updated 5/31/2004 3:01:30 PM ET 2004-05-31T19:01:30

Guests: Roland Emmerich, Jeffrey Nachmanoff, Patrick Michaels, Jim Dyke, Peter Schurman

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

ANNOUNCER:  DEBORAH NORVILLE TONIGHT.

DEBORAH NORVILLE, HOST:  The ice age cometh. 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  I didn‘t do anything!

“The Day After Tomorrow”: Hollywood‘s latest doomsday scenario. 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  There is so much damage down there.

NORVILLE:  It‘s only fiction.  So why is this movie touching off a tidal wave of controversy?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  “The Day After Tomorrow” is the irrational reactive, juvenile approach to global warming. 

NORVILLE:  Tonight, the truth about global warming and why it‘s got environmentalists and politicians steaming mad.  We‘ll meet the filmmaker who‘s generating a lot of that heat. 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  It was this far-off, you know, kind of crazy theory that has more and more become mainstream. 

NORVILLE:  And former astronaut Apollo astronaut Buzz Aldrin weighs in on the controversy, too.  Is this really the future of our planet or just another Hollywood snow job?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Let‘s go!

ANNOUNCER:  From studio 3-K in Rockefeller Center, Deborah Norville. 

NORVILLE:  And good evening.  Could this really happen?

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Look!  Come on, run!  Come on. 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

NORVILLE:  Yes, that‘s a tidal wave in New York City, and it‘s just part of what takes place in the new movie, “The Day After Tomorrow,” which opens today. 

In the film global warming triggers an abrupt shift in the Earth‘s climate.  The polar icecaps melt, and all hell breaks loose. 

Tornadoes rip through Los Angeles.  Snow falls in New Delhi.  Killer hail hits Tokyo, and New York City really gets it.  Manhattan gets wiped by a giant tidal wave and then goes into an ice age, buried under hundreds of feet of snow. 

“The Day After Tomorrow,” which stars Dennis Quaid, Jake Gyllenhaal and Sela Ward, is causing a firestorm of controversy around the country. 

And with me now, the film‘s producer, director and writer, Roland Emmerich.  He also directed the huge blockbusters “Independence Day,” “The Patriot” and “Godzilla.” 

And also with us is his co-writer on the film, Jeffrey Nachmanoff. 

Good to see you both.  Congratulations.

ROLAND EMMERICH, PRODUCER/DIRECTOR/WRITER, “THE DAY AFTER TOMORROW”: 

Thanks.

NORVILLE:  It is a fun movie, I have to say.

EMMERICH:  It‘s supposed to be.

NORVILLE:  I enjoyed it immensely.  I have to ask, you though, what were you thinking?  “I‘m going to make a great entertaining movie” or “I‘m going to make a political statement”?   Because it‘s certainly turned into a political hot potato. 

EMMERICH:  Well, it did.  When I first kind of first discovered the possibility, you know, of kind of a abrupt climate shift, you know, I was first introduced to it by a book, called “The Coming of the Global Superstorm”, written by Whitley Streiber and Art Bell.  They‘re actually science fiction guys.

So I was wondering, what do science fiction guys write a book about weather and climate? 

And I picked it up, and I read it and I thought it was science fiction.  And then I kind of checked out some theories,  underlying theories and I realized, you know, there‘s like a lot of truth about it.  Naturally it‘s sped up, you know, because that makes a good movie, but in a way there‘s a lot of truth to it.  And in a way it was like kind of us causing something. 

NORVILLE:  Jeffery, give me kind of this storyline.  We saw some pretty incredible special effects now in the intro clip.  Give me kind of the genesis of that the basic story behind the climate changes that we‘re hearing about. 

JERRY NACHMANOFF, CO-WRITER, “THE DAY AFTER TOMORROW”:  The story is a father-son tale about Dennis Quaid, who‘s a scientists who is studying ice cores and discovers of possibility of sudden kind of change.  And it‘s something that he predicts might happen in 100 or 1,000 years.            

And he‘s taken by surprise when it happens suddenly, and he tries to go and rescue his son, who‘s played by Jake Gyllenhaal, who gets trapped in New York City. 

NORVILLE:  And in the course of the story, he tries really hard to sound the alarm. 

And there‘s one scene in the movie in which he gets an opportunity to get a little one-on-one time with the vice president of the United States, a man who has been sort of the point person on the United States‘ climatological efforts—however you would say that.  And it doesn‘t go so well.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DENNIS QUAID, ACTOR:  This is very urgent, sir.  Our climate is changing violently, and it‘s going to happen over the next six to eight weeks. 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  I thought you said this wouldn‘t happen for another 100 years or so. 

QUAID:  I was wrong. 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Well, suppose you‘re wrong this time. 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

NORVILLE:  The character who plays the vice president looks suspiciously like a guy who is the vice president right now. 

EMMERICH:  Yes. 

NORVILLE:  Accident or just happenstance?

EMMERICH:  Look, we elected—We had to cast a couple of actors in Canada for cost reasons.  And we looked at a lot of guys and we found guy we really liked.

