Climate change.  Is it an existential threat to humanity or a manufactured political hoax to raise money and control behavior?  These and many other questions are posed and debated in the 2004 novel State of Fear by Michael Crichton.  

From the novel’s beginning, it’s evident what the late Michael Crichton’s opinion was about climate change and whether or not we are doing what’s best to combat it on a global scale.  What impressed me was how Crichton took this topic and made it the theme of a globe-trotting suspense-thriller with lots of action, mystery, and humor thrown in.  

State of Fear was the first fictional book I have read that included footnotes and an extensive bibliography at the end to show that the conclusions and opinions of many of the book’s characters are based on real research and data related to climate change.  There are also a few essays from Crichton at the end where he further expresses his views on the topic.

I’m certain that many will scoff at the conclusions made in this book, and that’s fine.  Crichton presents theories that aren’t as popular in the mainstream, which may cause readers to become frustrated or stop reading.  

I encourage anyone who does pick up State of Fear to read the entire book, the footnotes, and essays and see if you can respect alternate views on a complex topic.