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Spring an Environmentalist Hoax, Author Says
Alex Steffen, 5 Apr 05

We missed this Real Climate April Fool's Day post poking fun at Michael Crichton's State of Fear. It's worldchanging humor:

A "consensus view" amongst climate scientists holds that the Northern Hemisphere will be warming this month, as spring is coming. This is thought to be due to the Earth's orbit around the sun and the inclination of the Earth's axis, tilting the Northern Hemisphere progressively towards the sun throughout March and April and increasing the amount of solar radiation received at northern latitudes. In a new novel, State of Euphoria, bestselling author Michael Crikey uncovers major flaws in this theory and warns against false hopes for the arrival of spring.

This is not merely fiction: Crikey underpins his thesis with numerous scientific diagrams. He presents measurements from over a dozen weather stations in the Northern Hemisphere where temperatures show a cooling trend in March. He further cites scientific results which show that in some places, snow and ice have increased in the past weeks, counter to climatologists' claims that they should be melting away in the spring sun. He further argues that even the average temperature of the Northern Hemisphere has not increased steadily; during one week of March, it showed a slight cooling despite the increase in solar radiation.

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That's pretty funny.

The thing to keep in mind with Crichton is that he enjoys the role of contrarian. He's a very smart guy, even if he gets a little misguided about climate change.

Posted by: Joseph Willemssen on 5 Apr 05

I've seen this thing I could call "CEO disease" or more generally "old successful guy disease."

As I moved through my technology career I met a lot of older guys who had achieved great things, got used to being right, and lost their ability to be discerning.

They were sure of themselves in one area, and would apply that "sureness" to another, and another ... until they're wrong.

There is even the possibility that the ability to be "sure" contributes to one's success, even if one is not always right.

I say all this of course because I think Crichton might have a touch of that "bug."

Posted by: odograph on 5 Apr 05

Reminds me of this, Odo:


Truth perceived gives assurance.
Skill yields self-reliance.
With courage, we can defy danger.
To increase power, increase humility.

Through constant contemplation, we can arrive at the truth. The more experienced we are, the more thorough our understanding, and thus the more we can come to rely on our knowledge. When we exercise what we know, it not only extends our understanding of the truth but helps us take action in meaningful ways. The more we do, the more self-reliant we are.

Every achievement brings a wonderful dividend of confidence. We try greater and greater ventures, until we are brave enough to accomplish undertakings far beyond what the average person imagines. When we reach that level of consummate skill, it is a time of both celebration and extreme caution. We are justified to rejoice, for this is the level of ability that we have been striving so long and hard to attain. It is also the time for caution because the foolish will eventually try something too great for them to handle. Pride and passion will lead to their downfall.

Therefore, the more accomplished one becomes, the more circumspect one should be. The higher one's skills, the more precarious one's road. The most powerful followers of Tao are also among the most humble. By veiling their light until the proper moments, they escape the greatest danger of all : hubris.

from "365 Tao" by Deng Ming-Dao

Posted by: Joseph Willemssen on 5 Apr 05

wow, i wish i'd said it like that!

Posted by: odograph on 5 Apr 05

This applies to organisations of people, also. It parallels quite strikingly the rise and fall of pre-eminent empires, with later generations - imbued with a sense of imperviousness - attempting to assert previously acheived power too often.

Posted by: Daniel Johnston on 6 Apr 05

And it was Dave Berry who wrote that, deep down inside, all of us think we're above-average drivers.

Posted by: David Foley on 6 Apr 05



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