And then, when like kind of I don‘t know who said it but somebody said, “He looks like Dick Cheney.”

And I said, “Well, that should not be held against him.”  You know what I mean?  And I was really amazed how everybody‘s made a big deal out of it. 

And I said why?  He was the best actor for the part.  So he looks like Dick Cheney?

NORVILLE:  This has turned into a real firestorm politically, and I don‘t know if it‘s because of the message of the movie or because of the timing of the movie. 

EMMERICH:  Well, it‘s the only summer movie which has, like, some sort of a message.  And there‘s a lot of escapist entertainment out there.  And we made something which is not like that. 

NORVILLE:  It is great entertainment.  It‘s great special effects, but the message is one that‘s controversial. 

As you said, you picked up the book thinking, “This is a science fiction story.  But you said the more you delved into it you felt like there was a there there.  What was it that intrigued you about what you believe actual events are in terms of the climate warming up and what you saw, the connection in the book?

EMMERICH:  Well, it‘s happened before, you know.  There‘s kind of evidence that it‘s happened before.  Why should it not happen again?

There‘s also like kind of a real agreement between most scientists in the world that we are we warming our climate, you know, are we heating up our earth. 

And I don‘t know how people can kind of, like, not be afraid of that, you know, because we are doing something which in a way could cause disaster. 

And I think it‘s—the scientists are not really sure about it, but it‘s a little bit odd, you know, that more and more extreme weather events are happening all over the world. 

NORVILLE:  You know, “Independence Day” was a great entertaining movie, but I don‘t think anybody left the theater thinking we‘re in imminent danger of being invaded by aliens. 

Do you want people to leave the theater after they see “Day After Tomorrow,” thinking, “Man.  This could really happen”?

EMMERICH:  Well, I think the audiences are more much sophisticated, you know, then everybody think.  They know it‘s a scare scenario.

And they kind of also get something out of it, you know, to say, “Well, you know, let‘s get,” you know.

When you open a movie like that, there‘s a lot of, like kind of stuff like this show here right now is that kind of giving you a lot of inside information or additional information.

And, you know, I that‘s good when Hollywood movies once in a while like try to kind of steer some controversy or, you know, some political, like discussion. 

NORVILLE:  And Jeffery, when you guys were writing the book, as Roland said, the jumping off point was Whitley Strieber‘s book and Art Bell‘s book, “The Coming Global Superstorm.” 

Art Bell is a paranormal radio host.  He talks about the paranormal on his late night show.

And Whitley wrote the book, that incredible book about people who have been visited or abducted by aliens. 

You see where I‘m going.  You can see where some people would be skeptical about that as your jumping-off point. 

NACHMANOFF:  Well, we were skeptical ourselves.  And I don‘t think either one of us came to this with a particularly strong political agenda, per se, but as we started doing the research and talking to scientists, you know, we found that there is a lot of agreement about some things.

And one of the most important things that people agree on is that humans have an impact on the climate system, that the burning of fossil fuels is affecting our climate system and that that‘s going to be a deleterious impact. 

Obviously, we chose an extreme scenario that is very cinematic. So, you know, that is New York is essentially fast-frozen. 

Are the other hand, are the things that can happen from global warming dangerous?  Of course.  I mea, gross desertification, the rise tropical diseases, the rising temperatures.

These are all things that most scientists that we spoke seemed to agreed about. 

NORVILLE:  And some interesting coincidences happen while you all were the process of writing and filming the movie. 

After you write the section, we just saw, where a part of the ice

shelf in Antarctica literally falls off into the sea, that happened.  Part

of the Larsen shelf collapsed

ZAG   We had read an article which said that the Larsen Shelf was scheduled to collapse in something like 10 or 12 years.  And we thought, “That would be really cool.  Let‘s put that in the story.”

And literally, a month later, I think Roland wrote me and said just go on line.  Go to MSNBC.com.  There‘s a satellite photograph of the Larsen ice shelf, which has abruptly collapsed, surprising a lot of people.

EMMERICH:  Theirs looks a little bit different. 

NACHMANOFF:  Theirs kind of breaks into little pieces and falls into the ocean.  But this was—once again, this looks—this looked really cool, you know. 

NORVILLE:  It looked cool, but as you said, real events in that case didn‘t mirror what you had written.     

We‘re going to talk more about the science.  As you note, there is—there are changes going on in our planet.  When we come back, we‘re going to be joined by a climatologist.  If the science fact isn‘t science fiction.

Roland Emmerich, Jeffrey Nachmanoff will be with us.  And we‘ll be joined by a climatologist who thinks all this stuff is a bunch of hokum. 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  I didn‘t do anything!

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Give me your hand!

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  What exactly are you proposing, professor?

QUAID:  Evacuate.  Everyone south of that line. 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  What about the people in the north?

QUAID:  If they go outside, the storm will kill them. 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

NORVILLE:  That‘s a scene from the new movie “The Day After Tomorrow,” which opened today.  I‘m back with the film‘s producer, writer and director and Roland Emmerich and co-writer Jeffrey Nachmanoff. 

