Michael Crichton RIP

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Michael Crichton (October 23, 1942 – November 4, 2008) was a great science fiction thriller writer (Andromeda Strain, Jurassic Park) who criticized politicizing science to manipulate the public. He advocated fighting the “fear of unproven danger” and “pseudo-religious environmentalism”  (see his website) as harmful misinformation. His position can be and has been abused by ideologues on the right – but IMHO that doesn’t make it any less valid and enlightened. 
Here is an excerpt of his speech “States of Fear: Science or Politics?”:

Now, I don’t need masses of dying people to wake up to a problem, and even a little radiation sickness is reason for me to be very skeptic about atomic energy. The key issue, to me, is the longterm effects of what we are doing. But this is where life gets so incredibly complicated, as there is simply no way we can foretell the future. So I live my little rituals, trying to keep my carbon footprint small and carrying glass bottles and paper out to the container, more or less religiously. We all have our altars.

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