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Remarks to the Commonwealth Club Michael Crichton (Theme: Environmentalism is really Urban Atheism)
Michael Crichton ^ | September 15, 2003 | Michael Crichton

Posted on 12/06/2003 8:16:02 AM PST by FreedomPoster

Edited on 12/15/2003 11:31:15 AM PST by Lead Moderator. [history]

I have been asked to talk about what I consider the most important challenge facing mankind, and I have a fundamental answer. The greatest challenge facing mankind is the challenge of distinguishing reality from fantasy, truth from propaganda. Perceiving the truth has always been a challenge to mankind, but in the information age (or as I think of it, the disinformation age) it takes on a special urgency and importance.


TOPICS: Editorial; Government; Philosophy
KEYWORDS: commonwealth; crevolist; enviralists; environment; environmentalism; green; greens; michaelcrichton
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A somewhat long read, but an interesting viewpoint to apply to enviralmentalism and enviralmental whackos.
1 posted on 12/06/2003 8:16:03 AM PST by FreedomPoster
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To: FreedomPoster; Carry_Okie; OWK
Wow! Thanks for posting this.
2 posted on 12/06/2003 8:22:47 AM PST by snopercod (The federal government will spend $21,000 per household in 2003, up from $16,000 in 1999.)
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To: FreedomPoster
Very prescient.

Wish he wrote as well in his novels.

3 posted on 12/06/2003 8:26:17 AM PST by billorites (freepo ergo sum)
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To: FreedomPoster; ninenot
Ping
4 posted on 12/06/2003 8:28:05 AM PST by BlackElk (Dickie Durbin is a "Catholic" anti-Catholic bigot. Time for an old-fashioned, ummm, inquiry!)
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To: FreedomPoster
Long but worth it. Gist however is that we need to replace the religion of environmentalism with the religion of science as if scientist and researchers still live in their innocense in Eden.

The explanation for the decadence of the aboriginal peoples he speaks about is only explained by the real fall from the real Eden when aboriginal Adam sinned against the real God. Only real religion (Christianity) offers a way to reverse the real effects of our sin.

5 posted on 12/06/2003 8:29:25 AM PST by aardvark1
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To: Henrietta
Awesome read. If this were widely distributed (published in NYT sunday mag, for instance) it could destroy the enviro movement.
6 posted on 12/06/2003 8:32:32 AM PST by Atlas Sneezed (Police officials view armed citizens like teachers union bosses view homeschoolers.)
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To: FreedomPoster
Read later.
7 posted on 12/06/2003 8:34:23 AM PST by EagleMamaMT
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To: FreedomPoster
Excellent read!! Thanks for posting this.
8 posted on 12/06/2003 8:36:07 AM PST by Eala (Sacrificing tagline fame for... TRAD ANGLICAN RESOURCE PAGE: http://eala.freeservers.com/anglican)
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To: *Enviralists; *Green
Index bump.
9 posted on 12/06/2003 8:39:30 AM PST by FreedomPoster (this space intentionally blank)
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To: FreedomPoster
This trend began with the DDT campaign, and it persists to this day.

Ah, the legacy of Rachel Carson and AlGore...ist't it a lovely day in Eden?!
Can we please have a "Silent Spring" FREE of the enviroMENTALists and their pagan pantheism that takes MAN out of NATURE?!

At this moment, the EPA is hopelessly politicized. In the wake of Carol Browner, it is probably better to shut it down and start over.

Agreed, but do not forget that LOSER Christie Todd WITLESS!

10 posted on 12/06/2003 8:43:37 AM PST by Itzlzha (The avalanche has already started...it is too late for the pebbles to vote!)
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To: Thud
fyi
11 posted on 12/06/2003 8:44:32 AM PST by Dark Wing
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To: FreedomPoster
Great article.

The man really knows how to present his case. I found his statements that those who banned DDT knew they were lying to be especially interesting and worth researching, worth repeating.

And now, just to be a contratrian

Most of us have had some experience interacting with religious fundamentalists, and we understand that one of the problems with fundamentalists is that they have no perspective on themselves. They never recognize that their way of thinking is just one of many other possible ways of thinking, which may be equally useful or good. On the contrary, they believe their way is the right way, everyone else is wrong; they are in the business of salvation, and they want to help you to see things the right way. They want to help you be saved. They are totally rigid and totally uninterested in opposing points of view. In our modern complex world, fundamentalism is dangerous because of its rigidity and its imperviousness to other ideas...We know from history that religions tend to kill people...Religions think they know it all

Keep in mind he's talking about the characteristics of religions in general - all religions.

