Thursday, December 29, 2005

Michael Crichton's State of Fear

I found this link to what looked like a PowerPoint presentation critical of the environmental science behind global warming on Roger L. Simon's blog today, and wondered if the Michael Crichton credited as the author was the same person as the best-selling novelist and Harvard Medical School graduate. So I followed the links until I ended up at the official Michael Crichton webpage, which told me that the conflict over global warming is one part of the argument of his new novel, State of Fear. Crichton has a link to a speech he gave called "Aliens Cause Global Warming," which I found really amusing--but there were so many copyright warnings, that I'm afraid to quote from it here, even though I believe I would be protected under "fair use" doctrine. So you'll have to click on the link in the headline to see for yourself.

Anyhow, it turns out that Crichton is among those who question the science behind global warming, and who argue that bad politics are driving scientific policy in dangerous directions. He compares the current global warming scare to American eugenics policy in the 1920s and Soviet Lysenko-ism in the 1930s.

I was a Crichton fan as a teenager, and so found this a fascinating--and unexpected--position for a Harvard alumnus and Hollywood producer and screenwriter to take. It's not something he's doing to become more popular. And he certainly doesn't need the money, so it is highly unlikely that he's some corporate shill. He must believe that the environmental lobby is on the wrong track when it comes to global warming.

If Crichton is right, then the evidence for the Kyoto protocol may be nothing more than another Y2K scare.