Tuesday, December 16, 2003


Author Michael Crichton delivered a speech to the Commonwealth Club in San Francisco last September. His assignment? Identify and discuss the most important challenge presently facing mankind. His answer?
The greatest challenge facing mankind is the challenge of distinguishing reality from fantasy, truth from propaganda. Perceiving the truth has always been a challenge to mankind, but in the information age (or as I think of it, the disinformation age) it takes on a special urgency and importance.
So far so good. I'm sure the San Francisco audience was in rapt agreement, particularly because that evil President Bush has "misled" our national into an "unjust" war.

But it gets better. Crichton's example of this challenge is... environmentalism!
Today, one of the most powerful religions in the Western World is environmentalism. Environmentalism seems to be the religion of choice for urban atheists...

Increasingly it seems facts aren't necessary, because the tenets of environmentalism are all about belief. It's about whether you are going to be a sinner, or saved. Whether you are going to be one of the people on the side of salvation, or on the side of doom. Whether you are going to be one of us, or one of them.

Am I exaggerating to make a point? I am afraid not. Because we know a lot more about the world than we did forty or fifty years ago. And what we know now is not so supportive of certain core environmental myths, yet the myths do not die.
You need to read the entire speech to get the full effect. It can be found here (thanks to The Corner at NRO for the pointer).

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