Why Live In A State Of Fear?

From world overpopulation to global warming, writer Michael Crichton asks whether it is time for 'some healthy skepticism?'
December 14, 2004, 9am PST | Chris Steins | @urbaninsight
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Award-winning novelist Michael Crichton has written a new book, soon to be released, about fear mongering over the years. Predictions about environmental apocalypse is a big part of this analysis. Crighton offers his perspective on a variety of highly publicized fears that he has seen come and go over the years.

"It may be mostly forgotten now, but back then many climate scientists shared his concern: Temperatures around the world had fallen steadily for 30 years, dropping half a degree in the Northern Hemisphere between 1945 and 1968. Pack ice was increasing. Glaciers were advancing. Growing seasons had shortened by two weeks in only a few years.

But it is now clear that even as Newsweek was printing its fears, temperatures already had begun to rise. Within a decade, scientists would be decrying a global warming trend that threatened to raise temperatures as much as 30 degrees in the 21st century. Such predictions implied palm trees in Montana, and they have since been revised downward. By 1995, the UN midrange estimates were about 4 degrees over the next 100 years. Although concern about warming remains, the prospect of catastrophic change seems increasingly unlikely."

Thanks to American Dream Listserv

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Published on Monday, December 13, 2004 in Parade
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