State of Fear by Michael Crichton

State of Fear by Michael Crichton

  • Submitted By: 5563
  • Date Submitted: 08/21/2009 8:37 PM
  • Category: English
  • Words: 516
  • Page: 3
  • Views: 719

State of Fear, written by Michael Crichton is a 2004 techno-thriller that deals with the controversial issue of global warming. Contrary to the mainstream belief that global warming has accelerated in recent years, the novel argues that there have not been any signs of global warming over the past few decades. Although Crichton attempts to use accurate data and studies within the novel to highlight some of the realities and uncertainties in global warming, the novel contains a number of weak arguments and misinterpretations of scholastic journals. The objective of this essay is to highlight the key reasons why some of Crichton’s arguments are ineffectual and invalid.

One of the reasons why Michael Crichton deplores the idea of global warming is because the rate of sea-level rise has not accelerated in recent years. Through a fictionalized MIT researcher named John Kenner, Crichton deprecates the widely-believed concept that the sea level is rising every year. Although it is true that the rate of sea-level rise has not accelerated in recent years, this point alone does not substantiate Crichton’s belief that the whole idea of global warming is a fallacy. This is because the ability to identify change in the rate of sea-level rise in the present has no bearing on whether that rate will increase decades down the road. Crichton may be using his character to dispel a public misconception about sea-level rise, but it is not a misconception commonly shared by scientists.

Another piece of evidence that Michael Crichton utilizes to support his opinion is that not all locations of the world show warming trends. Crichton illustrates this point by presenting temperature data from specific locations throughout the world. While his data correctly points out that not all parts of the world show warming trends, this is because as one moves to smaller geographic scales, local factors, such as terrain, altitude, land cover and wind patterns become increasingly important...

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