This is Michael Crichton. You may remember -- a couple weeks ago I blabbed about bits of homophobia I found sprinkled throughout his early, possibly first novel, entitled The Terminal Man. Even then he seemed to have something in common with the right-wing of this country. Now, as I see in the New York Times, he's receiving a journalism award from the American Association of Petroleum Geologists for his NOVEL State of Fear, in which he completely undermines the idea that global warming is a real threat. The article is brief, and you can read it here. James Inhofe, the chairman of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works, likes State of Fear. According to the NYTimes, Inhofe calls global warming, "the greatest hoax ever perpetrated on the American people."
Crichton seems to agree with that assessment. In a retort to those critics who said the premise of State of Fear was predicated on boneheaded science, he gave this lecture in coordination with the Smithsonian (if, by chance, you DO click on the link, you'll find the right link beneath the covers of all of his books). I read through a bunch of it and Crichton sounds a little like an avuncular Ian Malcolm (the character Jeff Goldblum played in Jurassic Park), but instead of talking about 'chaos theory', he's going on about 'complex systems'. He says in the lecture, essentially, that at one point we were all afraid of something called 'global cooling', and Y2K, and the 'population bomb'. He posits that global warming is just another one of these silly faddish things that people are getting freaked out about for no reason other than the news tells us to get freaked out about it. In one respect, he's saying what Michael Moore said in Bowling For Columbine -- that part of the reason we're afraid of each other (and why there's so much gun buying and gun violence in the US), is because of the way we get our information: the news. Crichton concludes his lecture by asking how we can be so arrogant as to think we humans can bring stability to our planet's atmosphere when it hasn't been stable in the history of Earth?
Is global warming just another Y2K? I don't think so, but I went to film-school. So what's a guy like me with no background in science to do in the face of Michael Crichton telling me to relax, that it's all going to be okay? I look to people in the field who do know about it. So when you have a phalanx of world-renowned, Nobel-prize winning scientists and climatologists who all believe global warming is real, that we're contributing to it, and that we can and should do something to stop it, I listen to them. And when a guy who writes heavily-researched, fun-to-read, but generally dopey techno-thrillers says global warming's essentially a hoax, I'll go ahead and take that with a grain of salt.
Tomorrow is Friday. I'll have some more Inanity for you then. I'm out.