A Book That Caused Me to Question My Beliefs
As to the presumed consensus of scientists about global warming caused by fossil fuel burning, he compares it to the eugenics movement of the early 20th century which was supported by nearly everyone, even leftist liberal types who should have known better (actually, to me the idea of eugenics has some merit even it did lead to the German holocaust; the only problem is the old “who decides” as to who is “feeble minded” enough to be taken out of the reproductive loop, a responsibility that provides too much easy temptation for abuse).
I certainly don’t have the knowledge to check Crichton’s sources or interpret his graphs. I can declare it all to be bullshit (if impressive bullshit) but I can’t prove it is, or I can believe it and declare global warming to be unproved bullshit, but I can’t prove that.
For a while I had an intense “how dare you” reaction to the book until I got into it. I, as the Paranoid Pessimist, had an emotional attachment to the idea of global warming, figuring it made sense and somehow served humankind right (I had the same reaction to the idea that silicone breast implants caused disease, a concept later seemingly disproved).
Still, there is an appendix in the book full of optimistic “I believe” bullet points, among them:
“ * I suspect the people of 2100 will be much richer than we are, consume more energy, have a smaller global population, and enjoy more wilderness than we have today. I don’t think we have to worry about them.”
That well may be true, but what we do have to worry about are the people between now and this golden age Crichton sees. “Have a smaller global population” ain’t a gunna happen unless there is a huge die off, or die back as some people call it. Crichton’s sunny faith in the future slips by this fact.
And, again fulfilling my role as the Paranoid Pessimist, I say that even if global warming as it is presently conceived is not true, there are plenty of other things going on environmentally that are sure to have destructive consequences (the lessening of the oil supply in a world utterly dependent on oil with no “alternative energy resources” available to pick up the slack being high on the list). Despite Crichton, I believe with Kurt Vonnegut that we have “squandered our planet’s resources, including air and water, as though there were no tomorrow, so now there isn’t going to be one.
But I could be wrong.