Agricultural Economics Department


Date of this Version



Published in Cornhusker Economics, 01/12/2005. Produced by the Cooperative Extension, Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources, Department of Agricultural Economics, University of Nebraska–Lincoln.


Newspaper columnist George F. Will (“Crichton’s New Book Punctures Certitude About Global Warming,” Omaha World Herald (OWH), January 5, 2005, p. 7B) recently applauded a new novel, State of Fear, which proclaims global warming and the possibility for catastrophic changes in the climate as less than certain, if not an outright attempt to unduly stir fear in people. (I have not yet read the novel, so am relying here on those who have)! George Will sees the novel as helping us become “wholesomely skeptical” about global warming and climate change. On the same page in the Herald (thank-you, OWH, for providing balance), another columnist, Wayne Madsen (“‘State of Fear’ Smears Scientists and Serves Big-Business Agenda”) declares that Crichton’s novel “not only unfairly bashes the global environmental movement but represents yet another example of how multi-national corporations and their political allies are invading the popular culture to advance fanatic and lunatic right-wing ideas and agendas.” As noted, I have not yet read the novel, but have been reading the arguments and counter arguments about global warming now for many months, going on several years. In fact, whole centers of learning and information, many with their own websites have emerged on both sides of this issue, albeit most of the scientific community (and the sheer numbers of such centers and websites) do support the notion there is substantive global warming. The website maintained by the Nebraska Carbon Sequestration Advisory Committee, a group created by the Nebraska Unicameral and appointed by Governor Johanns, provides links to sites and information on both sides of this issue (see ).