Tuesday, February 24, 2015

"End of the World" rather overstates the solar flare risk, which actually needs to be taken very seriously

I cover films that present the possible danger to western civilization from gigantic solar storms (and resulting coronal mass ejections), so I rented the silly SyFy channel film “End of the World”, directed by Steven R. Monroe, set in British Columbia (of course).
The film rather overdoes things, to say the least.  The solar storm results in ball lightning dropping like “rain” on the ground, frying anyone or anything it hits.   This would not happen.
Cars sporadically fail, and that probably would happen only with an electromagnetic pulse bomb, which (to affect a large area) would be a high altitude nuclear blast. 
The plot gimmick is that the heroes (played by Greg Grunberg and Neil Grayston) use their knowledge of apocalyptic films (also on the SyFy Channel) to figure out how to save the world.  
They work at “Movie Shack, Home of the Disaster”.  Dr. Walter Brown (Brad Dourif) insists on being put through to the Pentagon, because he knows how to fix it, like he was special!  The fix is to launch a nuclear warhead to land inside an open pit mine in Siberia.  I’m not sure what sense this makes, other than to break up the current cold wave, that originates from Siberia.
What really ought to be done, is to make a docudrama of what would happen if a Carrington-sized solar storm and CME hit the Earth today, with its advanced technological infrastructure, and vulnerable power grid.  We apparently had a narrow miss in July 2012, which we didn’t learn about until the Spring of 2014. 
The Anchor Bay press release for the film is here
I watched the film from a Netflix DVD. 

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