James Hoggan's blog

Frightful Crichton's Comeuppance

You may already have heard about novelist Michael Crichton’s ill-advised foray into what he believes is serious scientific prediction, but sometimes this kind of silliness is worth revisiting. Crichton’s latest novel, a highly fictional account of the current climate change debate, is called State of Fear. Though neither as readable nor as believable as Jurassic Park, this volume has won Crichton a surprising amount of time on the lecture circuit, where he has been peddling his imagined expertise in climate science.

The best counterpoints have come – consistently, thoughtfully, reliably and even humorously – from www.realclimate.org. But this post is particularly fun, and it includes a brief but useful description of scientific method. Would that Crichton would read it.

Fun sites for conspiracy seekers

If you haven’t already, check out www.exxonsecrets.org, an entertainingly interactive site that draws together a host of names that grow increasingly familiar among those who would undermine the climate change consensus.

Round up the usual suspects

Maclean’s magazine, which has a fresh, new right-winginess about it since the takeover by Conrad Black’s protege Kenneth White, offers “Three smarter ways to save the world” in its latest edition. The writer, Steve Maich, has rounded up some standard-issue “climate skeptics,” including the self-styled “Skeptical Environmentalist,” Bjørn Lomborg, but most of the article is about economics, not climate science.

Cooler Heads

One of our favourites among the climate change deniers is www.globalwarming.org, not least because it is “a project of the Cooler Heads Coalition. We love that sense of sage reserve, that conservative caution, even if we’re frightened at the prospect that Cooler Heads might prevail.
Here’s a nice example of their work:

“The 60 Plus Association
Senior citizens will be the ones really burnt if this foolish Kyoto Treaty is implemented - burnt with higher energy costs for fuel in the winter and air conditioning in the summer, both of which are essential for their health.”

Another Saintly Skeptic

Blogger Bob Webster presents the perfect case for scientific skepticism in a recent post challenging the link between hurrican activity and climate change. Webster complains that his earlier climate change posts have garnered criticism from “students who were clearly being taken in by the steady drumbeat of disinformation.” He goes on, “I cautioned them to think for themselves and not simply swallow the diet being forced upon them. Scientific inquiry involves sufficiently questioning assumptions of theories in order to intelligently assess their credibility.”

Isn't Sequestering Uranium also an Issue?

The Times online gives us a sense of what happens when the global warming debate goes nuclear. This is a reminder that PR people and their policymaking political compatriots are always ready to take advantage of a new opportunity.


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