The following is a review of Michael Crichton's: State of Fear
"The notion that these institutions are liberal is a cruel joke. They are fascist to the core.."
(Crichton's "Professor Hoffman")
Those resisting environmentalism are indebted to Michael Crichton. For the first time a top-selling novelist has used his talents and fame to popularize our cause. The novel State of Fear will reach millions of people previously unaware there was anything nefarious about the environmental movement. It is problematic that it takes a work of fiction to reach this audience, but such is the nature of things.
The novel genre took root during the British Enlightenment along with the proliferation of printing presses. The English world of words divided into two solitudes - the empiric and the romantic. Although exceptions to the rule abound, in general the former were progressive and favored the scientific essay, the journalistic article and the political-economic tome as their genres. The latter tended to be reactionary and deployed the ballad, the short story and the novel to propagate their ideas and values.
Crichton's State of Fear straddles both camps. It's two books in one. The novel half is a cliché-riddled potboiler of the "thriller" sub-genre. The non-fiction half is a lengthy essay on the lies and crimes of environmentalism. And in case the reader doesn't get it, Crichton concludes the book with two brief essays clarifying his point of view. This novel, uncharacteristically, has footnotes and charts. The preamble to State of Fear begins by telling us "This is a work of fiction" and concludes by telling us that the "footnotes are real."
Inscrutably, the first page of the novel is a fictitious, redacted "report" to the National Security Council allegedly obtained via a Freedom of Information Act request dated prior to the events described in the report. Unfortunately, this is not the book's only eye-roller.
The novel's basic plot involves a struggle between the bad guys of the "Environmental Liberation Front", who travel the globe causing catastrophes to blame on industry, and the good guys from the top-secret "National Security Intelligence Agency" who are missioned to thwart the likes of ELF. The NSIA is headed up by know-it-all superhero, Kenner, and his trusty person-of-color sidekick, Sanjong. ELF is headed by the likes of the sinister Drake.
The novel's naïf is the earnest young lawyer, Peter Evans, who together with his girlfriends, survives many perils. They fall down an ice crevice but climb out. They withstand attack by ELF-controlled lightning strikes. (Whew! that was a close one.) They are even carried off by (I'm not making this up) drum-beating cannibals. Crichton left out the scene where the heroine is tied to railway tracks in front of a chugging choo-choo but he had only 600 pages to work with.
Some of Crichton's fictitious characters remind him of other fictitious characters. Some of his characters can't help but thinking their actions are "like something out of a movie." Others are accused of being "melodramatic". As for a bon mot critique: at one point the naïf becomes "very, very tired" and at another point a villain "somehow got away".
But enough literary snobbery, what makes this book important is its treatment of environmentalism.
Much of the debunking of environmentalism within the text occurs during a series of dialogues between Kenner and various foils, principally Evans, who like many in the real world, unquestioningly accepts enviro-fascist propaganda as true. We learn from Kenner that the anthropogenic global warming hypothesis is dubious. For this we are provided footnotes and charts. Kenner goes on to attack the bans of DDT, CFCs etc. For those in the Resistance this is not news. Time will tell what affect this information will have on the uninitiated.
The only quibble I have with Crichton's Science is that he indicates, both in his fictional lectures and later in his essays, that the urban-heat-island-effect is a driver of global warming. It was my understanding of skeptical literature that the urban-heat-island-effect merely calls into question the reliability of certain temperature readings and was not something itself appreciably elevating the global average temperature. Changes in readings from thermometers located near sprawling urban areas are not representative of average atmospheric change because the growing city's heat skews them slightly. Hence pro-global warming propagandists can be faulted for over-reliance on thermometer readings situated near large centers. Crichton believes urban sprawl itself is significantly causing the earth's overall atmosphere to heat up.
More interesting is Crichton's sociology. We in the Resistance accept, as a primary principle, that a litany of Big Lies are being told about the weather, about pesticides, coal, overpopulation, forestry, and the ozone layer, etc. We know these lies are being used to manipulate government policy and consumer behavior. The question for Crichton is: "Why is this happening?" What is Crichton's political economy of environmentalism?
Crichton confronts these questions at the end of the novel in his "Author's Message" and in his "Appendix 1: Why Politicized Science is Dangerous". He also addresses these issues through one of the novel's fictitious characters, Professor Norman Hoffman.
Crichton begins his "Author's Message" writing: "I have been reading environmental texts for three years..." which may be pulling rank on some readers but to others it is a confession of neophyte status.
He's a mess of contradictions.
Also in this section he writes, "I suspect the people of 2100 will... enjoy more wilderness than we have today." Yet a page later he writes "I therefore hold little hope for wilderness management in the twenty-first century".
He sometimes appropriately puts the word "wilderness" in quotation marks and, following the writings of Alston Chase (whom he credits); he questions whether such a thing exists in North America or can be "preserved" by humans. Yet he goes on to say: "My happiest days each year are those I spend in the wilderness. I wish natural environments to be preserved for future generations."
