Not surprisingly, Dr. Jeffery M. Masters, Weather Undergound's Chief Meteorologist, bashes Mr. Crichton's new book State of Fear for basically taking the side on the global warming issue that he doesn't like.
I say "not surprisingly," because he has written on Weather Underground in the past about global warming and environmental issues and clearly has a point of view.
As is often the case on this hot-button issue, all stops are pulled out when somebody gets near talking about Global Warming...
I've watched the debate on global climate change with significant interest and an amount of skepticism over the years. I don't doubt that our environment is getting warmer and that we're getting some extreme weather effects and that they may be related. However, I'm not yet sold that the science really points at what "2000 scientists" have agreed to.
Particularly interesting in this debate is how fervent they are about defending their positions. An article in the Economist in 2002 goes through one such assault on an admittedly-flawed researcher in Denmark. Again, what's interesting here is how much time is spent pushing this agenda and doing everything short of calling the author a heretic for having opposing views.
I used to believe (when I was young and idealistic) that scientists were immune to this kind of group-think and that they would keep to the facts and vigorously fight for the right of other scientists to hold other opinions (even as they denied the lay people that opportunity).
However, by watching the global warming debate and by talking to my brother, a university professor in an unrelated field, it has become clear that the academic cliques are forming up and if you don't agree with the current majority, then you will be branded a heretic and be shunned by your fellow scientists and academicians.
As much as I'm concerned about the return of creationism in our schools and on the political scene, I'm more concerned about how the scientific community is focussing more on "whiz-bang" science that they can show off, get grants, and go back to work than on plumbing the depths of what we know to determine what we need to find out.