And joining us now is climatologist Patrick Michaels.  He‘s a senior research fellow with the libertarian policy research foundation, the Cato Institute. 

Sir, we welcome you to our discussion.  You don‘t think any of this is possible.  Is that a fair assessment?

PATRICK MICHAELS, CATO INSTITUTE:  If you wanted to make a realistic movie about global warming, it would be about as exciting as watching paint dry. 

You know, contrary to what‘s in this movie, scientists know pretty much how much the planet is going to warm in the foreseeable future.  Scientists ranging from myself at the University of Virginia to James Hanson from NASA, we all agree that we know the warming for the next 50 years, to about 0.75 degree, plus or minus 0.25.  That‘s not very much.  It‘s something we‘ve adapted to and prospered with. 

And while I love the special effects in this movie, I‘m afraid it does a disservice to science and public policy in the same way that Jane Fonda did in “The China Syndrome,” when that created such a fear about nuclear power and coincided with the Three Mile Island accident that we never approved another nuclear plant in this country. 

NORVILLE:  The filmmakers have sat here and said in a million years they‘re not trying to make an historically accurate movie but one that is entertaining but still makes a point.

Do you disagree with their point that the planet is warming, and if we as a society, as a nation, as humankind don‘t take steps to control the emissions going into the atmosphere, we‘re not in trouble in the future?  Not just this generation, but future generations?

MICHAELS:  Deborah, for sure the planet‘s warm.  It‘s about a degree warmer than it was...

NORVILLE:  100 years ago?

MICHAELS:  Since the little ice age in the 19th Century. 

And again, we do know the rate of future warming to a very small range of error.  The problem in this movie is it takes a kernel of truth and turns it into something that can be politically very dynamite. 

You know, John McCain has vowed to reintroduced his bill to limit carbon dioxide emissions, and it looks pretty much like it‘s on the schedule of the furor that‘s going to be caused by this movie.

And I caution you that we have had other movies with political intents that have created policies, or almost created policies, that might not have been very wise. 

NORVILLE:  We‘re going to get to...

MICHAELS:  The last one had the same name.  It was called “The Day After,” and it was to promote the nuclear freeze. 

NORVILLE:  Yes.  And we‘re going to get into the politics of this issue in a few minutes.

But I want to concentrate with you, sir, on the science.  And I want to bring up a graphic that really points to what if, in my layman‘s terms, if I can kind of crib off the notes from the movie here, it‘s going on.

It‘s something called the thermohaline circulation.  And let‘s throw the graphic up so people can see what‘s going on.

Basically the gist is the warming of the planet causes the ice caps on the poles to melt, which changes the salt and fresh water ratio.  And that changes the ability of—of the water to flow as it has been, the Gulf Stream cooling—bringing warmer water up to the colder parts of the north and so forth. 

And you say, gentlemen who have made this movie, that that‘s the fundamental premise for what we see taking place in a fast-forward scenario. 

Let me let Roland answer.

EMMERICH:  Well, it‘s like the idea that the Gulf Stream shuts down and because of that, kind of everything gets like, in a way, kind of thrown out of balance and that, like, kind of causes a big storm. 

This is like—like kind of the part, like in a way, this is the real part, you know, and then like what‘s happening, what‘s the causes of that is kind of the fiction. 

NORVILLE:  In the movie you have a graphic which actually explains it maybe even better than the one we just saw, where it looks like a tornado. 

And we see from the troposphere (ph), which is the upper, upper levels of the atmosphere, the very cold air coming down.

EMMERICH:  Well, that‘s much later in the movie.

NORVILLE:  Much later in the movie.  And that‘s what causes the super freeze?             

EMMERICH:  Exactly. 

NACHMANOFF:  That‘s also the part that‘s most explicitly science fiction.  When we went to NOAA to talk to scientists, and we said we wanted to do this movie, they talked to me about the effects of the thermohalian shutdown, what it might look like. 

These aren‘t theories we invented, actually.  Originally Laurie Broker (ph) at Columbia, Dr. Richard Aly (ph), who discovered the ice cores talked about this.  Professor Stefen Romsfuld (ph) for the Pottsman Institute (ph).  They‘re all written seriously. 

NORVILLE:  But you took some poetic license?

NACHMANOFF:  What we did was we said OK, this is a great idea, but that‘s not going to work for us cinematically.  We want this to happen really fast, overnight.

So we created this sort of meteorologically impossible storm, which would deliver the effects of it immediately. 

But the basic idea that our climate would be seriously disrupted by a shutdown of the great conveyor is something that came from science.  That‘s the science, that if you wanted to debate it, which you can, you debate it.  But that‘s what we didn‘t invent.  We invented the part about everything freezing super fast. 

NORVILLE:  Patrick Michaels, what about the role that water vapor plays in all of this?  I know there was one scientist at Columbia University who has been looking at the glaciers during the last ice age and says that back then there was half the water vapor in the atmosphere that there is now.

