Wednesday, December 14, 2005


I have just finished reading this book.

I liked it a lot but you have to appreciate non-luddite politics to appreciate it. He has quite deliberately written a dissection of the whole global warming case with a bit of plot thrown in & I have to say the plot, trying to stop some eco-terrorists faking a series of environmental disasters to prove that global warming is happening, doesn't really work. Apart from anything else you don't need to fake disasters - the media will do it for you anyway (as per Penny Marshall's "accidental" faking of a concentration camp video in Bosnia.

Crichton should read Daughter of Time by Josephine Tey - this was the book that vindicated Richard III of killing the princes in the Tower. I now think that Richard probably did it but was persuaded at the time - it is clear the princes WERE known to be missing at the time, tho' even then Henry VII's behaviour is suspicious.

In any case she managed to keep almost any trace of plot out of the book by breaking the protagonist's leg thus forcing him to stick to detective work on paper & thus unfolding the whole pro-Richard case. Chrichton could have done something similar.

Nonetheless his case that global warming doesn't exist & in particular that records in cities which haven't grown in the last century have demonstrated little or zero warming & sometimes cooling in the last century is persuasive.

1 comment:

Adrian Windisch said...

The book is terrible, the characters are just unbelievable, and full of contradictory lectures about the environment. The irony though is Crighton is writing about a group talking up disaster prediction is that his career has included books and films like the Andromeda Strain and Jurassic Park, which talk up similar disasters. His environmentalists drive fast cars, live in huge houses, fly everywhere and know nothing about science. His skeptical scientist hero seems to know little about science also, we are told there is no evidence that sea level is rising then later that is has been rising for centuries. We are told that the world is indeed warming, but not as predicted, which would also indicate sea level rise. How funny that some people are getting their scepticism about the environment from this book, when the book is such a mess.

In a debate about whether the U.S. should sign the Kyoto Protocol to combat Global Warming, Dr. Kenner asks why we should sign a treaty that "won't, in effect, do anything at all?", stating: "The effect of Kyoto would be to reduce warming by .04 degrees Celsius in the year 2100". Again, this assertion has serious problems. The Kyoto Protocol calls for the industrialized countries to cut their greenhouse gas emissions to 5.2% below 1990 emission levels for the period 2005 - 2012. Developing countries do not have to cut emissions. Since the Kyoto treaty expires in 2012, it is absurd to talk about the worth of the Kyoto Protocol by extending it to 2100, assuming no emission control demands will be put on developing countries at some point in the future. A true measure of the Kyoto Protocol's worth must be measured by combining its effect with the effect of new treaties that must be negotiated to succeed Kyoto in 2012. All of the IPCC Assessment Reports have noted the need for greenhouse gas emission cuts of 50% or more by all nations by the mid- to late- 21st century, and little or no emissions by the century's end, to meet the goal of stabilizing atmospheric CO2 concentrations below a doubling of pre-industrial values. Kyoto is a small first step in achieving this goal.