Michael Crichton’s new novel State of Fear is about global-warming hysteria ginned up by a self-important NGO on behalf of evil eco-terrorists … or by evil eco-terrorists on behalf of a self-important NGO. It’s not quite clear. Regardless, the message of the book is that global warming is a non-problem. A lesson for our times? Sadly, no.
In between car chases, shoot-outs, cannibalistic rites, and other assorted derring-doo-doo, the novel addresses scientific issues, but is selective (and occasionally mistaken) about the basic science involved. Some of the issues Crichton raises are real and already well-appreciated, while others are red herrings used to confuse rather than enlighten.
The fictional champion of Crichton’s climate skepticism is John Kenner, an MIT academic-turned-undercover operative who runs intellectual rings around two other characters — the actor (a rather dim-witted chap) and the lawyer (a duped innocent), neither of whom know much about science.
So, for the benefit of actors and lawyers everywhere... Read more