LOS ANGELES: NASA last week found itself in a minor media storm after The New York Times reported the space agency was trying to "muzzle" its scientists from speaking out about an upcoming movie on global warming.
A Sunday Times piece quoted an e-mail leaked to the paper by "a senior NASA scientist."
The report was picked up nationally, prompting NASA assistant administrator of public affairs Glenn Mahone to issue a clarification saying that scientists were allowed to speak about the film, The Day After Tomorrow, but that NASA had no "cooperation agreement" with the film's producers as they did with films such as Armageddon and Space Cowboys. Without such an agreement, "NASA does not plan any specific support of this production," the statement said.
The Day After Tomorrow is an environmental thriller that looks at what would happen if global warming slowed ocean currents, causing an instant ice age. While scientists say the premise of the movie is highly unlikely, it highlights real trends in global climate changes. The movie opens May 28.