Is that something that would impact on our future climate situation? 

MICHAELS:  The water vapor change in the atmosphere is much less than that, a couple of percents. 

But the problem here is that this movie even exaggerates the base scenario.  Karl Wunsch from MIT knows more about ocean currents than anybody in the world.  And he‘s also concerned about global warming.

He‘s concerned that this movie is going to hold the issue up to ridicule. 

Wunsch wrote an letter to “Nature” magazine, very prestigious scientific journal, in which he said the Gulf Stream will shut down and cause an ice age when the Earth stops rotating and when the winds stop blowing, or both.  In other words, it is impossible. 

The scenario—the physical scenario upon which this is predicated is a climate event that what‘s called the yongerdries (ph).  We can look around the world and see what happened.

First of all, it took a lot longer than five days.  It took 100 years or so.  And the temperature changes, while severe, were nothing that were portrayed in this movie.  That‘s the worst-case scenario.

NORVILLE:  Let me ask you what you predict 100 years from now, then?  To go back to that scenario.  What do you predict, climatologically speaking, 100 years from now?

MICHAELS:  Well, we already know that.  That‘s the important point. 

Our climate models tell us in general that, once the planet starts to warm from human influence, which it has, it warms at a constant rate, not an increasing rate.  And that rate has been established.

It‘s about .75 degree Celsius in 50 years, which is at the low end or maybe even slightly below the projections made by the United Nations. 

But what I‘m talking about here is reality: reality-based projections.  And a lot of scientists have come to the conclusion this thing is on a trajectory for a low-range warming and if we develop our technologies more efficiently, which we are doing, this is going to become a non-problem as we emit less and less C02 over the course of the 21st Century.

NORVILLE:  Let me let my guests in the studio respond to that. 

The notion that it is such a fantastic storyline, that you do damage to your argument that we do need to pay attention to what is going on in the planet, that if you scaled down the special effects a little bit, maybe people would pay more attention to it.  Fair argument?

NACHMANOFF:  No, I think people can tell the difference between science fact and science fiction.  People are going to see to see the movie.  They‘re going to be entertained.  We hope to have a good time. 

After they go to see it, I hope they go out and do the research and they can read the different scientists.  They can see if they agree with Pat Michaels and the people that don‘t feel that global warming is a hazard or an issue, or do they agree with McCain and Lieberman, the World Meteorological Association, the UN IPCC, you know, and all of the other scientists out there, the National Academy of Scientists, who believe that humans are having a strong impact on the environment and that we probably should be thinking about ways to take action on it and figure out how to solve it. 

NORVILLE:  So you want to get the debate going?

NACHMANOFF:  We‘re just contributing—We‘re just provoking a debate. 

And hopefully, we can let people go out there.  I mean, we‘re not going to debate with Pat Michaels on the science, but I think there are a lot of scientists out there, and I‘ve heard him debate with them.  You know, he seems to be in the minority, and there are a lot more who seem to feel that this is a serious problem. 

Not the problem we‘re depicting in the movie.  This is a movie.  But that there is a serious problem that‘s being caused by human emissions of fossil—of CO2.

NORVILLE:  We‘re going to talk about the political impact of this issue in a second. 

Dr. Patrick Michaels, thank you so much for your scientific input.  We do appreciate it very much. 

And when we come back, the movie is about global warming, and it is causing a political storm between the left and the right.  We‘ll check out the view from both sides next. 

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(NEWSBREAK)

NORVILLE:  The new blockbuster movie “The Day After Tomorrow” paints a disastrous picture of what global warming could do to planet Earth, from killer tornados to humongous snow storms, gigantic tidal waves, even a new ice age. 

And even before the film‘s release, the movie has been creating all sorts of political fallout. 

Joining me now to talk about the political impact is the executive director of the liberal grass roots organization, MoveOn.org, Peter Schurman. 

And also with us today, the communications director of the Republican National Committee, Jim Dyke.  Gentlemen, nice to see both you.  Thanks for being here.

Jim, you think the timing on this is somewhat planned?

JIM DYKE, COMMUNICATIONS DIRECTOR, RNC:  I have no idea.  You know, I think it‘s a problem or may be a little bit upsetting for the people who created this movie to have a group like Move On out there, using it more as a political tool than anything else. 

You know, Move On opposed any military action after 9/11 and George Soros, their No. 1 funder, called the attacks of 9/11 spectacular.

NORVILLE:  What about the movie?

DYKE:  Well, these aren‘t environmentalists.  These are Bush haters. 

And I think that them trying to use this movie as a political tool sort of backfires. 

You‘d probably have fifth graders all across the country going to see this movie and putting a little more time into their science classes and trying to learn more about the environment.  That‘s the good thing.

But when you have these kind of people out there, looking for the political gain out of what appears to be pretty good entertainment, I think it‘s probably a problem for them. 

NORVILLE:  Mr. Schurman, is it—Mr. Dyke says you want those fifth graders‘ parents to vote for the person who will not be in the White House right now, vote for John Kerry.  Is that—is that really your aim?

