Monday, December 13, 2004
Michael Crichton's "State of Fear" Takes on Global Warming AlarmistsMichael Crichton is taking on the global warming industry in his latest thriller, "State of Fear."
Crichton told ABC's John Stossel that the controversy the book will engender almost kept him from writing it: "I'm 62 years old. I've had a good life. I'm happy and I'm enjoying myself. I don't need any of the flak that would come from doing a book like this."
Yet Crichton thought the message of the book, in which he says that environmental organizations are "fomenting false fears in order to promote agendas and raise money," was important enough to do anyway.
The book is a rare thriller: It has footnotes. (Which means that Michael Crichton's fiction has better documentation than many environmental organizations' websites.)
Crichton, however, warns people not to believe anyone who says they know for sure if the Earth is warming and, if so, how much and why.
As reported by the Guardian, Crichton says in an "author's message" in the book:
* In every debate, all sides overstate the extent of existing knowledge and its degree of certaintyHere's a review of the book from the Globe and Mail. The review says it is good, except for the injection of the scientific facts.
* Nobody knows how much of the present warming trend might be a natural phenomenon
* Nobody knows how much warming will occur in the next century. The computer models vary by 400%, de facto proof that nobody knows. But if I had to guess - the only thing anyone is doing, really - ... the increase will be 0.812436 degrees C
* For anyone to believe in impending resource scarcity, after 200 years of such false alarms, is kind of weird. I don't know whether such a belief today is best ascribed to ignorance of history, sclerotic dogmatism, unhealthy love of Malthus, or simple pigheadedness
* Most environmental "principles" (such as sustainable development or the precautionary principle) have the effect of preserving the economic advantages of the west and thus constitute modern imperialism toward the developing world. It is a nice way of saying: "We got ours and we don't want you to get yours, because you'll cause too much pollution"
* We desperately need a nonpartisan, blinded funding mechanism to conduct research ... Scientists are only too aware of whom they are working for
For me, that's a plus.
Reading this one is going to be fun.
Addendum: In a link to this post, Sean at Everything I Know is Wrong has assembled a collection of global warming posts.
Posted by Amy Ridenour at 5:41 PM