Skip to comments.David Suzuki vs. Michael Crichton (finally! Global warming charlatan gets msm whacked!)
Posted on 02/21/2007 7:12:25 AM PST by GMMAC
David Suzuki vs. Michael Crichton
Barbara Kay, National Post
Published: Wednesday, February 21, 2007
Last Thursday, environmentalist guru David Suzuki stormed out of a Toronto AM640 radio interview with host John Oakley because Oakley dared to suggest that global warming might not be the "totally settled issue" Suzuki insisted it was.
Oakley only reported a fact: Many accredited scientists -- some full professors from top universities, including Nobel prize winners and a former president of the National Academy of Sciences -- would argue that "global warning is at best unproven and at worst pure fantasy," according to novelist and independent scientific researcher Michael Crichton, author of the best-selling 2004 environmental techno-thriller, State of Fear.
Crichton, one of the first to expand on the theme of environmentalism-as-religion, would doubtless see Suzuki's gesture as a result of confusion of his role as environmental advocate with that of chief of Morals Police. Suzuki's very public censure of Oakley for his perceived blasphemy is disquieting because it smacks of the totalitarian impulse to silence and humiliate the dissenter --or even, as in this case, the dissenter's messenger.
Suzuki keeps high-profile company in his tendency to suppress environmental infidels. Al Gore called skeptics "global warming deniers," evoking (if only unintentionally) invidious and fallacious comparison with Holocaust denial. Rejecting the historical record of what has actually happened in the past is one thing ; expressing skepticism about events that are predicted to happen in the future on the basis of computer simulations is quite another. But once you get into the realm of reigning ideologies, such rational distinctions fall by the wayside. The object is to shame the one who questions the received wisdom.
Suzuki would have better served his cause if he had addressed skeptics' actual concerns. Such as:
- Why was climatologist James Hansen -- the father of global warming--off by 200% in his prediction that temperatures would increase by 0.35 degrees Celsius by 2008 (the actual increase has been .11 degrees); and why did he (and colleagues) say in 2001 that "the longterm prediction of future climate states is not possible"?
- Of the world's 160,000 glaciers, some are shrinking. But many --in Iceland, for example --have "surged" in the last few years, while most of Antarctica is getting colder; if warming is "global," why?
- Why haven't sea levels risen to the extent predicted? Why have the waters off the Maldive Islands in the Indian Ocean not only experienced no rise over several centuries, but an actual fall in the last 20 years?
- Where is the predicted "extreme weather?" There has been no global increase, and in many cases a decrease, of extreme weather patterns.
- From 1940-70, carbon dioxide levels went way up, but temperatures went down so abruptly that a new Ice Age was the prevailing fear; wherefore this disparity?
- The Sahara Desert is shrinking--purportedly due to the greening effects caused by man-made global warming; but isn't the greening of the desert a good thing? I know to ask these questions only because I've read State of Fear. And as the environmental hysteria burgeons, I continue to press the book on everyone I know. Forget the silly (but riveting) plot, which is to the embedded environmental science in the novel as blini to caviar. You cannot read State of Fear with an open mind and continue to believe global warming is a "totally settled issue."
Nor should readers be put off by Crichton's status as a "mere" novelist. Crichton's scientific research on environmental issues is so impressive he was invited to address the U.S. Senate's Committee on Environment and Public Works. Even Crichton's most frenzied critics (the Los Angeles Times called State of Fear "the first neocon novel") did not repudiate his peer reviewed, impeccably sourced data.
Amongst the hundreds of books, journal articles and scientific reports in his bibliography, (no mention of Suzuki, strangely), Crichton lists every publication of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change since its formation. He has read them all, and in the end humbly "guesses" -- the most one can do -- that we are experiencing mild warming, possibly more beneficial than harmful.
The remorseless pressure on Canadians to sign up for environmental orthodoxies that they are not cognitively equipped to judge is demoralizing and divisive. Tantrums by self anointed prophets do not help the situation. Whatever the eventual outcome on the global warming front, we could all use a little non-partisanship, maturity and attitudinal cooling on the behavioural front.
© National Post 2007
'bout time, eh?