PETER SCHURMAN, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, MOVEON.ORG:  Deborah, this has—

This is not related to the election in any way. 

What we‘re doing is using this tremendous opportunity of this film raising a very important issue, the potential climate crisis, to probably 20 million viewers beginning next weekend. 

The danger of a climate crisis is very real, unfortunately.  It‘s potentially tragic; it‘s very real.  And although we can all agree that the depiction in this movie is greatly exaggerated.  It‘s a Hollywood, over the top movie, after all.  The danger of climate crisis is very real.

So we‘re taking this opportunity to use it to begin a debate around the country, to get people talking about it and to help people find out what they can do about it, what they can do to prevent a climate crisis. 

NORVILLE:  But your group has lobbied against Republican candidates.  And I wonder if your aim is to encourage people to get involved, to look at the issue of global warming. 

Does it defeat the purpose because of the political activities that your group is also involved in?

SCHURMAN:  Well, you know, in some ways the two—the—in some ways President Bush is very much linked to this issue.  But what MoveOn.org focuses on is issues, is policy issues.  What we focus on is pushing for real solutions to prevent a climate crisis.

We‘re pushing for Congress to pass the McCain-Lieberman, the bipartisan McCain-Lieberman Climate Stewardship Act, advocated by Senator John McCain, a Republican.

(CROSSTALK)

NORVILLE:  Yes, I want to get into that in a second, but as far as the politicization thing, you‘re actually going to be at the movie when it premieres in theaters after its showing with MoveOn.org people handing out flyers that say—quote—“This is the movie Bush doesn‘t want you to see.  One man stands in the way of real progress towards stopping global warming, President George W. Bush.”

Isn‘t that an oversimplification? 

SCHURMAN:  Deborah, you took the words out of my mouth.  This is the movie President Bush doesn‘t want you to see. 

And the reason for that is that President Bush is the No. 1 thing standing in the way—and it is tragically true—of our preventing a climate crisis.  The danger of a climate crisis is very real.  We‘ve got to take action today to prevent it.  We can‘t afford to wait until the day after tomorrow, which is why it is urgent and why we sincerely hope that President Bush will turn around and wake up tomorrow and realize that we have got to do something to prevent a climate crisis. 

He could do that.  We are hoping that he will show some real leadership here, which he hasn‘t done yet.

(CROSSTALK)

NORVILLE:  Jim Dyke—let me get Jim back in on the conversation.

Jim, I know one of the things the MoveOn.org folks are upset about is that the United States, at the behest of George Bush, has not signed the Kyoto protocols.  And the president says it would be damaging to the economy.  That‘s something that would regulate the amount of greenhouse gases emissions that companies could do. 

Can you explain why that‘s so damaging to the economy? 

DYKE:  I‘d be happy to.

First, let‘s be clear.  These aren‘t environmentalists.  This isn‘t an environmental group.  These are Bush haters.  Anyone who runs ads on their Web site that compare the president to Hitler, who runs these ads that they‘re running now, this is not a group that‘s interested in discussing policy.  These are people who hate George Bush.  They want to see him defeated. 

And that their choice.  But, again, I think it‘s a problem for the people who created this movie as entertainment.  It‘s a problem for them because I don‘t think people appreciate that as part of their entertainment. 

NORVILLE:  Well, let me roll a sound bite, then, of what George Bush has said about this, about the Kyoto protocols.  Here‘s a comment he made not too long ago.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES:  The methodology in the Kyoto accord is something that would harm our nation‘s economy, and therefore we‘re looking for different alternatives to achieve the same goal. 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

NORVILLE:  The Kyoto accord would require that signatory nations bring the level of emissions back to a level of 1990, correct? 

DYKE:  Well, President Clinton let Kyoto sit on his desk for about three years because he knew the Congress wouldn‘t pick it up.  There‘s a reason Congress wouldn‘t pick it up.

We‘re having a discussion about gas taxes right now.  Kyoto would add 63 cents a gallon to the price of gas.  Even the Europeans are now saying that it‘s hurting jobs, that they‘re having trouble meeting the standard of Kyoto.  Look, if the MoveOn people and Senator Kerry, who supports Kyoto, that‘s their right.  If they want to have that discussion, that‘s a discussion we‘re happy to have.  But let‘s not pretend that this movie has anything to do with that.

NORVILLE:  Do you think the president does not get credit when he should?  A year ago, he introduced the support of a $1 billion 10-year project that would create a coal-burning power plant that would have zero emissions.  It‘s going to be a consortium of agencies and companies that get behind that.  You don‘t hear much about that. 

DYKE:  You don‘t hear much about his healthy forest initiative or his clear skies policies which are in Congress right now and moving through.  It would about a 70 percent reduction in mercury emissions over the next 15 years. 

(CROSSTALK)

NORVILLE:  Well, isn‘t that your job?  You‘re the communications guy for the RNC.  Shouldn‘t you be doing a better job of singing his praises if you think he‘s doing the right thing? 

