, but boy did it make me think. Was such a thing possible?

Turns out that yes, such a thing is possible. Now, the effects might not be as quick or dramatic as shown in a disaster movie meant to entertain and shock, but it is still a real thing.

The bad news is that a recent study published in Nature Climate Change says that the current change is happening.

This is affecting the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation. That, apparently, helps balance the energy in the Atlantic Ocean. The system includes the Gulf Stream that carries was water from the tropics north and colder water from the north Atlantic south.

If that fails, scientists say it will lead to elevated ocean levels and much colder weather for Europe and the northern United States. If you think you hate winter now, you will really hate this.

We are doing this to our planet, of course, and we don’t even seem that concerned about it. When it is 40 below zero in September, it will be too late.

Climate change is real and it is having a real impact all over the globe. All you have to do is read the news. But things like this are not, sadly, just plots of blockbuster movies.

I am not going to stay up nights worrying about the impact on me. But I will stay up nights worrying about the impact on my children and their children, this could be catastrophic.

If I had my choice, I would rather not have to live in a disaster movie.