Backchannel discussion here at WorldChanging has lately centered on whether or how to respond to the publication of Michael Crichton's new novel, State of Fear, a lengthy polemic (in novel's clothing) pooh-poohing the idea that global warming-induced climate disruption is real. We decided to wait and see if any interesting responses pop up elsewhere, and point to those. We didn't have to wait long.
RealClimate.org, the group blog written by respected working climate scientists, takes State of Fear head on in two posts, pointing out errors of omission, commission, and evident confusion, and demonstrating (for those still uncertain) that while Crichton can spell the big scientific words, he really doesn't know what he's talking about. It's a thorough and well-argued takedown. (And for those who say, "hey, it's only a novel, it doesn't have to be real," remember that Crichton added an appendix where he explains his putative non-fiction case.)
Undoubtedly, in days and weeks to come, we'll see more detailed dissections of what will nonetheless be a popular novel, so stay tuned.
how 'bout forty signs of rain :D
The sad thing is that in the US (and elsewhere) the mainstream is so badly informed - I blame the crappy consolidated commercial right-wing media - about scientific matters (and social issues, but that's another story) that very popular books such as this one (and other crazy books with an ideological agenda to push such as the Left Behind series) are sometimes what people use as a reference to make up their minds on a subject, and afterwards they can be very hard to convince of anything else.
Mikhail hits the nail on the head.
Crichton has decided that he is in the business of making people's minds up for them.
He seems to have become a clone of the dipshite consumer-advocate-turned-libertarian-crank John Stossel. They've got the formula down pat: Sound self-assured and indignant, scoff at a few straw men, bring on a few talking heads, and a large chunk of the populace will give up on further inquiry.