DYKE:  Fair enough, Deborah.  I‘d love to come back and have a policy discussion with a legitimate group that‘s interested in advancing policies. 

But, look, to be a Bush hater and do the types of things that MoveOn does, it doesn‘t help the debate.  It doesn‘t contribute to the debate.  It doesn‘t motivate people who go see this movie.  I think it in fact turns people off.  It‘s a mistake for the Kerry campaign and it‘s a mistake for MoveOn, I think. 

NORVILLE:  I think it turns off voters on both sides when we talk about each side calling the other a hater. 

But let‘s talk about the McCain-Lieberman bill.  I want to throw up a graphic that gives us what the specifics are.  It would also cap greenhouse emissions, not as far back as the Kyoto would.  It would also provide a system of allowances where, if you let out less gas emissions, you could trade that to somebody who is over the limit and create sort of a currency, if you will, for that.  And it also reduces dependence on foreign oil.

Do both of you agree that this is a good thing for America? 

SCHURMAN:  We certainly do, Deborah.  And I appreciate the opportunity to speak again, because there were a lot of mischaracterizations in what Jim was saying a moment ago. 

I want to flag one thing about what he was saying, in that it‘s—although President Bush has all those fancy-named bills, the Clear Skies, Healthy Forests, the supposed plan to do something about it in 10 years, virtually all of President Bush‘s supposedly green environmental policies take no meaningful action while he‘s in office.  They have these long, stretched-out time lines where none of the action gets taken until 10 years down the road.

(CROSSTALK)

SCHURMAN:  They‘re essentially meaningless. 

The real thing we‘ve got to do is take action today by doing things like passing the McCain-Lieberman Climate Stewardship Act, a bipartisan bill led by Senator John McCain, a Republican of Arizona, as we know, a very important bill that we‘ve got to pass now.  We‘ve got take action now to prevent a climate crisis. 

NORVILLE:  And, Jim Dyke, in just the 10 seconds we‘ve got left, would the president be behind this bill? 

DYKE:  Well, I‘m not the one that called the attacks of 9/11 spectacular.  That was George Soros.  I didn‘t post Hitler ads comparing the president to Hitler on our Web site.  Those are acts that were done by MoveOn. 

(CROSSTALK)

SCHURMAN:  That‘s a factual untruth.  MoveOn did not air those ads.

NORVILLE:  Guys, I got to tell you, this is the reason, when you look at voter participation in the United States of America, both of you represent political points of view.  When we see people carping like this we just think, as voters—they‘re sitting there thinking, a pox on both your houses. 

(CROSSTALK)

SCHURMAN:  Deborah, I couldn‘t agree with you more.  We‘re here to talk about the issue of global warming and what we can do now to prevent it.  And these kinds of partisan attacks aren‘t necessary.

(CROSSTALK)

NORVILLE:  We‘re going to leave it right there.  I saw affirmation from both of your heads.  I‘ll take that as one thing both of you can agree on. 

DYKE:  Go see the movie. 

NORVILLE:  Go see the movie, everybody.

SCHURMAN:  The movie is great.  Go see it.

NORVILLE:  OK.

Peter Schurman, Jim Dyke, I know the producers here thank you for the endorsement. 

And when we come back, we will be joined again by the men who wrote that movie, plus someone who has been at the forefront of America‘s technological advancements.  Former NASA astronaut Buzz Aldrin joins us next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

NORVILLE:  The film “The Day After Tomorrow” is causing a political storm over global warming.  The movie‘s writers and former astronaut Buzz Aldrin next. 

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) 

NORVILLE:  One of the characters in the new movie “The Day After Tomorrow” movie is a NASA scientist. 

And joining me now is a man who at one time played an awfully big role for NASA.  He visited a planet that doesn‘t have to worry about global warming or any kind of climate change, the moon. 

Dr. Buzz Aldrin spent on almost 300 hours in space on board Gemini 12, Apollo 8, and perhaps the most historic of all the NASA missions, the Apollo 11 moonwalk, when, on July 20, 1969, he and Neil Armstrong were on the moon, witnessed by the largest television audience in history. 

Buzz Aldrin today remains at the forefront of efforts to preserve a continued leading role for America in manned space exploration. 

And it‘s a pleasure to welcome Buzz Aldrin to the program with us.

It‘s nice to see you, sir. 

BUZZ ALDRIN, FORMER NASA ASTRONAUT:  Thank you, Deborah.  Nice to be on the program with you and all these experts. 

NORVILLE:  Well, and we‘ve got the producer, director, and writer of film, Roland Emmerich, with us, along with his co-writer, Jeffrey Nachmanoff, as well. 

You saw the movie not very—just a few hours.  What did you think about it? 

ALDRIN:  It‘s very startling.  I could use some other words that I‘ve heard recently in talking to people, ridiculous, irresponsible maybe.

