Michael Crichton, a science fiction novelist, has written the very misleading State of Fear, a book published by this non-scientist to counter what he sees as the scare tactics of environmentalists and scientists concerned about global warming.
The climatologists at Realclimate.com have been taking on these false and misleading claims, and with them Crichton’s sycophant George Will who is an ABC News commentator and writer for the Washington Post.
Crichton’s opinion is that global warming is not a problem. Gavin Schmidt at Realclimate.com takes him on first, deflating Crichton’s claims about the cooling period between 1940 and 1970, his claim that selected cool spots negate global warming and other scientific points. The upshot of Schmidt’s argument is that in several important ways Crichton has either misrepresented the science or failed to appreciate its nuances, and that the science, done properly by actual scientists, is well-represented by the IPCC’s Third Assessment Report published in 2001. Michael Mann has more to say about Crichton here.
Along comes George Will, who is not a scientist either, to opine on Crichton in particular and global warming in general. Surprise, surprise, but Will also fails to understand important scientific points and mischaracterizes the situation; Realclimate also responds to his blabber about Crichton providing graphs and charts and the general belief that the idea of global warming is so conventional that it seems to require no supporting data. No supporting data?
Why the world is willing to pay attention to what novelists and political pundits think about the complex science behind global climate change is a subject that is very interesting and scary too. Scientists unfortunately don’t have the following or the access to media as does someone like Crichton and it is a shame. Hopefully you can pass on the word about RealClimate.com where real climate scientists give you the facts and the truth, not opinion and beautifully written fiction.
Michael Mann from RealClimate.org has more to say about them here.