Wednesday, December 29, 2004

Crichton & the Sri Lanka tsunami

The recent catastrophe in Sri Lanka & Thailand calls to mind the eerie resemblance to Michael Crichton's newest novel "State of Fear." In this new technothriller, Crichton wrote of environmental extremists manipulating weather and seismic activities just to prove their point that modern practices have degraded the environment to the point of global warming (a theory that remains just that judging from scientific facts that prove otherwise). The technology to create seismic activity under the sea to produce tsunamis is now available.

Now, I'm not saying I believe the tsunami was artificially created. The novel just presented a lot of facts that are too eerily coincidental to the recent catastrophe that has so far caused a death toll of over 58,000. At one point, Crichton wrote that 6 inches of water can easily sweep a vehicle that weighs tons. So the reports of 10-20 meter waves crashing into shore and causing so much damage is not really surprising. While the technology is available to influence weather and seismic activities, the novel points out that we have a long way to go to gain control of the unpredictable nature of nature.

The novel wrote about the "fallacy" of global warming (you can probably forget about that "Day after Tomorrow" scenario now) as industrialization has influenced global temperatures very little to cause ice berg melting. Of course, it doesn't say we should go ahead and pollute without consideration to possible environmental impact. But I leave it up to the reader to go ahead and read the book. It's an interesting and timely read.

1 comment:

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