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"Expert" Witness

From Grist Magazine:

Next Up: Jerry Bruckheimer on Defense Policy

Novelist Michael Crichton testifies before Senate on climate change

As part of his ongoing attempts to defy parody, Senate Environment Committee chair James Inhofe (R-Okla.) convened a hearing last week on climate science, featuring as an "expert" witness...a novelist. Yup, it was Michael Crichton, whose latest thriller State of Fear casts global warming as a sinister environmentalist conspiracy. Inhofe, who has called warming "the greatest hoax ever perpetrated on the American people," gushed that he was "excited about this hearing," that he had "read most of [Crichton's] books," and that "Dr. Crichton's science background has served him well." (Crichton has a medical degree but has never practiced medicine--and, oh yeah, has no background in climate science.) Crichton was treated like a celeb by the committee's star-struck Republicans, but non-Republican members were bewildered. Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-N.Y.) said the hearing had been "organized in a way to muddy sound science rather than clarify it." You think?

I'm surprised that the Republicans haven't already tapped Crichton to weigh in on the evolution debate, on the strength of his brilliant academic treatise, Jurassic Park.

October 5, 2005 in Books, Current Affairs | Permalink


Maybe if you had finished reading the book, you would have found that he said he had no opinion on global warming.

Posted by: Mike at Oct 10, 2005 8:36:08 PM

Actually, I didn't read the book at all. But every review I read about the book made reference to its characterization of global warming as a giant hoax, so I thought it was reasonable to assume that was indeed one of the book's main premises.

The point isn't whether or not Crichton believes global warming is reality or myth. The point is that the Senate asked a novelist with no scientific background to appear as an expert witness on critical environmental issues--which is either, at best, mindless star-gazing or, at worst, a blatant attempt to obfuscate the issue.

Posted by: Pete at Oct 11, 2005 11:01:09 AM