12 posted on 12/06/2003 8:45:46 AM PST by liberallarry
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To: FreedomPoster
Brilliant piece.
13 posted on 12/06/2003 8:46:52 AM PST by denydenydeny
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To: FreedomPoster
Excellent article! I love Chrichton's style. Just finished his most recent book, Prey. Interesting plot.

Thanks for posting this.
14 posted on 12/06/2003 8:47:12 AM PST by EggsAckley (..................."Dean's got Tom McClintock Eyes".........................)
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To: aardvark1
See post #12.
15 posted on 12/06/2003 8:48:10 AM PST by liberallarry
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To: FreedomPoster
bump
16 posted on 12/06/2003 8:50:22 AM PST by VOA
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To: FreedomPoster; PatrickHenry; Doctor Stochastic
A somewhat long read, but an interesting viewpoint to apply to enviralmentalism and enviralmental whackos.

Indeed

Rachel Carson and her "Silent Spring" has done far more harm to this country and our world than she could ever have imagined. This is not unlike the power line cancer scare of a few years ago. Turned out to be total BS.

17 posted on 12/06/2003 8:54:03 AM PST by RadioAstronomer
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To: liberallarry
I did catch that, and was uncomfortable with that as well. Still, there were some times where some ugly things were done in the name of Christianity. Some of the events of the 30 Years War come to mind.

The general theme of the piece is worthwhile nonetheless.
18 posted on 12/06/2003 8:54:10 AM PST by FreedomPoster (this space intentionally blank)
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To: FreedomPoster
Probably the best and most sensible thing I've ever read from Crichton. He's certainly come a long way since his vintage 1980s anti-Japanese paranoia rant at the end of Rising Sun....
19 posted on 12/06/2003 8:58:58 AM PST by Dr. Frank fan
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To: aardvark1
The explanation for the decadence of the aboriginal peoples he speaks about is only explained by the real fall from the real Eden when aboriginal Adam sinned against the real God. Only real religion (Christianity) offers a way to reverse the real effects of our sin.

No. Early man was not decadent. They were survivalists in the literal sense. Eat or be eaten. Fight or die. Remember, we evolved just as the rest of life did on this planet.

20 posted on 12/06/2003 8:59:46 AM PST by RadioAstronomer
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To: liberallarry
Keep in mind he's talking about the characteristics of religions in general - all religions.

With good reason.

21 posted on 12/06/2003 9:00:20 AM PST by RadioAstronomer
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To: FreedomPoster
Farmers know what they're talking about. City people don't.

That's it in a nutshell.

22 posted on 12/06/2003 9:02:47 AM PST by Oatka
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To: RadioAstronomer; liberallarry; FreedomPoster
Let me qualify this:

With good reason (referring to fanaticism)
23 posted on 12/06/2003 9:02:52 AM PST by RadioAstronomer
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To: FreedomPoster
BTTT! Brilliant!
24 posted on 12/06/2003 9:05:19 AM PST by PianoMan (And now back to practicing)
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To: FreedomPoster
sThe general theme of the piece is worthwhile nonetheless

Better than worthwhile.

I know from personal experience that his critique of the environmental movement is correct. It's riddled with know-nothings who've made it "the great cause", their life's work - and with people who care nothing about the environmental issues and a great deal about the political and economic consequences of "environmentally friendly" laws.

But I've never been able to succinctly state the case the way he has.

It's important to note that the criticisms apply equally well to anti-environmentalists - and to pay attention when Crichton says there's a real need to analyze, as best as possible, our effects on the environment.

I am also quite comfortable with his critique of religion and the religious mind-set - keeping in mind that it's a generalization.

25 posted on 12/06/2003 9:09:49 AM PST by liberallarry
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To: FreedomPoster; snopercod; liberallarry
Crighton commits a fallacy or two. You all know the one, "guns don't kill people . . ." A fallacy is an error in reasoning. Here's his error in process:
There are two reasons why I think we all need to get rid of the religion of environmentalism.

First, we need an environmental movement, and such a movement is not very effective if it is conducted as a religion. We know from history that religions . . .

And so it runs. Environmentalism is a religion; religions kill people; therefore environmentalism is evil. This one is called guilty by association. If this one is in your bag of tricks, no doubt you've used this one: "Adolf Hitler believed that 1+1=2. So, you shouldn't believe it."

