Global warming? Now that really is fiction
[03 Jan 2005]
Michael Crichton’s new book State of Fear will certainly be influential. I’m wondering if it was funded by the Bush administration since it gives the impression that global warming is still in doubt.
This summary from Zinken, on the original Times Online interview:
Interview: Jasper Gerard meets Michael Crichton.
A giant wave envelops a tropical island. Victims scramble for survival. The world watches in horror. Michael Crichton has a knack for novels that are of the moment, but never has his fiction collided so savagely and swiftly with reality. Until now, with State of Fear, the Jurassic Park author’s latest blockbuster.
As befits one of the world’s top-selling authors, there is a monster twist in the book. So while the real tsunami was a product of nature, Crichton’s fictional one was started secretly by obsessive environmentalists trying to frighten the world into believing that global warming is about to cause the apocalypse.
For after three years of painstaking research, the father of the techno-thriller believes he has reached a shocking conclusion: global warming is hot air.
It worries me when both sides simplify the arguments to just a few lines. The earth’s ecology is an extremely complex system. That global warming is happening is surely not in doubt (Crichton seems to think it is) – the jury is still out on why it is happening.
I can just see the smug US and Australian governments smiling with glee at Crichton’s conclusions.
Update (3 Jan 2008): It’s interesting how much we have moved on in the 3 years since I wrote this post. The IPCC has convinced most of the world that climate change has been influenced by human activity and Australia, under the new Rudd government, has ratified the Kyoto Protocol.
I wonder how Crichton feels now.