A cowflop by any other name

…still smells like bullshit. But hey, don’t let that stop you from calling it “journalism”. From the NY Times:

Journalists like to think of themselves as presenting as accurate a picture as they can of the real world.

The American Association of Petroleum Geologists takes a broader view. It is presenting its annual journalism award this year to Michael Crichton, the science fiction writer whose latest book, “State of Fear,” dismisses global warming as a largely imaginary threat embraced by malignant scientists for their own ends.

“It is fiction,” conceded Larry Nation, communications director for the association. “But it has the absolute ring of truth.”

That is not the way leading climate scientists see it. When the book was published in 2004, climate experts condemned it as dangerously divorced from reality. Most of these scientists believe human activity, chiefly the burning of fossil fuels, is changing the atmosphere’s chemistry in ways that threaten unpredictable, potentially damaging effects.

The book is “demonstrably garbage,” Stephen H. Schneider, a Stanford climatologist, said in an interview yesterday. Petroleum geologists may like it, he said, but only because “they are ideologically connected to their product, which fills up the gas tanks of Hummers.”

Daniel P. Schrag, a geochemist who directs the Harvard University Center for the Environment, called the award “a total embarrassment” that he said “reflects the politics of the oil industry and a lack of professionalism” on the association’s part.

As for the book, he added, “I think it is unfortunate when somebody who has the audience that Crichton has shows such profound ignorance.”

“The absolute ring of truth”? Oh, gimme a break. Michael Crichton may be “truthy”, but he’s not presenting actual truth, because he’s extremely sloppy with the facts and more reliant on his own bombastic imagination than on scientific reality. Not to mention a totally brainwashed view of environmentalism which just happens to be fashionable in certain rightardly circles…

It’s embarrassing that his books even sell, let alone as well as they do. He makes a lot of money peddling slipshod fiction. More than enough, if truth be told. Does he really have to take obscene amounts from the petroleum industry–for exploiting most people’s very poor knowledge of climate science, no less?

And it’s not the first time he’s offended, either. His hackery and plagiarism are well-known. So, any claim to science he may have is now unequivocally tainted by the fact that he is just a good old-fashioned bullshit artist.

As for this piece of poop–it stinks of oil. Literally.

Maybe one day Mr. Crichton will start writing fiction that isn’t junk science in clever disguise. Or at least, start writing better fiction. But until then, I’m not holding my breath–OR buying his shit.

(And on a related note, can we please get off this damned trend of passing off fiction as non-? I’m sick of it.)

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