Saturday, January 22, 2005

Book - State of Fear

This is a review, not a recommendation. State of Fear, by Michael Crichton is not a novel, nor is it a thriller. Rather, it is a thinly disguised attack on the science of global warming, and by extension, the role of media in propogating received wisdom instead of critical comment.

One has come to expect slickly written stories from Crichton, with little character development but intriguing science and plot. In this case, the reader is drawn into the book anticipating a good story, but realizes quickly that this is in fact an extended essay which talks down in a patronizing tone to the reader.

Why didn't Crichton just write a non-fiction book covering the same material? He obviously feels strongly about the subject of global warming, and the fact that there is an extensive bibliography at the end speaks to his extensive research. Is he right that the current focus on global warming is misguided? I need to read his sources to make up my own mind.

I can say that great chunks of the planet are poisoning themselves through uncontrolled development. One only has to visit China to realize that a blue sky and clean air are only memories for the people living there.

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