So I just read Michael Crichton’s State of Fear (yes I realize it’s been out a few years, but my backlog of books is quite extensive, it helps sort through a lot of hype and allows me to pick up hard backs fairly cheap). This turned out to be one of the most enjoyable Crichton books I have ever read.
The story itself is on par with the rest of the Crichton’s work, enjoyable, fast paced, not exactly Pulitzer quality, but a good quick read. Action, the over tones of love, a lot of discussion of science, and a smarmy villain who gets his—all standard Crichton. (One of the nice points of this book is that the smarmy villain in this case is a bastard of an actor, who knows nothing and thinks he knows everything, who once played the President on TV, and who, if Crichton had lived and written this book within the last year, would have had an unstable child who was known for making bizarre comments about the blood of large cats. Yeah, Crichton does not hide his contempt for this actor. I wonder if it’s based on anyone in the real world. Too bad this character finds himself on the dinner menu for a tribe of modernization hating natives in the South Pacific.)
What’s more interesting is the topic. As with almost all Crichton novels there is a strain of scientific theory at the heart of the novel. Unlike most Crichton novels, this one comes with numerous footnotes and bibliography. Why does Crichton feel he needs to include footnotes on the scientific data he presents? Because this book is about global warming and the irrational faith of those who believe that man has a significant effect on the entire global climate system. Or, as he states in the first appendix “We know astonishingly little about every aspect of the environment, from its past history, to its present state, to how to conserve and protect it. In every debate, all sides overstate the extent of existing knowledge and its degree of certainty.”
In the book the villains, a combination of the wackos at ELF and a bunch of ignorant do-gooders spout off all the party lines about global warming…and Crichton’s heroes have responses to all of it (and citations for the responses). Temperature hasn’t been rising in any manner that should give you worry, temperature has always been going up and down without rhyme or reason, some glaciers have been shrinking, others growing. The sea level is not rising. And, of course, every action by people attempting to save the environment over the last 100 years has resulted in destruction to the environment…and yet we’re supposed to trust these wackos with good intentions but no facts this time…yeah that makes sense.
The main point of the work is that there is money and power to be made in creating a state of constant fear…which the climate change myth offers.
For conservatives it’s an enjoyable read which gives you a healthy list of resources to look up to prepare yourself for an argument with liberals on the issue of the mythical idea called global warming. The Schandefreude you get from seeing liberal arguments is just icing on the cake. For liberals I would say this is even a more important book to read…after all, if your arguments can’t withstand the truncated arguments of Crichton, how can they possibly withstand the body of evidence in the bibliography?
Of course my favorite part of the book has to be the last few pages which are not part of the book proper, but an essay. Crichton talks about a scientific theory which proposed an upcoming disaster that would face the human race and an easy solution to save us from this disaster. He compares global warming to this historic scientific idea as both were widely believed by the public, by politicians, by the elites and by the major scientific organizations of the time; both theories had research that was peer-reviewed and both times dissenters to the so-called evidence were mocked, insulted and considered to be heathens before the altar of science. This other idea: eugenics. Remind me how that one turned out. Oh yeah, millions upon millions tortured and killed…and do you think that a new call by environmentalists to all but go back on the last hundred years of progress are not going to have disastrous consequences?
It’s enjoyable and well worth the cost of the paperback.