I normally don’t spend much time reading Parade Magazine, but it was at the top of the pile of the Sunday paper this morning, and the cover said “Let’s Stop Scaring Ourselves” by Michael Crichton.
The famous author takes two pages out of Parade’s celebrity coverage to point out that
From world overpopulation to Y2K to killer bees, many of the dangers we’ve warned about never materialize. Isn’t it time for some healthy skepticism?
He begins the story by pointing out that many scientist spent the 1970′s fretting about global cooling and a coming Ice Age. From there it’s on to overpopulation worries, scarcity worries, worries about machines, overhead power lines and all kinds of other things.
To borrow from the Church Lady — “Isn’t that special!”
Michael Crichton has spent his career getting us to worry, fictionally, about all kinds of things. The first book of his I read was The Andromeda Strain which was fear about space-based germs hitching a ride on returning spacecraft. His book Rising Sun was supposed to get us worried about the Japanese buying up our country. Of course, the Japanese economy entered a decade-long slump at about the time the book came out. There were also the fears about unregulated cloning in Jurassic Park and there were probably other worries in other books of his I haven’t read.
Anyway, he has a new book coming out this week called “State of Fear” which is supposed to be a “superb blend of edge-of-your-seat suspense and thought provoking commentary on how information is manipulated in the modern world” according to the blurb on Amazon.com. I haven’t seen an advance copy, so I don’t know how fearful I should be.