Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Don't miss State of Fear

I just finished reading Michael Crichton's State of Fear, and duly recommend it to anyone and everyone. It was not only a great thriller but also a powerful manifesto debunking one of the great phantoms of our our era - catastrophic man-made global warming. It reminded me at times of Ayn Rand's Atlas Shrugged with its sharp, point-making dialogue. Imagine the force of Fransisco D'Anconia's money speech, only aimed instead at the "science" of global warming and backed by charts and footnotes. It's a powerful book.

And the fate of Ted Bradley, Crichton's symbol for hypocrisy-laden Hollywood do-gooders, is just too perfect to be missed.

BTW, after having finally read the book, I've decided that, as harsh as I was on the BBC's Harold Evans over his column about Crichton and the book, I wasn't harsh enough.


Blogger Stephen said...

Yeah, I couldn't put it down, read it in a day. It's fantastic. I've been following some of Crichton's speeches on global warming (the best being Aliens Cause Global Warming and I feel he really has a good overview of everything that's wrong with climate "science", and he puts in in historical context as well.

10:13 AM  
Anonymous Peter C Glover said...

Good call. And your readers might like to know about The Politically Incorrect guide to Science by the excellent Tom Bethell (Regnery). He debunks the myth of mad-made Global Warming (it scyclical, of course)idiocy too - along with a hatful of other myths.

This from one who spends his time debunking liberal media myths, anti-Americanism et al in the UK too...though English, on this occasion.

10:25 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I gave up on the book because I couldn't believe that the anti-terrorist forces are so under-resourced that an amateur would be dragged into a global pursuit.

Did I give up too soon?

5:31 PM  
Blogger Scott Callahan said...


You have a legitimate gripe, which I thought about as well as I was reading. And, if that bothered you early on, you would only have become more exasperated later on, as the enlistment of the amateurs only grew as the novle progressed. But as with most thrillers, some suspension of disbelief is required, so it didn't bother me so much.


11:00 PM  
Blogger Stephen said...

It's not all that unbelievable: in Cliff Stoll's "The Cuckoo's Egg", which is non-fiction, he pretty much has to catch the hacker himself; talking to the Feds simply wastes enormous amounts of his time and never leads to action, much as he tries to get them involved. And it's not as if the amateurs stumble into it a la Dan Brown: they are all involved in the charitable foundation which is a front for the terrorists.

1:11 PM  
Anonymous theSameHispanicGuyAsTheOtherDay said...

I read State of Fear a few months ago and it’s a very good thriller, I literally couldn’t put it down! However, several “facts” exposed in the book have been “de-bunked” ad tedium.

The book does some very good work in showing an alternate viewpoint, which is something we don’t get from the media nowadays. In a media environment feeding fear and doom, it is refreshing to see this.

What nobody seems to consider are the human factors. From what I’ve read and my experience and my experience in the research community in general I have very little doubt that man made global warming is real. Is it as bad a thing as the liberal media say? Perhaps not! Its all well and good to provide “solutions” to this problem that involve wrecking the world’s strongest economies, but will more lives be saved living in a world 3 degrees cooler that way? I don’t think so.

1:13 PM  
Blogger The Christopher said...

It was my experience that EVERY Briton believes global warming is man-made. I never met ONE Briton who thought otherwise. Even full-fledged Tories, admirers of Thatcher had no doubt that global warming was none other than the results of the excesses of man.

2:33 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The science in State of Fear is a joke. See, for example, http://www.realclimate.org/index.php?p=74

6:55 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have read the blurb on realclimate and found that three sources he quoted were incorrect and some of his examples were grossly taken out of context.


6:57 AM  
Blogger Stephen said...

Posting twice won't make you look like two people!

I also read the "blurb". Nitpicking and hairsplitting arguments that hardly go near the root of Crichton's argument: that computer models are too unreliable a basis on which to justify an enormously costly proposed course of action. (Computer-model-based science was something that bothered Nobel physics laureate Richard Feynman.) And whether you believe Crichton's 0.8% guess or Realclimate's 3-5% guess, is it going to make much difference in the real world? Would it justify all the hype? And given that the Earth's climate has changed by far more than that in the past (Middle Ages warming, Charles Dickens skating on the Thames), is the case that we can change the climate now, not perhaps a bit overstated? But I'm glad you found your little nostrum that enables you to dismiss the troubling arguments of Crichton from your mind, so you don't have to think for yourself.

2:10 PM  

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