Saturday, February 18, 2017

HOW Michael Crichton in STATE OF FEAR (2004) got climate change and global warming issues wrong blnd-sided by the times he was living in then.

HOW Michael Crichton in STATE OF FEAR (2004) got climate change and global warming issues wrong blnd-sided by the times he was living in then. VANITY FAIR mag has this:

...''One needs only to look at the sheer number of books and movie tickets sold to get an idea of how popular — even beloved — Crichton was throughout his 40-year career. But there was controversy as well, in the wake of his novel State of Fear (anti-global warming). That novel took a jaded look at the politics of climate-change science at that time in USA history and has as its villains a group of environmental activists. He got hate mail after State of Fear was published to mostly negative reviews.

“He was ready for the ridicule; he was ready for the conversation,” said his widow Sherri Crichton, when asked about why Crichton tackled this subject in the way that he did. “He challenged science and the models.”

Steven Spielberg believes that when the book was written in 2004 the science wasn’t as settled as it is now, and what Crichton was really arguing for was a less emotional approach to the topic. When the book came out, “people were not talking about global warming. And I think Michael was trying to shake things up and get people to listen, and I think he had to go out on a limb to get people to pay attention.”

On Charlie Rose’s show, Crichton described environmentalism as a kind of religion and argued for a coolheaded approach to the subject.

When asked about the writer’s conservative views in this area, Charlie Rose said, “I would hope that Michael would look at the world today and say, Whatever I did in terms of creating that piece, we’re living in a different world, and I see more evidence—and it is one of the great challenges in our world that I see now. At least I hope he would say that.”

Paul Lazarus, producer of the original Westworld and Crichton’s closest friend during his early years in Hollywood, and currently on the faculty of Santa Fe University of Art & Design, recalled a long discussion he had with Crichton about the issue. He remembers telling him, “Michael, you’re on the wrong side of history on this one.”

The editor Robert Gottlieb worked on Crichton’s novels while at Alfred A. Knopf. In his 2016 memoir, Avid Reader, excerpted in the September 2016 issue of V.F., Gottlieb recalls, “Michael had a strong background in science. And he had a keen eye, or nose, for cutting-edge areas of science—and, later, sociology—that could be used as material for thrillers while cleverly popularizing the hard stuff for the general public. You got a lesson while you were being scared. What Michael wasn’t was a very good writer. The Andromeda Strain was a terrific concept, but . . . eventually I concluded that he couldn’t write about people because they just didn’t interest him.” Gottlieb adds, “Michael, for all his weaknesses as a writer, was unquestionably the best of his techno breed, and easily deserved his tremendous success.”

Still, Crichton was plagued by feelings that his books all fell short of the mark. “I’ve never worked on anything, either a book or a movie, without, in some really deep way, feeling disappointed in myself—feeling that I missed it,” he admitted in his Great Train Robbery commentary.''


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