The claim that religions "know it all" is such a sweeping generalization that perhaps Crighton might try this one some day: "women are all feminists, so don't marry."

26 posted on 12/06/2003 9:12:11 AM PST by cornelis
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To: FreedomPoster
Wow! This is a keeper! Thanks
27 posted on 12/06/2003 9:14:15 AM PST by avg_freeper (Gunga galunga. Gunga, gunga galunga)
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To: liberallarry
keeping in mind that it's a generalization

Generalizations are indispensible. But why should we put up with fallacies?

28 posted on 12/06/2003 9:14:19 AM PST by cornelis
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To: FreedomPoster
bump
29 posted on 12/06/2003 9:16:58 AM PST by jocon307 (The Dems don't get it, the American people do.)
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To: Rose in RoseBear
Interesting read!
30 posted on 12/06/2003 9:19:05 AM PST by Bear_in_RoseBear (Bite Back with Big Bots!)
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To: FreedomPoster
Today, one of the most powerful religions in the Western World is environmentalism.

AMEN.

31 posted on 12/06/2003 9:19:16 AM PST by Mike Darancette (Proud member - Neoconservative Power Vortex)
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To: cornelis
We all would like to find certainty, meaning, and security in an uncertain, confusing, and frightening world. In some this need is so great that they seize upon an idea or a way of viewing the world as "the truth" and refuse to countenance any challange or contradiction.

It is this mindset that Crichton says cannot be eradicated, which he criticizes as dangerous in the extreme, and which he characterizes as religious.

Of course, there are plenty of believers who are tolerant and open-minded. Of course, there are plenty of non-believers who aren't. Of course, there are plenty of people who treat non-religious ideas in a religious way - that's the point of Crichton's article, isn't it?

Anyway, that's how I read it.

32 posted on 12/06/2003 9:27:45 AM PST by liberallarry
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To: FreedomPoster
In case you missed the ‘questions’ page that followed the article (on the original website), his answer confirms my belief that he DOES have a little common sense in addition to his book-learning smarts:


If Hollywood were destroyed by a freak accident tomorrow and you were asked to rebuild it, what changes would you make?
I wouldn't rebuild it. It's already an anachronism, and so is its product. Does anybody believe that in 50 years we are still going to go to cinemas to watch big computer-generated light-shows that make no sense, bear no relation to real life and are accompanied by earsplitting noise? Or that we will want to watch this product at home on our screens? No, this too shall pass.
33 posted on 12/06/2003 9:33:15 AM PST by Maria S ("…the end is near…this time, Americans are serious; Bush is not like Clinton." Uday Hussein 4/9/03)
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To: liberallarry
Re: Fundamentalists (religious): "They are totally rigid and totally uninterested in opposing points of view."

I disagree with regards to Christianity. I consider myself a Christian fundamentalist, but I hear, live with and am interested in other points of view.

I've been a news and history junkie most of my life and guess who has controlled most of the news and history I have been exposed to? Libs, from my college days, to Time and Newsweek, to CBS, NBC, ABC and CNN and Hollywood. The list goes on and on.

People who dont know - or think they dont know - any Christian fundamentalists are naive about what we believe.

34 posted on 12/06/2003 9:37:02 AM PST by keithtoo (DEAN - He's Dukaki-riffic!!!! - He's McGovern-ous!!! - He's Mondale-agorical!!!)
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To: FreedomPoster; shaggy eel; Free Trapper
Muttly need Footnotes.

Best if we have the data he is referring to...like DDT...so this presentation could have some teeth...harder to run away from.

It is, however, THE best roadmap - into the past, throughout the present, and into the future - that I have ever read...and I will use it. I just need the Science, or it'll just make people mad at me, and I'll seem prejudiced, politically...which is the big Spoilers' trick. I'd rather stay quiet, than offer that.
35 posted on 12/06/2003 9:40:40 AM PST by PoorMuttly (DO, or DO NOT. There is no TRY - Yoda)
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To: liberallarry
That's a worthwile discussion, but hardly an excuse to be fallacious.

There is no doubt that even religious people are prone to impose certainty for the sake of banishing the fear of our limited knowledge. And if environmentalists shouldn't make this kind of error, where does Crighton obtain the priviledge to call this error religious? Crighton commits a fault and he should be called on it.