But let‘s go to some science writers for credible magazines.  Gregg Easterbrook, the title of his article is “Blast-Frozen Nonsense.”  You know, these are not people who are always expressing one point of view or another.  I‘ve just had a little bit of time and I‘ve perused some articles recently that I‘ve seen as of last Friday.  And I also spoke to the assistant secretary of commerce for oceans and atmospheres. 

So I‘d be happy to comment on a few things about the movie. 

NORVILLE:  Well, we‘ll get into the specifics.  And you guys were chuckling as Dr. Aldrin made his comments.  Do you see—I don‘t know.  Does it upset you?  Do you sit there and think, man, all this controversy is good for ticket sales? 

ALDRIN:  Are you asking me? 

NORVILLE:  I‘m asking the movie‘s creators here. 

(CROSSTALK) 

ALDRIN:  Well, I‘m sure it‘s going to generate a lot of ticket sales. 

NACHMANOFF:  I think you can take the movie however you want.  I think maybe some people take it too seriously if they find it to be not accurate.

Not asking the movie to be accurate in all of the scientific details is a little bit like being upset with “Jurassic Park” for having dinosaur eat a truck.  That doesn‘t really half.  But it‘s still what—it‘s still a pretty entertaining movie.  There are a lot of things in the movie that we took liberties with.  We felt we did those in the interests of making an entertaining movie, not because we were trying to teach people about science.  And we think people understand the difference. 

NORVILLE:  Yes. 

Roland Emmerich, what of the science in this movie do you feel strongly that people shouldn‘t belittle and say, no, no, that could never happen? 

EMMERICH:  Well, the whole fact of global warming, that we keep kind of like warming this Earth.  And that‘s a fact.  There‘s nobody in the world who kind of doubts that. 

And alone that kind of Hollywood kind of doing a movie like that, like there‘s so much kind of discussion about this.  I was just in Europe. 

Whenever they kind of do something about the movie.  In a movie kind of

magazine, they also on the next page do the real science, you know?  And

there‘s kind of like a famous climatologist, one of most famous one, who

endorsed the movie because he saw it.  He got it like pretty kind of right

the science, which is real.  And he totally understands

(CROSSTALK)

NORVILLE:  It‘s a starting-off point? 

EMMERICH:  It‘s a starting-off point. 

He kind of told me that he very much when he saw it liked the climate conference.  It was exactly the kind of lecture he like kind of led.  And so he felt it was kind of good in a way. 

ZAHN:  Dr. Aldrin do, you see the science of the jumping-off point, the notion that indeed the planet in the last century has increased one degree and it‘s believed to be because of human activity that that has happened?  Do you see that as a legitimate jumping-off point for what is clearly a work of Hollywood fiction? 

ALDRIN:  Well, it has been chosen to be a jumping off point. 

You know, nobody is disputing on either side that the CO2 has gone up gradually, slowly, and temperatures have risen slowly.  But if we look back in history, we see that other effects before humans came along created rather much more positive changes. 

Look at these gigantic volcanoes that were around, the mountain building that caused great changes.  And yet we look back in ice core records and we don‘t see very fast changes that are happening.  You know, I‘m an orbital mechanics guy.  And I understand orbits and how you go from planet to planet in spacecraft and life support.  But I do understand a little bit about the laws of thermodynamics.  And we can create heat change with great explosions, including nuclear weapons, which create big sources of heat. 

I don‘t know of anything that occurs in nature that creates a big source of cooling.  You know, I started thinking about how could I create something that would do that.  Maybe there‘s a black hole on the back side of the moon and if the moon rotated around for some global warming reason, it could suck up all the heat that would cause the fuel lines in helicopters to cause spectacular crashes. 

NORVILLE:  Well, maybe that will be the next movie these guys do. 

(CROSSTALK)

ALDRIN:  Well, I just think we‘re misleading a generation of people.  And we in this country are trying to teach science and mathematics to people so that they will be able to make judgments based upon the evidence. 

(CROSSTALK)

NORVILLE:  And, having said that, do you think this movie is a good opportunity to pique people‘s curiosity and get them out there looking for their own answers and doing their own research and studying science more carefully? 

ALDRIN:  Well, I hope so. 

You know, I‘m reminded a few years ago of a hoax that we never went to the moon, and, in talking to teachers, the frustrations that they had in this highly polished special effects rendition of documentaries that talked about the shadows, the flag-waving.  And the teachers were frustrated.  We are—their students are beginning to suspect the government of lying to them at every turn. 

NORVILLE:  Well, we know you were definitely on the moon. 

We‘ve got to take a short break.  We‘re going to come back, more with Buzz Aldrin, Roland Emmerich and Jeffrey Nachmanoff in just a sec. 

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

NORVILLE:  Tonight, we‘ve been talking about the controversial new adventure disaster film called “The Day After Tomorrow,” which opened today. 

Back in our discussion now, former astronaut Buzz Aldrin, along with the film‘s producer, director and writer, Roland Emmerich, and his co-writer Jeffrey Nachmanoff.

Dr. Aldrin, we were talking about kids and science.  What would you want kids to focus on today? 

