I’m a big fan of the late Micheal Chrichton. Ever since the Andromeda strain he has worked very hard in his novels, articles and non-fiction books to unearth some sort of objective truths about a great deal of stuff that is reported in the media as objective news.
In State of Fear, which was published in 2004, his weapon of choice is the environmental movement. While he doesn’t not seek to discredit the movement in any way, he does point out that like any other force for change in society, it can be tainted by greed and corruption. And just because the environmental movement is well intentioned, that doesn’t mean that a lot of people involved with it are not ignorant about much of the science behind how the ecosystems of our planet really work.
An Adventure Novel With Footnotes
What’s really interesting about this book, beside the fact that it is a rollicking good adventure story with lots of amazing stuff that happens to the heroes, is the fact that the comments of antagonists, of which there are three or four, are all supported by scholarly and scientific research which is frequently footnoted. As you read through these footnotes you really get a clear picture of the main point that this novel is trying to make, which is that the powers that be who used to control people and keep them in a constant “State Of Fear” through intimidation about the Communist Scare, The Counter Culture Movement and Stock Market Instability are now using Media Control to achieve their ends.
Admittedly this all sounds quite dastardly, until you think about it for a while. And State of Fear makes you do just that. It also goes a long why toward reinforcing the theory that the human race isn’t destroying the planet so much as it is destroying itself.
I know we are all trying to do the right thing by the environment: to conserve, to recycle and re-use as much as possible and that’s a good thing. But the minute you start to become ‘fanatical’ about it, or fanatical about anything else in life for that matter, rest assured that there is always someone out there who is willing to use that fanaticism for their own ends.
State of Fear was nowhere near being Micheal Crichton’s best selling novel…but it may very well have been his most realistic. These days it’s easy to find novels that are enjoyable to read. Novels that are enjoyable to read and actually make a strong point are few and far between. I recommend it very highly.