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Crichton on Global Warming May 30, 2006

Posted by Administrator in Cultural Pessimism, Global Warming, Liberal Hypocrisy.

Back in 2004, Michael Crichton addressed an audience at CalTech, blasting the global warming movement, essentially castigating it as either bad science, hopelessly politicized science, or not even science at all.

HOW I missed this article for the last 2 years is an illustration of embarassment. But, here is the most relevant snippet, in that he is attacking (with reason and relish) the notion of "science by consensus":

Finally, I would remind you to notice where the claim of consensus is invoked. Consensus is invoked only in situations where the science is not solid enough. Nobody says the consensus of scientists agrees that E=mc2. Nobody says the consensus is that the sun is 93 million miles away. It would never occur to anyone to speak that way.

What I have been suggesting to you is that nuclear winter was a meaningless formula, tricked out with bad science, for policy ends. It was political from the beginning, promoted in a well-orchestrated media campaign that had to be planned weeks or months in advance.

Further evidence of the political nature of the whole project (of the Nuclear Winter) can be found in the response to criticism. Although Richard Feynman was characteristically blunt, saying, "I really don't think these guys know what they're talking about," other prominent scientists were noticeably reticent. Freeman Dyson was quoted as saying "It's an absolutely atrocious piece of science but…who wants to be accused of being in favor of nuclear war?" And Victor Weisskopf said, "The science is terrible but—perhaps the psychology is good."

Boom. I'll say it again, BOOM!! The issue is not one of science, but one of politics bending science to its own will.

Read the whole thing. It is very illuminating.

Oh, and by the way, before anyone hauls out the old canard that Crichton has no means of arguing here: All the criticisms I have ever heard about Crichton's arguments stem from fallacious appeals to authority: They claim he has no reasonable authority to challenge the consensus, as he is a popular author and screenwriter.

While this fallacy might be addressed by reminding people that Crichton does in fact hold and MD from Harvard, that is still beside the point. He raises very valuable points here, and I have not seen them even remotely addressed by the regnant global warming constituency.

UPDATE: I now have the link for his complete article up above. Helps to insert the link tab, don't ya know.



1. Joe - May 31, 2006

Thank you, Hoody,

I love the sound of liberals banging their heads on their computers in the morning. Actually, I think this is my first visit at your new domain. It looks very streamlined and professional.

Keep up the good work!

2. demolition65 - May 31, 2006


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