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April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review March 30, 2005 / 19 Adar II, 5765

The fear Crichton's latest questions makes scare-peddlers frightened

By John Stossel


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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Michael Crichton's scary movies, like "Jurassic Park," have made billions. He has sold 100 million copies of his scary books. And now he's telling us: Don't be scared.

He almost didn't write his latest book, "State of Fear." (Click HERE to purchase. Sales help fund JWR.) "I'm 62 years old," he told me. "I've had a good life. I'm happy. I'm enjoying myself. I don't need any of the flak that would come from doing a book like this."

Flak is coming because the fear Crichton is questioning is fear of global warming. And as Crichton told me, "people's feelings about the environment are very close to religion."

Global warming, of course, is not a faith that brings comfort. We interviewed people who seemed almost hysterical about it. One said, "Greenland is melting!" Another warned that "places like Los Angeles and New York will be underwater!" One person went even further off — should I say it? — the deep end: "I'm thinking it's like the end of the world."

It's natural for people to worry because there's been so much media hype. A U.S. News & World Report cover story claimed that within 50 years, the ocean "could" be checking in at the glamorous hotels of South Beach, Fla., while Vermonters "could" get malaria and Nebraska farms "could" be abandoned because of drought.

Crichton himself used to worry about global warming. But then he spent three years researching it. He concluded it's just another foolish media-hyped scare. Many climate scientists agree with him, saying the effect of man and greenhouse gases is minor.

Many people believe the weather is already getting worse — that the earth is experiencing bigger storms than ever before. That U.S. News & World Report cover screamed "Scary Weather." But it's not true that there are more storms today or that weather is "scarier" than it used to be. As Crichton says, "It's something that almost nobody actually goes and checks."

Sadly, he's right. When "scare stories" fit reporters' preconceptions, we rarely check with the skeptics. On the subject of global warming, reporters often listen to alarmists and don't take the trouble to survey the scientists who really know. And even if they do, it's a mere fig leaf of fairness. U.S. News, for example, buried its one skeptical voice under a shrieking headline, after paragraphs predicting disaster, and between two quotes from alarmists — astoundingly presented as voices of reason — dismissing dissenters.

Crichton got his medical training at Harvard, where he paid his way through college by writing thrillers. When he wrote "The Andromeda Strain," the story of an organism from outer space that threatens to wipe out mankind, Hollywood called, and his medical career was over. He's gone on to write book after book that anticipated the future. "Jurassic Park" introduced cloning before others really talked about it. "Disclosure," about a man who's sexually harassed by a female boss, also raised issues that were ahead of their time. "State of Fear" may be his biggest risk, because he's taken on environmental groups that some Americans revere with religious fervor. Crichton says, "Environmental organizations are fomenting false fears in order to promote agendas and raise money." He points out that the even the scientists who study global warming have an incentive to exaggerate the problem. If you say, "there isn't a big problem," you're less likely to get grant money.

"State of Fear" is already being attacked, he says, by activists who didn't even read his book. "We seem to be very ready to think it's all coming to an end," Crichton says. And there are consequences to that kind of thinking. It can be quite difficult to oppose new laws, however much freedom and money they will take away from you, when you believe they are the only thing that can stop major cities from being lost to a sea swollen by melting icecaps. But we're not on the way to disaster, except in the form of more laws. "State of Fear" will give you new perspective on "global warming."

Then, when someone tells you "it's like the end of the world!" you can say: "Give Me a Break."

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

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Give Me a Break  

Stossel explains how ambitious bureaucrats, intellectually lazy reporters, and greedy lawyers make your life worse even as they claim to protect your interests. Taking on such sacred cows as the FDA, the War on Drugs, and scaremongering environmental activists -- and backing up his trademark irreverence with careful reasoning and research -- he shows how the problems that government tries and fails to fix can be solved better by the extraordinary power of the free market. Sales help fund JWR.



JWR contributor John Stossel is co-anchor of ABC News' "20/20." To comment, please click here.


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