Famed global warming denier and science-fiction author, Michael Crichton, has died in Los Angeles. He became famous as a pulse-pounding writer who helped create the techno-thriller genre with best-sellers (and hit movies) like Jurassic Park and The Andromeda Strain.
Then he used his fame in the most destructive way possible — to cast doubt on the overwhelming scientific understanding of global warming, to urge people not to take action against the gravest preventable threat to the health and well-being of future generations.
In 2004, he published State of Fear, a deeply flawed novel that attacks climate science and climate scientists. Although a work of fiction, the book had a clear political agenda, as evidenced by Crichton’s December 7, 2004 press release:
STATE OF FEAR raises critical questions about the facts we believe in, without question, on the strength of esteemed experts and the media. Although the story is fiction, Michael Crichton writes from a firm foundation of actual research challenging common assumptions about global warming.
The mistake-riddled book (see below) contains a gratuitous Appendix titled “Why Politicized Science Is Dangerous,” where Crichton draws a direct and lengthy analogy between climate science and eugenics and Soviet biology under Lysenko, where all dissent to the party line was crushed and some Soviet geneticists were executed. With no evidence whatsoever, he claims, that in climate science, “open and frank discussion of the data, and of the issues, is being suppressed.”
Sadly, Crichton chose to use his fame to smear the work of countless scientists who are trying to predict and prevent the unintended consequences of humanity’s dangerous experiment with unrestricted emissions of heat-trapping greenhouse gases.
In a 2006 New Republic interview, he articulated the twin credos of global warming denial and delay:
“If you just look at the science, I, at least, am underwhelmed. This may or may not be a problem, but it is far from the most serious problem. If you want to do something, [limiting emissions] is not what to do. We don’t at this moment have good technology to do this, if, in fact, it’s necessary to do it.”
Such is the road to ruin. Those who advance such a view deserve the strongest of labels, the strongest of condemnation.
Crichton spoke frequently against climate scientists and climate action, including public debates and testimony at a Senate hearing chaired by James Inhofe (R-OK), where Crichton took the opportunity to once again accuse the entire scientific community of fudging the science of climate change.
Crichton even helped persuade President Bush that he was wise to do nothing to address global warming. In 2006, Fred Barnes, executive editor of The Weekly Standard, wrote of Bush’s opposition to the Kyoto global warming treaty: