December 13, 2004

Scientists say Crichton's hot air is root cause of global warming . . .


As The Guardian’s Patrick Barkham puts it, Michael Crichton is “most famous for his far-fetched tale of how dinosaurs could be brought to life with DNA from mosquitoes trapped in amber.” But now, the author of Jurassic Park “has written a thriller about ecoterrorism which the critics say is equally fantastic in its refusal to accept that global warming is a clear and present danger.” As Barkham writes in this Guardian story, Crichton’s new book, State of Fear includes “a 14-page bibliography and a five-page authorial note explaining his extreme scepticism about global warming.” Crichton calls theories of global warming the “interminable yammering of fearmongers” and writes: “The current near-hysterical preoccupation with safety is at best a waste of resources and a crimp on the human spirit, and at worst an invitation to totalitarianism.” Meanwhile, Barkham reports “Scientists and environmentalists greeted his arguments with derision yesterday,” including the global warming sceptic he quotes, Bjorn Lomberg, who “dismissed” Crichton’s calculations. Tony Jupiter, the director of Friends of the Earth, commented that “It’s interesting to see how climate change sceptics have truly entered the world of fiction . . . The fact that these arguments are presented as a novel puts them in their correct place in society.”

Dennis Johnson is the founder of MobyLives, and the co-founder and co-publisher of Melville House.