Denialist and Skeptical Climate Change Novels
Climate change fiction seems to fall into one of two categories: 1) anthropogenic climate change fiction and b) other books about climate events but not necessarily climate change. Only two books have been reader-submitted that don’t fit into these categories. These books are listed below.
Michael Chricton’s State of Fear
Here are just a few reviews that debunk this fiction as inaccurate: RealClimate, Union of Concerned Scientists, Grist, Climate Science Watch, and The New York Times.
Perhaps the NYT said it best:
Although ”State of Fear” comes dressed as an airport-bookstore thriller, Crichton’s readers will discover halfway through their flight that the novel more closely resembles one of those Ann Coulter ”Liberals Are Stupid” jobs. Liberals, environmentalists and many other straw men endure a stern thrashing in ”State of Fear,” but Crichton’s primary target is the theory of global warming, which he believes is a scientific delusion. In his zeal to expose the emperor’s nudity the author cites, ad nauseam, actual studies that seem to contradict the conventional wisdom on global warming.
Think Progress reported:
Though he didn’t say so publicly, Bush is a dissenter on the theory of global warming…. He avidly read Michael Crichton’s 2004 novel State of Fear, whose villain falsifies scientific studies to justify draconian steps to curb global warming. Crichton himself has studied the issue extensively and concluded that global warming is an unproven theory and that the threat is vastly overstated. Early in 2005, political adviser Karl Rove arranged for Crichton to meet with Bush at the White House. They talked for an hour and were in near-total agreement.
State of Fear helped to drive ideologies that went against science. Because of narratives just like Crichton’s, there are millions of people who think climate change is a hoax. I think most readers would understand why this is so problematic when dealing with a real-world crisis.
R.H. Rauschenberger’s Malevolent Tide
This is a fairly new title. The author wrote to me in May 2014 about his book. He stated that he was marketing his book to a Christian audience. At first, I was intrigued, thinking that perhaps he was, like Katharine Hayhoe, helping Christians to be able to reconcile their faith with actual science (which Katharine, an evangelical climate scientist, has been successful at). However, I should have been warned when, in an email, R.H. stated that in his opinion, humans tended to assume things like our climate and geology naturally change over long periods of time–but if something changes quicker than expected, and that we must be to blame, that that was an erroneous assumption. When I pointed out in my follow-up email that scientists had done many studies to understand why our climate was changing, and that 97% of scientists agreed that our climate was changing due to humans, this was far more solid than just an erroneous assumption, the author failed to respond.
The book starts out with a scientist who has sorta lost his faith, and then regains it. As he does, he listens to more and more faith-based “facts” about evolution that conclude science is inherently flawed, even evil, because it erroneously assumes things. This book, like Chricton’s, flaunts inaccurate science whilst promoting an agenda that is black and white. (If you believe A, you cannot believe B.) It was hard for me to get into, not because I think religion is stupid but because the scientific claims in the book were faulty but still used to create an agenda for the reader. I do not want to spoil the book or ruin it for anyone. Readers who cannot reconcile faith and science will probably find something in the book that they like.
Anyway, the purpose of the site is not to promote fiction that denies actual science.