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Did Bush Meet with Michael Crichton on Global Warming?

The IntersectionBy Chris MooneyFebruary 14, 2006 2:09 AM


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Apparently he did, at least according to Fred Barnes' new book, Rebel-in-Chief: Inside the Bold and Controversial Presidency of George W. Bush. I haven't read Barnes' book; I'm relying on a review of it by Ronald Brownstein, which includes the following:

Those who admire Bush will find plenty to celebrate in Barnes' portrayal of a president who is resolute and visionary, yet humble and pious. Perhaps inadvertently, Barnes also includes plenty of evidence likely to horrify those who oppose Bush (for instance, Barnes reports that the president fundamentally doesn't accept the theory of global warming and was reinforced in that belief by a private meeting not with any scientist but rather with novelist Michael Crichton, whose novel "State of Fear" revolves around the issue).

I'm not surprised to learn that Bush "fundamentally" rejects the science of global warming (although that's quite inconsistent with the administration's official message and position on the issue). But that our president might have gotten science advice from Crichton--if true, that's stunning.

Bush, you will recall, asked the National Academy of Sciences in 2001 whether humans are causing the earth to warm. The NAS, predictably, said that indeed we were. Since then, the administration has officially proceeded as global warming is real. Granted, there has been much low-level malfeasance when it comes to meddling with government science, but the government's official position is that this threat exists. Bush science adviser John Marburger, for example, has stated as much. So the notion that the president may have gone shopping for an "alternative" view--and settled upon the perspective of a novelist--is amazing on multiple levels.

I doubt this is the last you'll hear about this. Next step: Someone needs to ask Scott McClellan for confirmation of Barnes' reporting...

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