It was a drizzly Memorial Day here in New York, so the movie theaters were full of folks who might have otherwise had a picnic or gone to the beach. My friends and I treated ourselves to the scientifically challenged, propaganda-laden disaster flick, "The Day After Tomorrow" (what else we gonna talk about as we make our puppets for the upcoming Republican National Convention?).
It's a fun bad movie. Watching as the tidal wave hits my apartment building was thrilling (Look, honey, there goes our place!) and who doesn't want to see a Russian tanker sail up Fifth Avenue? But it was also admittedly somewhat unsettling. We walked out of the theater where it was raining and then into a coffee shop to discuss the film, and the first thought that occurred to me as I closed my umbrella was literally, "Good, there's plenty of wooden furniture in here we could burn if the freeze caught us trapped here."
Later, I spent a bit of time explaining to my beloved that this was so far from reality we really don't have to worry about it, but I can't help but view the movie's alarmist message in the context of an interview about SUVs and the price of gasoline on "60 Minutes":
As Lesley Stahl reports for 60 Minutes, here is your typical American car buyer, when it comes to mileage:
"I'm not gonna interrupt my lifestyle because of a few extra bucks on gas mileage ... I understand the oil situation and everything like that. But we're America, I guess, you know? And this is the way we live."
Growing up in the 70's when conservation was considered good for the nation and good for one's soul, I can't help but wonder how this attitude came to be so prevalent here. Even if we can afford it, is consuming the planet's natural resources as if there's no tomorrow ever morally defendable?