The Official Organ of LaborNET
click here to view the latest edition of Workers Online
The Official Organ of LaborNET
Free home delivery
June 2004   

Interview: The New Democrat
Canadian activist Judy Rebick explains how she's using lessons from Brazil to rebuild the labour movement.

Bad Boss: The Ugly Australian
Prime Minister John Howard is in California spruiking the "merits" of this month�s Bad Boss nomination �

Unions: Free Spirits and Slaves
International capital demands guest labour � legal or illegal � as a way of beating down wages and conditions and, as Jim Marr discovers, the Australian Government seems happy to oblige.

Industrial: National Focus
Noel Hester reports on another workplace death (we-will-not-RIP NOHSC), heartburn for the Canberra consensus and all the action from around the states in our national wrap.

History: A Class Act
The problem of forgetting the primacy of class in favour of other ideas of community is highlighted in a new book, writes Neale Towart

International: Across the Ditch
NZ Nurses Union leader, Laila Harr�, is in Sydney this week, comparing notes with the Australian Nurses Federation and seeking transTasman support for New Zealand�s highest profile industrial campaign.

Economics: Home Truths
Sydney University's Frank Stilwell argues that tax policy is driving the housing boom.

Review: No Time Like Tomorrow
The Day After Tomorrow is one part Grim Reaper of the environmental movement and two parts fictitious fable dramatically window dressed with extreme special effects, writes Tara de Boehmler.

Poetry: Silent Note
Resident Bard David Peetz uncovers the current public service motto � "Don't tell the Minister!".


The Soapbox
The Pursuit of Happiness Part I
The Australia Institute's Clive Hamilton questions the assumptions underlying a society that defines happiness in dollar terms.

The Soapbox
The Pursuit of Happiness Part II
Clive Hamilton concludes his analysis, looking at how more and more Australians are pulling back from a marketplace that is no longer providing the goods.

The Locker Room
Sack �Em All!
Phil Doyle puts his job on the line, but doesn�t everyone these days?

The Westie Wing
The NSW Government has an agenda on the table but the test is finding innovative ways to finance it, writes Ian West


Last Year�s Model
Economists keep telling us things have never been better, all the economic indicators say so. Which sparks the obvious question: why are so many of us feeling so low?


 Trade Deal a $47 Billion Dud

 Ground Staff Spread Fashion Wings

 Ghan Raises Trans-Continental Stink

 Union Busters Bank on Labor

 Witnesses Face Casual Duress

 Rail Workers Cop �Beer Nannies�

 Sun Shines on Green Bans

 Big Business Plan to Cripple Compo

 Money Can�t Buy Me Love

 Federal Election in Doubt

 Safety Defects Plague Adelaide

 Police Investigate Assault Claim

 Activists What�s On!

 Liberal Laugh
About Workers Online
Latest Issue
Print Latest Issue
Previous Issues
Advanced Search

other LaborNET sites

Labor Council of NSW
Vic Trades Hall Council
IT Workers Alliance
Unions on LaborNET
Evatt Foundation

Labor for Refugees



No Time Like Tomorrow

The Day After Tomorrow is one part Grim Reaper of the environmental movement and two parts fictitious fable dramatically window dressed with extreme special effects, writes Tara de Boehmler.

Giant hailstones falling from the sky, supercool twisters turning people to frozen goods within the space of seconds, the Statue of Liberty surfing a freak tidal wave which then buries New York city up to its roof-tops in ice.

All this makes The Day After Tomorrow worth seeing if only for the rare spectacle of so many special effects in one place without an explosion in sight.

But director Roland Emmerich hopes the film will do more than just entertain.

Though his version of climate change effects are only lightly based on the truth, Emmerich hopes The Day After Tomorrow will make people think hard about their impact on the environment.

What his film has achieved is spark debate. It's true that sitting in the cinema looking through environmentalist's eyes, The Day After Tomorrow feels disappointingly like an opportunity lost.

There he is, climatologist Jack Hall (played by Dennis Quaid) addressing a climate change meeting in which he must convince the President of the United States to sign the Kyoto Protocol or live with the blood on his hands of future generations for the rest of his grimy greenhouse gas loving life.

Jack opens his mouth and what comes out is: "f@%*O*O G*)%$&^%#^ b*&(%#@$" - utter gobbledegook which is not only as convoluted as might be expected from a real technocrat but worse is largely implausible.

The president yawns, scratches his bum, and dismisses the oracle wearily.

Meanwhile, here sits millions of audience members flocking to see a film about the human impact on climate change and the impact of climate change on them.

It represents an ideal opportunity to cut through the confusion without having to compromise on entertainment.

Okay, so most climate change phenomenon does not generally fit into movie-length segments.

But running all this together within the de rigour 20-minutes-to-midnight timeframe with the addition of some well-placed hyperbole would be acceptable to most seasoned moviegoers well used to suspending disbelief in this fashion.

What is harder to forgive is the failure to correctly explain how many of the cataclysms would actually occur and the failure to express how the entire ecosystem of the planet would be impacted by even mild climate change - not just humans and, you guessed it, not just Americans.

There were a few shots of Mexico (generously taking in American refugees) and Tokyo (being pounded by bricks of ice). But for the Australian outcome look to the cutting room floor or the 1950s classic On The Beach.

For the rest of the world, look to the research from more reputable sources that have been measuring the impacts of global warming for many years. Much readily available material also explains more succinctly how human beings contribute to this on a daily basis.

While there is still disagreement about how to measure the rate of climate change and how to place it in its historical perspective, the fact that it is occurring is well documented and widely accepted.

If seeing The Day After Tomorrow inspires people to track down and discuss this research, either out of disbelief or a genuine desire to learn what they can do, the director's desire has been achieved.

Yet as the hoards of viewers left the cinema where this reviewer saw the flick, the sheer volume of soft drink containers, pop corn, chips and chocolate bar wrappers suggested environmental concern was the last thing left on the audience's mind.


email workers to a friend printer-friendly version latest breaking news from labornet

Search All Issues | Latest Issue | Previous Issues | Print Latest Issue

© 1999-2002 Workers Online
Workers Online is a resource for the Labour movement
provided by the Labor Council of NSW
Last Modified: 15 Nov 2005

Powered by APT Solutions
Labor Council of NSW Workers Online