Reality Conditions

Friday, February 17, 2006

Two (not) unrelated things on global warming

The front page story of today's The Independent is a piece by NASA climate scientist Jim Hansen on the melting of the Artic ice. He says a recent satellite study shows that the ice cap of Greenland is melting faster than current models assumed, and that if no action is made to stop global warming then sea levels may get to rise 25 meters within just one century.

He also says it was for trying to publically announce these discoveries that the Bush administration, via our old friend the five times stupid George Deutsch (who still had his job at that time) tried to censor him.

On the other hand, it has come out that George Bush had a meeting with bestselling author Michael Chrichton about one year ago. The meeting was appearently arranged without the knowledge of Bush's official science advisor, and kept in secret from everyone until now. Chrichton has become a leader of the "global warming denial" party, and his last book State of Fear blames the fear of global warming to an "eco-terrorist conspiracy", which is even accused of causing deliberately natural catastrophes to blame them on climate change. You can read about the Bush-Chrichton meeting here and here, and proof that Chrichton misrepresented the views of scientists he quotes as denying global warming here.

So, to summarise, the most powerful man in the world trusts, in a scientific matter of crucial importance to the welfare of humanity in following centuries, an anthropologist and doctor turned into writer and film producer who has no expertise in climate science and who misrepresents the views of those who he quotes as supporters to build up a paranoid conspiracy theory, and at the same time censors the serious research done by real climate scientists when the results do not suit his interests. We are in good hands.

PS: I am really sorry that Chrichton has turned out this way. I loved his books when I was 15 years old, and still think that Jurassic Park is a great book within the "bestseller genre". It is sad that he has decided to launch a crusade against science and even sadder that he might convince many people.


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