Thursday, February 09, 2006

Michael Crichton Wants You To Calm Down And Enjoy These Warm January Temps

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.

9 comments:

Speck said...

I haven't respected the guy or read one of his novels since the careless fart in the wind Jurassic Park II.

Course I thought Congo blew ass, and never could make it through Sphere.

Rising Sun was entertaining...and the Original JP was quite good.

But whatever...

blankfist said...

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.

Are you sure it's not the news that makes people like you think there's a lot of gun violence in this country? And what's their yardstick for this? And why is it that when I tell someone who's for gun control that only 150 people under the age of 14 die a year by family owned firearms, they always come back with 'that's still too many'? Is it really? What's their yardstick? Is all life really that precious? I don't know.

BTW, did you use "avuncular" in a sentence? I bow to thee.

Speck said...

Oh yeah...Joe Hahle just moved into apt #201...I ran into him moving his shit in...weird.

blankfist said...

Joe Hahle? Why does that name sound familiar (outside of the obvious, which is 'he went to NCSA')... my memory is slipping. I'm starting to forget alums that I used to converse with. How sad. Speck who?

Craig Moorhead said...

You guys are completely full of shit. In Congo, a monkey drank a martini.

Crichton is a genius.

blankfist said...

The new bond is only five years older than me. Five years. Holy Majoly!

http://imdb.com/gallery/ss/0381061/Ss/0381061/a001.jpg?path=pgallery&path_key=Craig,%20Daniel%20(I)

I'm setting you up for a joke, Crane. Go ahead with your age jokes that seem to be a gushing resource for personal amusement.

Shannon said...

Wow! Craig, Brian's new man crush, lives close to me!

moran said...

Whoa. I thought that photo of Crichton was of Rummy. Whatcha think, Crane? Are they really the same person? When we invade Iran, will our depleted military be supplemented by super-intelligent white monkeys or velociraptors that breathe napalm?

JudgeHolden said...

In the upcoming invasion of Iran, Secretary of Defense Michael Crichton will be implementing the use of nano-particle swarms to hunt down and kill all whacked-out mullahs, Iranian soldiers, and civilians. Napalm-breathing velociraptors (or, in Pentagon-speak, Jurassic-Era, Incendiary-Ordinance Delivery Lizards) will come in to torch the bodily remains. But yeah, Mike. Crichton and Rummy really do look alike in these photos.