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PSIPOOK | books | state of fear, michael crichton

pot boiled dinosaur
Title: State of Fear
Author: Michael Crichton
Publisher: Harper Collins
Price: ¥1,092
ISBN: 0-00-718160-4

Michael Crichton in State of Fear mixes real-world issues of global warming with a pot-boiling action thriller.

This is not a small book, which is, I suppose appropriate to its global themes. It starts off with a sinister group of well funded people amassing a collection of devices that will create environmental mayhem. Is this Dr. Evil getting ready to hold the world to ransom? Pay me squillions of dollars or New York gets literally blown away? No. these are environmentalists who have discovered that global warming is not the terrible threat they said it was and who want to create the appearance of global warming to convince people that global warming was the terrible threat they said it was. Yes, you read that right.

Crichton’s new novel is roughly the size and shape of a soapbox and he is very much standing on it. Environmentalists are a threat to the world and global warming isn’t. That’s not just the plot of the novel, that’s what Crichton thinks, and we know that because he tells us in pages of footnotes and his own personal manifesto printed at the end of the book.

There are some readers who will think this is all terribly good stuff, and something that needs to be shouted from the rooftops and they will enjoy the book. There are other readers who will not agree with any of this, and, I suspect, will be horrified.

One note. For a writer who claims to have thoroughly researched the issue of global warming, he does seem to make some alarming errors. One example: he states that hurricanes are areas of high pressure. Er ... the exact opposite is true. Hurricanes are areas of terribly low pressure. If Crichton can’t get the basics right, what hope the rest of his thesis?

We may be witnessing the creator of Jurassic Park turning into a dinosaur.

Kansai Scene, September 2005

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Update: In September 2005, Michael Crichton was called before the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee to publicly debunk global warming — just a month after hurricane Katrina devastated New Orleans. It is nice that the committee is progressive enough to invite a novelist, a writer of fiction. In fact they are so forward thinking that they have chosen to ignore the fact that Crichton is not a scientist or a climatologist. They charitably overlooked the fact that Crichton's thesis against climate change as set out in State of Fear is complete bunk. But we are talking about diversity and inclusivity here. Why not invite the village idiot too?

You can read about Crichton's contribution to informed debate here and here and here.

By the way, have you read Chris Page's novel Weed? It really is rather fantastic.

Words of praise for Weed from a publisher in London.

"... it’s really witty and very strong ... I would compare the writing to Robert Rankin, or a really satirically biting Tom Sharpe, and will say again that I’m really impressed by it"



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