State of Fear by Michael Crichton

I’m going to write something that may shock some of you and may make you never read my blog again.

Here is goes…

I’m not 100% sold that global warming  is for real.

And many of my friends feel the same way.

And so do many scientists, even highly regarded ones at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and other world-renowned institutions.

This may come as a surprise to you.

After all, I am a devoted reader of Michael Pollan’s New York Times articles and books. I even planted a garden this spring. I recycle. I prefer to eat grass-finished, growth-hormone-free meat. I usually bring my own shopping bags to the grocery store. I refuse to buy wrapping paper — I even SAVE and reuse wrapping paper. I often ask cashiers to let me walk out of other stores without a bag. I kept my last cell phone for 5 years and only replaced it when the screen gave out. I have lots of single-serving insulated travel mugs for coffee. I try to conserve water. Sometimes, I’ll even go a day or two without showering. I only open the shades when I am in a room, to conserve energy by keeping unused rooms insulated. In the winter I keep I keep the house at a chilly 65 degrees; in the summer I keep it at 80 degrees though I prefer to not use the AC and stick to opening windows and using fans. I use a water bottle. I still wear clothes I bought 15 years ago. I keep a large stack of old printouts as scrap paper. I’ve participated in countless beach clean-ups. My used television set is not HD, which is totally fine since I don’t have cable. I buy used books. I like organic fruits and vegetables. I reuse cardboard boxes, yogurt containers, and more. I don’t wash my clothes after just one wear. I’m adamant about turning out the lights in rooms I’m not using. I prefer to walk and not drive. Growth-hormone-free brie is my favorite snack. Most of my furniture are hand-me-downs. I even enjoy carpooling.

It’s not that I don’t believe in global warming, I just haven’t read enough of the science on either side of the argument to have made a decision. And as a scientist, I believe in understanding the science.

But with the public gone mad over global warming and eco-friendliness, it’s hard to know where to begin looking for the hard science and research on both sides of the argument.

Which is why I’ve decided that as much as I ridiculed this book when it first came out, I’ve got to read Michael Crichton’s State of Fear.

I’ll read it with a grain of salt, but I’m hoping it’ll at least give me the names of some scientists who have done studies that show evidence that global warming is not real.

Here’s another shocker for you: I’m not convinced of the economics of recycling nor am I convinced that it really does help the environment.

And just a few years ago it certainly didn’t make sense to recycle in terms of the economics. But I recycle anyway — I figure it can’t do any harm. And maybe by now it does make sense economically and in terms of the environment.

In any case, it has been important to me since I was a child to live in a way that conserves resources — water, energy, gas, etc — though I’ve never preached eco-friendliness. I’d rather just tell people about what I’ve read from reputable sources.

Don’t hate me.

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