He denounces the core environmentalist tenets like the precautionary principle, sustainability and resource scarcity with words such as "pig-headedness", "ignorance", "self-contradictory", and "totalitarian". Yet he calls for a new environmental movement. Never mind that this is tantamount to calling for a new fascist movement; an environmental movement shorn of this rhetoric isn't an environmental movement.
Crichton appears half out of the bag but alas he's still half in the bag.
Crichton's belief that environmentalism is a form of imperialism used by the "West" to suppress industrialization in the developing world is also largely off the mark. I won't break into song defining what the "West" is, but surely the environmental movement's primary target for economic suppression is North America. Case in point, and Crichton's main focus, is the Kyoto Accord which does not apply to the newly industrializing world and was designed to inflict grievous harm to the economies of Canada, Australia and the United States (i.e. the "West"). A concept of European cultural-political imperialism does not reside in Crichton's mind.
Nor does Crichton have a grasp of concepts such as the "aristocratic land ethic" or the "marginal utility of developed land". He seems to think the relentless political campaign to prevent western North America from being thrown open to development is motivated by some insane religious philosophy and/or some blind bureaucratic momentum. Crichton lets the New England oligarchy off the hook and the European aristocracy is not mentioned at all. The controlling mind of the international environmental movement have been written out of script. He has the public relations firms employed by the environmentalist NGOs telling the NGOs what to do and they in turn are manipulating the poor philanthropists. He has the chain of command precisely upside down. He's shooting the messenger.
Most of the North American land mass is state-owned and off-limits. If this land were thrown open for private development, particularly if this were accompanied by water diversion projects, an economic boom would occur making the Oklahoma land rush look like a Sunday picnic. This is not a "win-win" scenario. Population, wealth and power would shift rapidly and dramatically from east to west in North America and from Europe to North America. Those who own square miles of Philadelphia, London and Berlin have no desire to see this happen - and these are powerful people. Crichton understands the "great leap backward" of wilderness preservation is "disgusting" totalitarian nonsense but he is clueless as why this is happening.
Crichton compares environmentalism to the eugenics movement of the first half of the 20th century. Both movements were junk Science and both were embraced by the Establishment. Crichton's point that - just because a large number of scientists are paid to say something is true does not make it true - is a valid point, but he is missing something when he claims eugenics vanished after WWII. To his credit he does say: "Eugenics ceased to be a subject for college classrooms, although some argue that its ideas continue to have currency in a disguised form (emphasis added).
The eugenics movement is vastly larger now than it was in the pre-WWII era. This movement is surgically sterilizing more people every year than the Nazis did during their entire reign. The American Eugenics Society is now the Society for the Study of Social Biology. Socio-biologists like E.O. Wilson exert a profound influence on both the US scientific and environmental movements. Outspoken eugenicists like Margaret Sanger (whom Crichton disapprovingly quotes) went on to help found Planned Parenthood which is now a vast multinational enterprise. Rockefeller-financed population control programs strode over the middle of the twentieth century with out a hitch and continue on. The population control movement is the inoperable Siamese twin of the environmentalist movement. By some estimates the world would have an additional billion humans walking around on it if not for the pro-active efforts of this social movement. The populations targeted for suppression are largely from the same general social classes and ethnic groups, which the eugenicists focused on in the pre-WWII era.
Which brings us to the out-of-the-mouths-of-babes quote from the fictitious Professor Hoffman:
"The notion that these institutions are liberal is a cruel joke. They are fascist to the core..."
The Professor was referring to American university scene but the comment applies across the board to other institutions dominated by the philanthropic milieu.
These people have appropriated the moniker "liberal" precisely through their aggressive promotion of homosexualism, abortion and contraception. Their Malthusian agenda is obvious. This isn't liberalism. This is arch-reactionary social re-engineering designed to suppress population growth and the economic development and social progress accompanying this growth.
The rest of "Hoffman's" analysis is dismissible. Yes, 1989 was a big year in history because of the fall of the Berlin Wall but it was not a major milestone in the development of environmentalism. The shift in US media policy he refers to is better dated to a well-chronicled Smithsonian conference in 1984. The events of the 1961 through 1972 are far more important in terms of establishing environmentalist hegemony than anything occurring in 1989. At the beginning of the sixties the word "environmentalist", as it is presently understood, had yet to gain currency. However, by 1972 every country of Western Europe and the English-speaking world was yoked with a myriad of environmental state ministries possessing substantial powers of industrial suppression. Prince Phillip, a man who would know, viewed the "environmentalist revolution" as a fait accompli by 1972. What is important about 1989 was that with the Soviet Empire gone the pre-existing rivalry of Old Europe versus the New World again came to the fore but Crichton has no handle on this.
Crichton seems to think the American Bar Association caused the raft of eco-legislation entangling US business so they could generate more lawsuits. He thinks "global warming" and "acid rain" are part of a Conspiracy of daily newspaper publishers to sell more papers. This is political idiocy.
But beggars can't be choosers. And those resisting environmentalism should welcome all the help we can get. This book is NOT recommended reading for those in the know. However it will reach millions not in the know. Crichton stuck his neck out writing this tome. Had it been his first novel it probably would have been his last.