Crichton Responds to his Eco-Critics, Philadelphia Inquirer; January 12, 2005
Are We Doomed?, Salon; January 7, 2005
Environmental catastrophe figures prominently in two very different books that recently raced up the bestseller lists. One is a footnote-laden novel by thriller writer Michael Crichton, "State of Fear," in which the villains are environmentalists who subvert climate science. The other is on the nonfiction list -- UCLA geography professor Jared Diamond's "Collapse," a cautionary tale that identifies the often-environmental reasons some societies have failed. Both have received positive comments from prominent fans. (Sen. James Inhofe, the Oklahoma Republican who heads the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee and regards warnings about disastrous climate change as a "hoax," praised Crichton's book in a Senate speech.) For reporters who want to learn about the outlook of the two books' authors, a couple of places to start are interviews in the Philadelphia Inquirer and the online magazine Salon. Crichton told the Inquirer he expected environmentalists to criticize him for writing his book because "ad hominem attack is the only way to go when you don't have the facts on your side." Diamond told Salon that while his findings could easily lead to pessimism, "in the balance I can find reasons for optimism as well."