speeches from Michael Crichton

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Fear, Complexity, Environmental Management in the 21st Century
Aliens Cause Global Warming
Environmentalism as a Religion
Mediasaurus: The decline of conventional media
I first read Mr. Crichton as a teenager - I think the book was The Andromeda Strain. I also remember reading The Terminal Man somewhere that published it as a serial. I'm fond of medical fiction but much of his non-medical fiction I found unappealing.
I also watched the early seasons of ER, when Dr. Crichton had a little more control over the medical veracity of the stories, but eventually I was turned off by the inaccuracies, and after the episode "Love's Labor Lost", I pretty much quit watching the show.
Anyhow, I think it is pretty interesting that a Harvard trained physician and writer should become such an iconoclast - shattering the images that many other media savvy scientists have put forth over the last decades.
I found the first speech listed here via my blog pal Bene Diction, and was interested enough to look for the other links. I know that Julie D has been reading The Politically Incorrect Guide to Science, and this seems to be some of the same. I am a person who sees science as a tool, but not as a god. Technology lo mismo. So much of what we regard as proven facts, on closer examination, are closer to statistical deductions masquerading as gospel truth. I don't remember who said it (Mark Twain?) but I think of the saying, "There are lies, damn lies, and statistics."


It was Twain.

But, really, only about 1% of actual climate scientists have any doubt that global warming is happening. They simply debate a) why, and b) exactly how much, and c) what it might mean.

I tend to check into each new claim that supposedly debunks global warming, and I tend to find each mostly bogus.

For example, a nitwit US Senator brought up a particular tree that a study used, and decried the use of the tree as a metric in the study, thereby undercutting some study which says there is global warming.

Even assuming the tree was worthless, I quickly found that the study in question used (if I remember correctly) 300 separate indicators.

For a long, long time the biggest problem was there was no proof that the troposphere was warming. In fact, it seemed to be constant temperature. The greenhouse effect thesis says the troposphere is where the bouncing-back of infrared heat would occur. Turns out that in 2005 they figured out the satellite measuring the troposphere was, well, I can't say for sure, but miscalibrated or something. They re-adjusted it and whammo, the troposphere now is warming as many climate scientists expected.

Let's pretend, for a moment, that the global warming is happening and that humand have _nothing_ to do with it. Would that mean we'd just sit back and let it happen? That 80% of the world's population that lives near sea level should just drown and "counter-measures be damned?"

I have no idea what % of the world's population lives near sea level. 80% was actually a guess.

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This page contains a single entry by alicia published on January 2, 2006 3:32 PM.

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