ALDRIN:  I would like them to be able to rely on credible, respectable honesty coming from people, instead of the bickering back-and-forth we seem to have today.  I‘m quite interested in space exploration of a long, sustaining nature. 

And we need bipartisan support or we‘re going to be picking back and forth at each other.  Maybe they can remember, as we they think back when some of us were fortunate enough to go to the moon, the phrase magnificent desolation.  But when they see movies like we‘re talking about now, I‘m afraid it‘s going to be monumental deception. 

NORVILLE:  All right. 

You know, gentlemen, you‘ve produced a movie.

And, Roland, you‘ve done so many blockbusters in your career.  Part of me is just sitting here going, it‘s a movie.  It‘s a movie.  I remember the hoopla over debunking “The Da Vinci Code.”  It‘s just a book.  Do people get a little too serious about things? 

(CROSSTALK)

EMMERICH:  Yes.  And people go and see the Louvre and visit the Louvre, which is not a bad thing.

And we wanted to make a movie which kind of stirs controversy, maybe, but first of all, we want to entertain.  We wanted to entertain and give people a ride and at the end, take something out of it, like are interested in something.  That is really good, too.  And so in that way, we‘re—obviously we have our job done because we‘re like sitting here and having discussion about real things.

NORVILLE:  And we spent an hour talking about this movie and all the different aspects. 

EMMERICH:  Exactly.  And what was the last summer blockbuster where you could do that? 

(LAUGHTER)

NORVILLE:  Let‘s talk about how Spider-Man got the Web to get him up to the building or something.

(LAUGHTER)

EMMERICH:  Exactly. 

NORVILLE:  There‘s a little more meat there.

Jeffrey, what is it that intrigued you about this as you were working on this, because this is you first real major Hollywood blockbuster to work on? 

NACHMANOFF:  Well, a chance to work with Roland Emmerich obviously was a big opportunity for any up-and-coming screenwriter. 

But it was just a great, great idea for something that could be a human drama, as well as a tremendous spectacle.  As, as Roland said, how often is a movie about something?  Look, obviously, we‘ve heard today from different people that have different opinions about it and about the science, but there‘s a discussion going on.  But no one ever expects it—look, if our kids are learning their science from a two-hour Hollywood blockbuster, we‘re all in a lot of trouble. 

This movie is—but, on the other hand, I think they‘re going to get

·         at least if they‘re provoked to go and open their science books after they see the movie, as you said, that‘s a little more than they‘re going to get from the average blockbuster.

NORVILLE:  And can you both sit here and say there is no political motivation; you don‘t care for whom votes are cast after they see the movie come November? 

EMMERICH:  Well, I think kind of global warming and environmental issues are like kind of bipartisan.  They should be bipartisan.  And they have nothing to do with you‘re a Republican or Democratic.

NORVILLE:  Jeffrey?

NACHMANOFF:  Yes. 

Look, I think the biggest statement about that is we—I think if you look at the McCain-Lieberman bill and we say that‘s something that a lot of people endorse and we think is a great idea, that‘s kind of politicians we would love to be able to support. 

NORVILLE:  One Republican, one Democrat coming together.

ALDRIN:  Could I say something before you finish?

NORVILLE:  Yes, Dr. Aldrin, real quick.  Absolutely.

ALDRIN:  Yes. 

In 1997, bipartisan, Senator Byrd, Senator Hagel passed a resolution that they would recommend vetoing the Kyoto accord.  It passed 95-0 in the U.S. Senate. 

NORVILLE:  There you have it. 

We‘re going to let that be the last word. 

Buzz Aldrin, it‘s just an honor to see you.  I just wish you were here so I could shake your hand.  I‘ve admired you since you did what you did back in 1969.  And I will note that the astronauts in the movie are the one people on planet Earth, because they‘re not on planet Earth, who don‘t have any problems, thanks to the fantastic things that happened.

Buzz Aldrin, it‘s great to see you.  Thank you for being with us. 

Roland Emmerich, Jeffrey Nachmanoff, congratulations on a great, entertaining film.  We wish you well at the box office. 

NACHMANOFF:  Thanks.

EMMERICH:  Thanks.

NORVILLE:  We‘ll be back.  Up next, this week‘s “American Moment.”

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

NORVILLE:  This week‘s “American Moment,” the story of Dustin Tuller of Coldwater, Florida. 

Staff Sergeant Tuller was shot four times in Iraq, and doctors said he was going to die, but he didn‘t.  But Sergeant Tuller did lose both of his legs in battle.  And when he returned to Coldwater, the town threw the father of four a homecoming parade. 

But the story doesn‘t end there.  More than 100 people volunteered to build the Tuller family a fully accessible house.  And the sergeant says, these days, he‘s focusing on what he‘s gained, not what he lost.  That‘s this week‘s “American Moment.”

And that‘s our program.  Thanks for watching.  Up next, “ULTIMATE EXPLORER FRIDAY” with Lisa Ling. 

Have a great weekend.  We‘ll see you Monday.

END   

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