Skeptics are not raising scientific questions that should be addressed objectively, dispassionately and scientifically -- rather they are heretics who deny the reigning religious dogma and should be burned at the stake.
And, if silencing and humiliating the dissenter doesn't produce the desired outcome - there is always "re-eductaion" and failing that, drug therapy, incarceration, and then execution.
My favorite scene in "State of Fear" is when the pompous leftist a-hole Hollyweird movie star is eaten by cannibals.
I would have given $200. to have seen that tantrum. Just the thought of it will keep me smiling all day. Just when you think it cannot get any better....
Pope Algore I, The Infallible.....
Sooner or later
people will start bringing up
Crichton's "research" on
spoon bending, spirits,
talking plants, kundalini,
and the other stuff
he covers at length
in his non-fiction memoir
Travels. Then we'll see . . .
In the Name of the Party, the Worker and the State... Amen.
I'm still wondering what happened to all those deadly global warming-induced hurricanes we were supposed to have last year.
Great book "State Of Fear". Sometimes scenes in a novel can be so rewarding such as the one you describe, :)
I'll say !!!
They will NEVER make this into a movie, just like they will NEVER make Vince Flynn's novels into movies.
Why does anyone keep giving this blatant nut case the benefit of the doubt? He has earned undisguised contempt for his relentless barrage of psychotic deliveries; and he still is not an alpha dog.
There is nothing unintentional about his choice of words.
The Left and the "progressives" exploit our vulnerability to language abuse deliberately and relentlessly whether we're talking climate or taxes.
"Crichton's status as a 'mere' novelist"
Michael Crichton is a writer and filmmaker, best known as the author of Jurassic Park and the creator of ER. His most recent novel, Next, about genetics and law, was published in December 2006.
Crichton graduated summa cum laude from Harvard College, received his MD from Harvard Medical School, and was a postdoctoral fellow at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies, researching public policy with Jacob Bronowski. He has taught courses in anthropology at Cambridge University and writing at MIT. Crichton's 2004 bestseller, State of Fear, acknowledged the world was growing warmer, but challenged extreme anthropogenic warming scenarios. He predicted future warming at 0.8 degrees C. (His conclusions have been widely misstated.)
Crichton's interest in computer modeling goes back forty years. His multiple-discriminant analysis of Egyptian crania, carried out on an IBM 7090 computer at Harvard, was published in the Papers of the Peabody Museum in 1966. His technical publications include a study of host factors in pituitary chromophobe adenoma, in Metabolism, and an essay on medical obfuscation in the New England Journal of Medicine.
Crichton's first bestseller, The Andromeda Strain, was published while he was still a medical student. He later worked full time on film and writing. Now one of the most popular writers in the world, his books have been translated into thirty-six languages, and thirteen have been made into films.
He's had a lifelong interest in computers. His feature film Westworld was the first to employ computer-generated special effects back in 1973. Crichton's pioneering use of computer programs for film production earned him a Technical Achievement Academy Award in 1995.
Crichton has won an Emmy, a Peabody, and a Writer's Guild of America Award for ER. In 2002, a newly discovered ankylosaur was named for him: Crichtonsaurus bohlini. Crichton is married and lives in Los Angeles.
That was even funnier than the enviro-terrorists being left naked in the Rain Forest in rainbow Six.
"I had one of the first subscriptions to Ms. magazine. I was actually quite sorry to see feminism take the nosedive it did, to watch it commit intellectual suicide with its support for Clinton. If they like the guy, he can do anything. But if they don't-if it's Bob Packwood-they kill him. It revealed the intellectual contradiction. At least that's my reading of it."
If you ever visit Boston, the Peabody Museum is a must. There is an intact 45" Kronsaurus skeleton that will scare the bleep out of the kids. You'll be real glad that they died out when you see it.
Algorus the comatose.
I don't see this becoming a major motion picture.
Those sneaky Venusians have been exporting their atmosphere to our planet for over 50 years. The Roswell crash was covered up by George Bush and even though Will Smith and R2D2 piloted the star crusier and blew up the Death Star this outrageous illeagl alien penetration continues.
I await my PHD and Nobless Noblige Nuanced Ninny Award at the "Awards" show this weekend!
Didn't algore invent religion?
