REFUTING MICHAEL CRICHTON
Any discussion of Michael Crichton's literary merit aside--and I am one of those who feel he's gone steadily down hill, offering a parody of his early work in recent years--it strikes me as beyond irresponsible for him to have given so much ammunition to the anti-Global Warming ostriches with the premise of his latest book. Crichton claims to have done his research, but according to a new article by Gregory Benford and Martin Hoffert, he's wrong. Very wrong.
Meanwhile, his book is being used as if it's fact rather than fiction, probably in part because of a detailed afterword in which Crichton tries to justify his position.
Now, there are few enough times when I think a fiction writer can be accused of being irresponsible, but this is one of them. I find it doubtful that Crichton didn't realize his book might be used for political purposes--I'm sure he actually welcomes it. And he may feel that as a doctor, a man of science, he's entitled to take a look into another area of science and render his informed opinion.
But when the stakes are this high, and the consequences this profound, it's absolutely irresponsible to paint everything in black-and-white terms. It's irresponsible and it's dangerous.
Even setting aside the idea of global warming, promoting an attitude, as Crichton apparently does, that we are not devastating our environment, not wiping out key habitats, not polluting our atmosphere and our earth...is irresponsible.
Don't buy this book. Don't reward Crichton for writing a thinly disguised polemic and trying to foist it off as entertainment.