After 12/7/2011, this blog will no longer be updated, although content will remain. Please visit my new blog at Hidden Latitudes.

Friday, November 21, 2008

On global warming fear-mongering

Michael Crichton (1942-2008)

And one other thing. If we want to manage complexity, we must eliminate fear. Fear may draw a television audience. It may generate cash for an advocacy group. It may support the legal profession. But fear paralyzes us. It freezes us. And we need to be flexible in our responses, as we move into a new era of managing complexity. So we have to stop responding to fear.
Is this really the end of the world? Earthquakes, hurricanes, floods?
No, we simply live on an active planet. Earthquakes are continuous, a million and a half of them every year, or three every minute. A Richter 5 quake every six hours, a major quake every 3 weeks. A quake as destructive as the one in Pakistan every 8 months. It’s nothing new, it’s right on schedule.
At any moment there are 1,500 electrical storms on the planet. A tornado touches down every six hours. We have ninety hurricanes a year, or one every four days. Again, right on schedule. Violent, disruptive, chaotic activity is a constant feature of our globe.
Is this the end of the world? No: this is the world.
It’s time we knew it.
Michael Crichton, from a speech delivered at the Washington Center for Complexity and Public Policy, Washington, DC, on November 6, 2005.

Monday, November 03, 2008

Sir, I respectfully disagree.

You cannot help a nation by simply giving handouts to the poor. Growing an economy "from the bottom up" is like growing a tree from the leaves down. -- W.S.