The Day After Tomorrow: The New Left’s Doomsday Evangelism for the Church of Environmentalism

by | May 29, 2004

Prepare for more religious propaganda: The Day After Tomorrow, which opens today, is the New Left’s evangelism with ecology as its religion. Junk science is holy in Hollywood and director Roland Emmerich’s motion picture is the latest example; the press notes read like Earth First! talking points. This disaster movie does not pretend to be […]

Prepare for more religious propaganda: The Day After Tomorrow, which opens today, is the New Left’s evangelism with ecology as its religion. Junk science is holy in Hollywood and director Roland Emmerich’s motion picture is the latest example; the press notes read like Earth First! talking points. This disaster movie does not pretend to be anything else.

The plot presumes environmentalist premises, which leads to wildly irrational notions that the world will end in a week’s worth of climate change. What man might do to prevent the end of the world is left unanswered, though a government-subsidized electric car does make an appearance. With computer-generated imagery, blowing up the world is easier to portray than hiking taxes, outlawing SUVS and regulating each aspect of human existence, from changing diapers and taking out the garbage to building roads, houses, and shopping centers.

People are the primary problem with The Day After Tomorrow, which insists that human life is not the standard of value. Instead, the earth is an end in itself, so the people who move about in the movie are like robots — wired with ecology’s corollary view, multiculturalism — they feel, they speak, they act and they don’t matter.


Cartoon by Cox and Forkum

Humans are depicted strictly as the earth’s inhabitants, a means to the end of Earth as God. Day After trivializes people by stripping us of any claim to interact with the environment in which we live. Wolves attack, trees are holy shrines, the air must never be altered. The environment must never be changed, shaped, altered — except for man, who must serve as Earth’s lowest slave. The cast of The Day After are barely recognizable as humans — they are sacrificial lambs for Mother Earth, paying for the sin of driving an SUV.

Much of this recycled trash is laughable — the screening audience laughed during nearly every scene of dialog — and it is tempting to dismiss The Day After Tomorrow as an overproduced Hollywood spectacle. But there is something sinister about a movie that shamelessly exploits the memory of September 11, 2001, with people stranded on rooftops, plunging airplanes and New York as the epicenter of destruction for its own sake.

The helplessness, as against greatness, of humanity is Hollywood’s worst stock in trade — from toothless lesbian serial killers to every form of depravity — and it’s only surprising that it took so long for environmentalist propaganda to make its way into major motion pictures.

At its core, Day After dramatizes its faith that Earth is better off without man; we have it coming. The world’s wretched people — and the world is not worth saving if these dolts represent humankind — are tossed into the perfect eco-storm. With no trace of irony, Roland Emmerich, who also wrote the script, lets an astronaut deliver his anti-technological theme that man — particularly Western man — deserves to be ruined. The German-born director also depicts the end of the United States of America with relish.

The Day After Tomorrow is a homily brought forth by true believers, with its deity revealed in the screen’s final image. That the masses are already on their knees in the Church of Environmentalism doesn’t make The Day After Tomorrow any less fallacious, monstrous — or totally, 100 percent based on faith.

Scott Holleran's writing has been published in the Los Angeles Times, Classic Chicago, and The Advocate. The cultural fellow with Arts for LA interviewed the man who saved Salman Rushdie about his act of heroism and wrote the award-winning “Roberto Clemente in Retrospect” for Pittsburgh Quarterly. Scott Holleran lives in Southern California. Read his fiction at ShortStoriesByScottHolleran.substack.com and read his non-fiction at ScottHolleran.substack.com.

The views expressed above represent those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of the editors and publishers of Capitalism Magazine. Capitalism Magazine sometimes publishes articles we disagree with because we think the article provides information, or a contrasting point of view, that may be of value to our readers.

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