Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Crotchety old dinosaur

Mad props to a fellow Daily writer, Zach Musgrave, for his column today on Michael Crichton's loathsome new novel. Zach and I may not agree on global warming itself, but we share the view that Crichton shouldn't be using this book to inject himself into the debate.

For anyone who missed it, State of Fear stars some environmentalists -- oops, I mean ecoterrorists -- who wreak havoc on good old rational people because they don't think the world is taking global warming seriously. Crichton also attempts to debunk the theory of global warming, even though he does so by disregarding the expertise of the world's top environmental scientists and climatologists. The biggest problem is that Crichton's book, supposedly a diatribe against the politicization of environmental discussions, is a thinly veiled, highly political bashing of environmentalists in general. As a supposed ecofreak, I'm insulted.

I'm also irked, of course, by the continuing dismissal of global warming on our national stage. Never mind that 141 countries recognized the problem by ratifying the Kyoto Protocol, even though it represents the proverbial finger in the dam. Never mind that we've witnessed a series of severe weather phenomena which at least suggest that something unusual is taking place.

Want the facts? Visit the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), which may be the only nonpartistan group out there with something legitimate to say. It's comprised of the world's top scientists and policy analysts, and its efforts to present accurate information rank with those of the National Academy of Sciences. The IPCC is a much better source of information than me or Michael Crichton -- something he should have considered before essentially equating its members to amoral terrorists.

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