Attila the Pun
Monday, December 13, 2004
NERF Herders

Want more proof that Crichton's new book will be reviewed along ideological grounds? How about the Wall Street Journal's take on it?

Michael Crichton delivers a lightning-paced technopolitical thriller that turns on a controversial notion: All that talk we've been hearing about global warming -- you know, polar ice caps melting, weather systems sent into calamitous confusion, beach weather lingering well into January -- might be at best misguided, at worst dead wrong. Think "The Da Vinci Code" with real facts, violent storms and a different kind of faith altogether.

A little more enthusiastic than the Slate review. The reviewer makes a similar point about Crichton's speeches (as linked to previously):

"State of Fear" is, in a sense, the novelization of a speech that Mr. Crichton delivered in September 2003 at San Francisco's Commonwealth Club. He argued there that environmentalism is essentially a religion, a belief-system based on faith, not fact. To make this point, the novel weaves real scientific data and all too real political machinations into the twists and turns of its gripping story.

It does appear that the novel might get a bit preachy however:

"All together, the ban has caused more than 50 million needless deaths," Kenner says. "Banning DDT killed more people than Hitler, Ted. And the environmental movement pushed hard for it."

So Bush = Hitler *and* Banning DDT = Hitler? Wow, he really is the man for all seasons. But Crichton isn't apparently on top of all his facts:

Kenner tells Morton's friend: "Environmental groups in the U.S. generate half a billion dollars a year." The actual amount for just the 12 largest environmental lobby groups in the U.S. in 2003 was $1.95 billion. That buys a lot of influence in the Washington. One way to mitigate its effect is to read "State of Fear" -- every bit as informative as it is entertaining. And it is very entertaining.

I like having my preconceptions confirmed as much as the next person - maybe I will give the book a sniff when it comes to paperback.

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