February 19, 2006


Bush's Chat With Novelist Alarms Environmentalists (MICHAEL JANOFSKY, 2/19/06, NY Times)

One of the perquisites of being president is the ability to have the author of a book you enjoyed pop into the White House for a chat.

Over the years, a number of writers have visited President Bush, including Natan Sharansky, Bernard Lewis and John Lewis Gaddis. And while the meetings are usually private, they rarely ruffle feathers.

Now, one has.

In his new book about Mr. Bush, "Rebel in Chief: Inside the Bold and Controversial Presidency of George W. Bush," Fred Barnes recalls a visit to the White House last year by Michael Crichton, whose 2004 best-selling novel, "State of Fear," suggests that global warming is an unproven theory and an overstated threat.

Mr. Barnes, who describes Mr. Bush as "a dissenter on the theory of global warming," writes that the president "avidly read" the novel and met the author after Karl Rove, his chief political adviser, arranged it. He says Mr. Bush and his guest "talked for an hour and were in near-total agreement."

"The visit was not made public for fear of outraging environmentalists all the more," he adds.

And so it has, fueling a common perception among environmental groups that Mr. Crichton's dismissal of global warming, coupled with his popularity as a novelist and screenwriter, has undermined efforts to pass legislation intended to reduce emissions of carbon dioxide, a gas that leading scientists say causes climate change.

The irony being that it was the President who influenced the novelist, not vice versa.

Posted by Orrin Judd at February 19, 2006 9:49 AM

Well Bush does not believe any of the other pieties of liberal science, so why should they be surprised to find out that he doesn't worship at the church of gaia, the goddess of hotflashes.

Posted by: Robert Schwartz at February 19, 2006 12:07 PM

I'm sure critics and English professors are celebrating the ability of a novelist to influence great public issues.

Posted by: Bob Hawkins at February 19, 2006 1:14 PM

Everything "alarms" environmentalists. It's an "activist" religion, and if you aren't out trying to scare the non-believers into converting, your own faith can be called into question.

Posted by: Raoul Ortega at February 19, 2006 3:09 PM

Of course there is global warming, what else can explain why we are not still in the Ice Age, wearing giant mammoth skins, freezing in caves.

Posted by: ic at February 19, 2006 3:36 PM

Maybe we could find a way to have the Enviromentalist battle the Islamists.

Posted by: Robert Schwartz at February 19, 2006 3:51 PM

Conservation is not more nor less than good stewardship; environmentalism is a pagan religion.

To understand the demonic component of environmentalism we need only ponder its lust for human diminishment.

Posted by: Lou Gots at February 19, 2006 6:51 PM

Why wouldn't Bush want to meet with a Harvard graduate (M.D.), tremendously successful author, and developer of TV show(s)?

Posted by: jim hamlen at February 20, 2006 7:28 AM