Saturday, July 24, 2010

Michael Crichton State of Fear

I just finished reading another book. It was State of Fear by Michael Crichton.

It was a good book. It was a more challenging read as it wasn't really clear throughout who where the good guys and the bad guys. In the plot a mild mannered California lawyer Peter Evans who does a lot of work for a multimillionaire philanthropist and environmental activist becomes tangled up in a scheme involving the radical militant environmental movement.

Although it was a bit of a leap with Evans' character development. If I was Evans I personally would have said after the Antarctica incident and got back to sunny southern Cal. whoa, whoa, whoa, this is crazy. I'm just a dumb lawyer, a paper pusher, I didn't go to law school to risk my life, I'm outta here. I want to chase ambulances, not end up in one. Still besides the occasional leap of faith and believability its an entertaining read, a page turner.

The author presents some very interesting views on the contemporary environment movement, global warming and the debates around the validity of global warming claimants, the incestuous relationship between government bureaucracies and government funded climate research scientists. The corrosive effect of the politicization of science. It was a rare book where the footnotes at the end were as nearly compelling as the story in the book.

The author uses characters such as a nutty retired sociology professor and an out of style drummed out MIT professor Kenner as the voices of reason. The reader notes that it was only after leaving academia that they were able to speak honestly their opinions about the true state of the environment.

The good news about the environment is that lifespan in the industrial west is still increasing. That would seem to suggest that wealth and industrial development is hardly killing us, actually it's making us healthier and safer and lengthening our lives.

Like every Crichton book it's a fast read, a good read. I'm not surprised it isn't a well known book and hasn't and won't be made into a motion picture. It challenges too many sensitive areas dear to the hollywood/celebrity elite clique.

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