Well, to get the ball rolling I would don a pair of steel-toed boots and then place a swift but forceful roundhouse kick to his gonads.

Then, as he's lying on the ground in an agonized fetal heap, gasping for breath, I would ask,

"So you still don't think global warming is a problem?"

Okay, so maybe you're a bit taken aback by my avant-garde approach to rational discourse with an acclaimed writer. Not to worry, I intend to explain myself.

While Mr. Crichton is catching his breath, let me digress to another character whose balls —if indeed he has any— I would like to see hanging into a tankful of piranhas. This is Senator Jack Inhofe (R-OK). Mr. Inhofe is the bought, paid and retained bend-over bitch of the US industry. Whenever there's a law to be passed giving corporations greater leeway to poison our air or water, kill our wildlife or otherwise diminish our quality of life and forfeit our future, this man's vote, plus those he can bring around, are available to the highest bidder. Don't take my word for it, read Chris Mooney's The Republican War on Science. Sen. Inhofe gets a lot of dishonorable mention there, and it's all well researched and documented.

Back to Michael. Years ago I read his Sci-Fi novel The Andromeda Strain. It wasn't particularly captivating, and to this day I remember feeling annoyed that he used his shoddy paperback novel as a soap box to lecture us on the evils of driving a big car and polluting the environment. These days, Mr. Crichton seems to have jumped to the other side of the fence: Since having thrown away his book, the next mention I heard of him was that he had been invited to expound before Congress about the irrelevance of global warming.

No joke: In January of 2005, Crichton served as a lead witness at a hearing of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee. I'm absolutely dumbfounded that the governing body of the mightiest nation on Earth shows such poor judgement as to fail to distinguish between a fiction author and an expert. It's like watching the "I'm not a doctor, but I play one on TV" joke come eerily to life. My recommendation would be... nah, I won't go there, or this essay may come off seeming to be a rant. Anyway, at the invitation of Jack Inhofe (to finally make the connection), Crichton told Congress exactly what ExxonMobil wanted them to hear: That scientists weren't really sure about global warming, that it was only a temporary hype, and that business would be best served by business as usual. The venue, by the way, was the AEI-Brookings Joint Center. The American Enterprise Institute, if you care to know, is the oil industry's think tank for influencing government policy. Just today, The Guardian exposed their attempt to bribe scientists into disagreeing with the UN IPPC global climate report.

With a whore like Crichton, it's difficult to tell where his own personal misconceptions end and his cheaply bought public opinion begins. To be honest, I don't care if Crichton believes the crap he's spouting. Here's the centerpiece of my objection to what's happening, sans obscene language and verbal violence:

Like it or not, Mr. Crichton is a figure in the public eye. Simple people trust him, simply because he's smart enough to be famous and rich when they are not. Or maybe because his novels have a flimsy medical/scientific background story. For better or worse, when Michael Crichton says things, a lot of people listen. The US flag-in-the-wind government is easily swayed by popular opinion, and that is easily swayed by what Mr. Crichton says and writes. By claiming that global warming is a figment of some money-greedy scientists' imagination, he is influencing political decisions that could end up contributing to making the entire planet uninhabitable. To me, that spells responsibility, and one that should be approached with care and humility. What he's doing, instead, is pushing either his personal agenda or one he's being paid to push.

That Inhofe is selling out his political influence is treason against his country but only to be expected: The United States has the best government that money can buy. What's at least as reprehensible is that an eloquent author is stooping to bottom-rung rhetoric, comparing today's supporters of the theory of global warming to the Third Reich's supporters of Eugenics. Yes indeed, there's no depth he won't plumb if there's a nickel to be had. Don't take my word for it, read his novels.

It's 2007 now, and for reasons having little to do with global warming, the citizens of the USA have driven the Republicans out of Congress, to be replaced by the lesser evil. Whether for righteous motives or simply to make the other guys look bad, the Dems are now cleaning up some of the mess they've inherited. 120 scientists who were blackmailed by government officials to suppress any mention of global warming have now been un-muzzled; a UN conference is showing overwhelming scientific consensus on the phenomenon of global warming and its likely causes; the US is starting to listen; and Inhofe and Crichton are being shown up for the shills they are.

I've had a good education —thankfully, in Canadian schools— and can discern good, honest science from bad. At the risk of saying "I told you so," I've been concerned about Global Warning for a while now. It seems that now, notwithstanding the best efforts of the oil industry, Inhofe and Crichton, some important people are starting to think about the right issues. My only nagging worry is: Too little, too late?

Something just occurred to me: Could the Second Amendment be construed to mean that Americans are at liberty to do their civic duty and shoot those two ugly bastards like the rabid dogs they are? You know, setting an example for other politicians and authors.