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Globophobia

A weekly survey of world restrictions on freedom and free trade

5 June 2004

12:00 AM

5 June 2004

12:00 AM

According to the Hollywood film The Day After Tomorrow, the failure of the world to confront global warming is going to result in the royal family being freeze-dried at the breakfast table at Balmoral and our cities drowned in raging tornadoes. Never mind that this scenario — based on the global-warming lobby’s latest hobby-horse, the theoretical displacement of the Gulf Stream — is in direct contradiction to the drought and heatwave which scientists have been predicting for years. And never mind that much of the film’s scenes are physically impossible: to reverse the Gulf Stream, according to some calculations, would involve first having to stop the world rotating. It is just that it is a bit rich, the rest of the world being lectured on the evils of fossil fuels by a bunch of Hollywood actors delivered fresh from their power-showers to the film studio in fleets of sports utility vehicles.

Not that humbug is anything new to Hollywood, especially in the globalisation debate. Here is an industry which swamps the world with its vile films, yet whose workers profess to be aggrieved by the effects of globalisation. A candidate for the world’s most pathetic pressure group must be the Hollywood Fair Trade Campaign, a bunch of actors and technicians bleating about unfair competition from foreign film industries. They are especially upset that some studios have been filming scenes in Mexico to save money or have been contracting work out to Canadian studios, where costs are 20 per cent lower than in overpaid Hollywood. ‘Our own political leaders have arranged a system of trade agreements designed to enhance corporate profits by shipping our jobs abroad,’ moans spokesman Michael Everett.

This column does not usually support protectionism, but perhaps it ought to make an exception. How about a deal? Hollywood stops exporting its junk to the rest of the world, and the rest of the world stops competing for Hollywood’s ancillary work.


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