"Environmentalism as Religion"Read the reast here.
by Michael Crichton
San Francisco, CA
September 15, 2003
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.
We must daily decide whether the threats we face are real, whether the solutions we are offered will do any good, whether the problems we're told exist are in fact real problems, or non-problems. Every one of us has a sense of the world, and we all know that this sense is in part given to us by what other people and society tell us; in part generated by our emotional state, which we project outward; and in part by our genuine perceptions of reality. In short, our struggle to determine what is true is the struggle to decide which of our perceptions are genuine, and which are false because they are handed down, or sold to us, or generated by our own hopes and fears.
As an example of this challenge, I want to talk today about environmentalism. And in order not to be misunderstood, I want it perfectly clear that I believe it is incumbent on us to conduct our lives in a way that takes into account all the consequences of our actions, including the consequences to other people, and the consequences to the environment. I believe it is important to act in ways that are sympathetic to the environment, and I believe this will always be a need, carrying into the future. I believe the world has genuine problems and I believe it can and should be improved. But I also think that deciding what constitutes responsible action is immensely difficult, and the consequences of our actions are often difficult to know in advance. I think our past record of environmental action is discouraging, to put it mildly, because even our best intended efforts often go awry. But I think we do not recognize our past failures, and face them squarely. And I think I know why.
I studied anthropology in college, and one of the things I learned was that certain human social structures always reappear. They can't be eliminated from society. One of those structures is religion. Today it is said we live in a secular society in which many people---the best people, the most enlightened people---do not believe in any religion. But I think that you cannot eliminate religion from the psyche of mankind. If you suppress it in one form, it merely re-emerges in another form. You can not believe in God, but you still have to believe in something that gives meaning to your life, and shapes your sense of the world. Such a belief is religious.
Today, one of the most powerful religions in the Western World is environmentalism. Environmentalism seems to be the religion of choice for urban atheists. Why do I say it's a religion? Well, just look at the beliefs. If you look carefully, you see that environmentalism is in fact a perfect 21st century remapping of traditional Judeo-Christian beliefs and myths.
There's an initial Eden, a paradise, a state of grace and unity with nature, there's a fall from grace into a state of pollution as a result of eating from the tree of knowledge, and as a result of our actions there is a judgment day coming for us all. We are all energy sinners, doomed to die, unless we seek salvation, which is now called sustainability. Sustainability is salvation in the church of the environment. Just as organic food is its communion, that pesticide-free wafer that the right people with the right beliefs, imbibe.
Eden, the fall of man, the loss of grace, the coming doomsday---these are deeply held mythic structures. They are profoundly conservative beliefs. They may even be hard-wired in the brain, for all I know. I certainly don't want to talk anybody out of them, as I don't want to talk anybody out of a belief that Jesus Christ is the son of God who rose from the dead. But the reason I don't want to talk anybody out of these beliefs is that I know that I can't talk anybody out of them. These are not facts that can be argued. These are issues of faith.
And so it is, sadly, with environmentalism. Increasingly it seems facts aren't necessary, because the tenets of environmentalism are all about belief. It's about whether you are going to be a sinner, or saved. Whether you are going to be one of the people on the side of salvation, or on the side of doom. Whether you are going to be one of us, or one of them.
Am I exaggerating to make a point? I am afraid not. Because we know a lot more about the world than we did forty or fifty years ago. And what we know now is not so supportive of certain core environmental myths, yet the myths do not die. Let's examine some of those beliefs.
There is no Eden. There never was. What was that Eden of the wonderful mythic past? Is it the time when infant mortality was 80%, when four children in five died of disease before the age of five? When one woman in six died in childbirth? When the average lifespan was 40, as it was in America a century ago. When plagues swept across the planet, killing millions in a stroke. Was it when millions starved to death? Is that when it was Eden?
In short, the romantic view of the natural world as a blissful Eden is only held by people who have no actual experience of nature. People who live in nature are not romantic about it at all. They may hold spiritual beliefs about the world around them, they may have a sense of the unity of nature or the aliveness of all things, but they still kill the animals and uproot the plants in order to eat, to live. If they don't, they will die.
And if you, even now, put yourself in nature even for a matter of days, you will quickly be disabused of all your romantic fantasies...
