Sunday, March 4, 2007

Michael Crichton - Genius

Ok, 'genius' may be an exaggeration. I really don’t know Michael Crichton well enough to make such a judgement. But based on what I’ve learned up to now, I’ve come to believe at least the man is a marvel!

I’ve just started reading ‘State of Fear‘, Crichton’s 2004 novel - a thriller involving global warming alarmism, scientific folly, eco-villains and media laziness and stupidity. In other words it’s a thriller based on current events.

I’m barely into it, but what has greatly impressed me so far is the material at the back of the book which summarizes Crichton’s research, motivation and conclusions. It includes:
Author’s Message - Crichton’s conclusions - a marvelous collection of short, sharp insights, beginning with:

* We know very 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.
Appendix I - Why Politicized Science is Dangerous. An essay documenting some past examples of scientific ‘error’ and the resulting damage. Parallels with current global warming hysteria are relevant.
Appendix II - Sources of Data for Graphs. He uses real data and factual footnotes throughout the novel.
Bibliography. Crichton’s list of readings covering three years of research runs to twenty pages with most entries including a short synopsis or comment on relevance. This is a treasure trove of sources on the science, psychology and politics of environmentalism. Reading it left me with the feeling that by comparison with Crichton, I’ve been wasting my life.
If you read nothing else in ‘State of Fear’ don’t miss reading the back pages. This means you, Al Gore and David Suzuki!!
Michael Crichton’s own web pages for ‘State of Fearinclude links to some of the above as well as to speeches he’s given to learned audiences around the U.S.A. His reputation is such that he’s even been asked to give testimony before the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works.
I repeat, the man’s a marvel!


Anonymous said...

When I read the book Jurasic Park I discovered something that was never revealed on any TV show about animals.

Basically, the Rhino has a built in survival mode and if a Chopper tracks them and forces them to run away, if the chase isn't called off the Rhino keeps running until the heart literally explodes from the muscle trying to compress a liquid.
This is part of Pascals laws for Hydralics and how it's very tough to compress a liquid like water and near impossible for oils that have no oxygen molecules to squeeze smaller.

I trust him far more the Go-Go Suzuki who uses a diesel powered Bus to promote protecting the air and our Earth.

A Dog Named Kyoto said...

I read State of Fear shortly after it was released a couple of years ago. Your first impression is correct. You are going to thoroughly enjoy the insight that Crichton offers into the global warming fraud and the environmental movement in general.

Halfwise said...

I'm halfway through it and enjoying it too. I'm not usually much for novels, but with all the GW fanaticism that passes for science these days, and replaces debate, it is good to be able to just relax while reading about the subject instead of getting all torqued up.

Anonymous said...

I would comment at the most recent posting on Crichton but it seems the comment feature is not enabled there.

Anyway, I just wanted to say that I finished the book en route to Australia, and thought the plot was lame but the thoughts were very strong. The point about *state of fear* as a product of politicians, lawyers and the media resonated with me. The double standards of people who reap the benefits of an industrial society but preach against others gaining those benefits are also pointed out.