36 posted on 12/06/2003 9:43:23 AM PST by cornelis
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To: FreedomPoster
Michael writes like this in his non-fiction work "Travels" and having had a similar experience as him in Jamaica, I believe he does his research well, and is spot on about environmentalism. He is also right not to treat the GOP with any great favor, however, the environmentalist movement is a child and co-ally of the Democratic National Party. It is socialist in its dealings with the people and environmentalist plans to correct the situation certainly include government control of all our actions. He could have said all these things as well.
37 posted on 12/06/2003 9:44:50 AM PST by KC_for_Freedom (Sailing the highways of America, and loving it.)
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To: FreedomPoster
The other speeches and articles on the Crichton site are also a good read. The one from April 1993 seems particularly good.
38 posted on 12/06/2003 9:51:20 AM PST by SpeakLittle_ThinkMuch ("If you don't read the paper, you are uninformed. If you do read the paper, you are misinformed."...)
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To: farmfriend
ping
39 posted on 12/06/2003 9:54:32 AM PST by Libertarianize the GOP (Ideas have consequences)
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To: cornelis; keithtoo
You can - rightly - criticize Crichton for characterizing rigid and intolerant insistance upon the "truth" of one's beliefs as "religious". But it's not his error alone. Too often, that's the way of the secular world. It will take some work to undo it.
40 posted on 12/06/2003 9:55:44 AM PST by liberallarry
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To: billorites
He does write well in his books and his ideas are interesting. I still enjoy watching movies like Disclosure even though I have seen it numerous times. The guy is a genius and I don't always agree with him.
41 posted on 12/06/2003 9:57:50 AM PST by Honestfreedom
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To: liberallarry
I can't say that I know anyone who is anti-environment, only those who believe pretty much what Crichton has said, that we need to be heedful of the environment and act on the facts
42 posted on 12/06/2003 9:58:28 AM PST by CaptRon
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To: farmfriend
A good article for the ping list.
43 posted on 12/06/2003 9:59:10 AM PST by forester (Reduce paperwork, put foresters back in the forest!)
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To: Maria S
I watch old movies all the time. I love 'em. They're good stories, well-told and they also are good records of their times. As in all things, you have to pick and choose. There's plenty of crap too - just as in real life. :)
44 posted on 12/06/2003 10:02:18 AM PST by liberallarry
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To: CaptRon
I can't say that I know anyone who is anti-environment<P. I do. People who care only about getting rich. Some of them even call themselves environmentalists. :)
45 posted on 12/06/2003 10:04:04 AM PST by liberallarry
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To: FreedomPoster
that there is very little difference between the parties, except a difference in pandering rhetoric

Very true, and not just on the issue of environmentalism.

Bush, for example, turns out to be the most fiscally liberal president since Johnson, and yet people who call themselves "conservatives" love him while those who call themselves "liberals" hate him.

Had Gore been elected, he would never had succeeded in implementing an agenda as progressive as GWB's over the past 4 years.

46 posted on 12/06/2003 10:10:04 AM PST by massadvj
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To: liberallarry
religious fundamentalists, and we understand that one of the problems with fundamentalists is that they have no perspective on themselves.

Crichton got this right , and damn Larry, I am agreeing with him,and you too.

I think I need to up my meds..
47 posted on 12/06/2003 10:12:39 AM PST by gatorbait (Yesterday, today and tomorrow......The United States Army)
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To: gatorbait
I think I need to up my meds..

I'll send you some of mine. Got 'em cheap from Rush. A low blow, I know, but anything for a laugh....

48 posted on 12/06/2003 10:16:45 AM PST by liberallarry
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To: FreedomPoster
The closest comparison I can make with the "fundamental religion" of environmentalism is that of the suicidal religion of Islamic fundamentalism. Both religions have believers firmly out of touch with reality and common sense. Also, here on Kauai, we are repeatedly reminded of the power of nature - 3 tourist deaths in the past 10 days or so in the ocean and rivers. A nearby ocean tourist attraction, Queen's Bath, has claimed 34 lives since 1970, almost all visitors. Yet when my 16 year old son warns the tourists of the dangers, they usually ignore him.
49 posted on 12/06/2003 10:17:22 AM PST by KAUAIBOUND (Hawaii - the nicest but most incompetent gov workers in the US)
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To: liberallarry
I think I need to up my meds..
I'll send you some of mine. Got 'em cheap from Rush. A low blow, I know, but anything for a laugh....


Yes indeedy :- )

Yep, I'm a Rush fan,but that's still funny.
50 posted on 12/06/2003 10:17:45 AM PST by gatorbait (Yesterday, today and tomorrow......The United States Army)
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