Daily Speculations

The Web Site of Victor Niederhoffer & Laurel Kenner

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01/07/05
Jack Tierney's Review of Michael Crichton's "State of Fear"

"never read his books but a thought provoking speech."

For J.T. and others who might also be in this camp, I suggest obtaining a copy of Crichton's most recent book, "State of Fear." This may not be his best book but should it gain popularity, it will be the environmental movement's worst nightmare. While works of fiction rarely use footnotes, this book is loaded with them.

Without going into details this is a "global warming" story that follows the activities of a dedicated "save the world" group and a handful of equally dedicated individuals bent on stopping them. The book contains tons of dialogue through which Crichton first lays out the conventional Environmentalists' arguments; the follow-up dialogue proceeds to shred each and every argument. Crichton makes no arguments that aren't referenced by either website, scientific book, or peer-reviewed journal (while also pointing out that most environmental positions are the product of pseudo-science and rarely, if ever, peer-reviewed). Along the way he hangs the blame for over 50 million deaths around the cherished neck of Rachel Carson, relates that the breast implant/cancer connection was scientifically disproven - 4 years after the lawsuits had effectively crushed Dow Corning.

Much of his information comes directly from governmental sources, especially that involved in long-term weather patterns and temperatures - among the demonstrable conclusions: we are in an age if global cooling, not warming, and that the ice packs aren't melting, but rather expanding. If there's a major fault with this book, it's Crichton's portrayal of all environmentalists as stupid, base, and greedy. All too frequently this is a method used to unfairly characterize groups to which I belong (Christians and conservatives). Since I reject this method of categorizing my own views I can hardly endorse its use on those with whom I disagree. Overall, though, this is an excellent book to use as reference guide in any debates you may indulge in among your green friends.

P.S.: Only by reading the book can you grasp the meaning of its title. I'd be interested to hear whether those who do read the book find Crichton's argument convincing.