The truth is, almost nobody wants to experience real nature. What people want is to spend a week or two in a cabin in the woods, with screens on the windows. They want a simplified life for a while, without all their stuff. Or a nice river rafting trip for a few days, with somebody else doing the cooking. Nobody wants to go back to nature in any real way, and nobody does. It's all talk-and as the years go on, and the world population grows increasingly urban, it's uninformed talk. Farmers know what they're talking about. City people don't. It's all fantasy.
The other day, a 3-year-old and I were playing with dinosaur stamps (the kind you press on ink pads, not the kind you mail), and his imagination took off and he scared the wits out of himself. So I can just imagine what that kronosaurus would do to him. ;)
Well, it would be head and shoulders above the "earth as popsicle over three days" cartoon of a coupla years ago...
Did you know that several million people quote that movie as plausible?
I just took a look at Suzuki's website. Based on his advertising, he makes a lot of money with his "Environmental Messiah" schtick. If I were Suzuki I'd be pissed, too, if someone tried to pull my covers and expose me for the snake oil salesman I was. Folks tend to panic when you threaten their gravy train.
"Next, and slightly more troubling, we have some rather misleading and selective recollection regarding Jim Hansen's testimony to congress in 1988. "Dr. Hansen overestimated [global warming] by 300 percent" (p247). Hansen's testimony did indeed lead to a big increase in awareness of global warming as a issue, but not because he exaggerated the problem by 300%. In a paper published soon after that testimony, Hansen et al, 1988 presented three model simulations for different scenarios for the growth in trace gases and other forcings (see figure). Scenario A had exponentially increasing CO2, Scenario B had a more modest Business-as-usual assumption, and Scenario C had no further increases in CO2 after the year 2000. Both scenarios B and C assumed a large volcanic eruption in 1995. Rightly, the authors did not assume that they knew what path the carbon dioxide emissions would take, and so presented a spectrum of results. The scenario that ended up being closest to the real path of forcings growth was scenario B, with the difference that Mt. Pinatubo erupted in 1991, not 1995. The temperature change for the decade under this scenario was very close to the actual 0.11 C/decade observed (as can be seen in the figure). So given a good estimate of the forcings, the model did a reasonable job. In fact in his testimony, Hansen ONLY showed results from scenario B, and stated clearly that it was the most probable scenario. The '300 percent' error claim comes from noted climate skeptic Patrick Michaels who in testimony in congress in 1998 deleted the bottom two curves in order to give the impression that the models were unreliable."
"Crichton should know that this assertion is false. He cites in the 'bibliography' at the end of his book, the report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). But he appears unaware, for example, of the 54 page chapter (chapter "8") in that report on "Model Evaluation", which describes in detail how observed data are used to evaluate the performance of climate models. He also appears unaware of the 44 page chapter (chapter "12") on "Detection of Climate Change and Attribution of Causes" which describes in detail how model-predicted changes are explicitly compared to the actual climate observations in determining the extent to which human influence on climate can be established. Finally, he appears unaware of the 56 page chapter (chapter "10") on "Regional Climate Information - Evaluation and Projections" evaluating the success of model-based regional climate predictions as measured against actual instrumental data."
Crichton: climate expert or biased, very wealthy, publicity-seeking, book-selling activist? You make the call.
That's wonderful! St. algore
There are thousands of washed up leftists making a grand living off the government of canada: they are call the CBC. They can be avoided, but you always know they are there syphoning off tax dollars.
Great article. Thanks for posting!
Here's my take: When a biased, wealthy, publicitiy-seeking author/activist can successfully call into question the opinions of "climate experts", then said "scientific opinions" have serious shortcomings.
Besides, could we not also say:
"Al Gore: climate expert or biased, very wealthy, publicity-seeking, book-selling activist? You make the call."
Nicely penned, Barbara Kay!
One of the biggest side effects of "global warming" is a Stalinist repression of non-believers in the scientific community.
He wasn't successful, because he was inaccurate and misleading. He got publicity, that's all (mainly from climate change skeptics). Maybe he wants publicity for being wrong (and to sell books about his fiction where he demonstrates that he's wrong) -- that's his prerogative.
PING! You're going to love this thread.