MICHAEL Crichton, author of more than a dozen best-selling science fiction adventures including ‘Jurassic Park’ and ‘The Andromeda Strain’, and also a well known global warming sceptic, died of cancer in Los Angeles, aged 66, on Tuesday.
My favourite Crichton-book is ‘State of Fear’, a thriller about a character with a strong handshake known as Kenner. A Professor of Geoenvironmental Engineering at MIT, Kenner travels the world fighting eco-terrorists including at the Antarctic. Published in 2005 the novel is premised on the idea that global warming is a hoax.
My favourite Crichton quote is “The greatest challenge facing mankind is the challenge of distinguishing reality from fantasy, truth from propaganda. Perceiving the truth has always been a challenge to mankind, but in the information age (or as I think of it, the disinformation age) it takes on a special urgency and importance. We must daily decide whether the threats we face are real, whether the solutions we are offered will do any good, whether the problems we’re told exist are in fact real problems, or non-problems. Every one of us has a sense of the world, and we all know that this sense is in part given to us by what other people and society tell us; in part generated by our emotional state, which we project outward; and in part by our genuine perceptions of reality. In short, our struggle to determine what is true is the struggle to decide which of our perceptions are genuine, and which are false because they are handed down, or sold to us, or generated by our own hopes and fears.”
What a terrible loss.