Wednesday, June 02, 2004

The Day After Tomorrow Part III: What Do We Do?

I saw The Day After Tomorrow last night with a friend. We, in typical nerd fashion, mocked the science and the acting throughout the entire film. It was enjoyable as a mindless summer action flick. Ultimately, I would say that the only truly unbelievable thing is that Dick Cheney (or whatever the film's VP character was named) would ever admit to being wrong.

It would be difficult to believe that the film does not contain political messages, but what exactly are their conclusions? As far as I can tell, the lessons we were to have learned are as follows:

1. Don't vote for Dick Cheney.
2. Listen to scientists.

Neither lesson is very helpful if the filmmakers seek to change the problem they forecast. I think both David and I are united in our belief that the government is not necessarily (I think David would say "not at all") qualified to resolve such issues as resource depletion. I think the anonymous reply to David's post brings up a good point, that resources are extremely interconnected. Ultimately, if the price of petroleum rises, then those products for which petroleum is an input will also rise in price, creating new substitutes.

But the poster also brings up the point that some of these uses for pteroleum have no known substitutes. Understandably, many concerned people would be wary of leaving this problem up to the hope that we find a viable alternative. Short of turning the problem over to the government, which I'm sure will find some pretty inefficient rationing protocols, how do we allay the fears of the worried?

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