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BREAKING: "San Francisco Futurist" Causes Exploding Heads

Imminent Death of Wall Street Journal Expected

Apparently, I'm a "kook," "insane," an "idiot," and should be "tied to a rocket ship and shot into the Sun."

At least according to the people who took the time to write to the editors of the Wall Street Journal in response to my essay. (All of the letters-to-the-editor emails on the article are being forwarded my way.) Sometimes, they noted that they were canceling their subscription to the Journal, and one person graciously included the letter that he had sent -- via paper mail -- to the editor-in-chief, who may not know what his devilish underlings had gotten themselves into.

A good friend of mine who braved the free-fire zone of the actual comments section reports that the nicer things people had to say were that I should "sell [my] mansion", "write science fiction" and "dress like dr. evil." (Sorry, I don't look good in all-white.) Others report ongoing jokes about my name, and a couple of folks who apparently now hate me with a white-hot passion.

So it goes.


Just don't start reading them. I had something similar (to a lesser extent) happen to me and when I looked at the comments, I really wanted to reply, but of course that's a sure way to go crazy.

"First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, then you win." - Mahatma Ghandi.

Stay cool, Dr. Evil. ;)

LOL. I am so glad you shared the priceless comments. Clearly it's a natural reaction to threatening ideas and change. I found your piece very balanced, but then again, the regular readers of WSJ (great publication) are generally the super-haters who advocated an unregulated free-market. Perhaps that's the same approach we should take to geo-engineering? I think not.

You should write science fiction. I get the feeling you'd be rather good at it.

I'm just curious if you've read Michael Crichton's book "State of Fear".

If you have not, I highly recommend you give it a shot. It is thoroughly footnoted with all kinds of references to scientific data but a most entertaining read nonetheless.

I truly believe we (the people of all the earth) have more of a problem with cooling in the near term. And scientists have no computer model to deal with cloud vapor and interaction with the earth's atmosphere.

You wrote a thoughtful article for the WSJ but am afraid with all your background you have been led astray somewhere along the line.

I'm actually glad to see that I wasn't the only one to be shocked by your article. I really like much of your content. The geoengineering stuff... not so much. You can't be right about everything, and your signal-to-noise ratio is otherwise pretty good.

State of Fear. Sigh. Somebody else want to take this one, please?

Don't sweat the trolls Jamais. Just laugh it off and chalk it up to pure ignorance! Great article!

I couldn't dream of outdoing these guys:

* http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2004/12/michael-crichtons-state-of-confusion/
* http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2004/12/michael-crichtons-state-of-confusion-ii-the-climatologists-return/

And regarding Jamais' writing of science fiction? Well, he has, kinda: he wrote two excellent books for the GURPS Transhuman Space game setting: Broken Dreams, and Toxic Memes.

I wish yuo wouldn;t be so dismissive of "State of Fear" It has footnotes and is VERY exciting and could also happen (READ the FOOTNOTES)!!!


glasater, Chip: kindly follow the links Frank provided.

Ha ha ha re State of Fear. It took me a month to wade through Prey and I'd like that month of my life back. One is permitted to be dismissive of Michael Crichton's writing even if one's rather enjoyed E.R. on TV. ;)

Resurrected T. Rex breeding uncontrolled on tropical islands, now that's something we should be worried about.

My opinion is right. [1]

[1] Because I said so.

Look, it has FOOTNOTES!

"All publicity is good publicity as long as they spell your name right."

For the rest, I do have reservations about SO2 seeding, but these must have also occurred to you as well.

As it's been pointed out some time ago, we *are* geo-engineering already with con-trails. A few additives to the aviation fuel (like SO2) would be an interesting experiment (and as reversible a method as I can think of)

Hmm! yes the methane output from all those tropical tyranosaurusesesses would be alarming!

OK--I'll see your Real Climate and raise you

Congratulations! Really.

Fantastic work Jamais, the article seems well balanced and makes the case to me that Geoengineering is worth investigating. Perhaps there should be funds for building a computer model for cloud vapours interaction with the atmosphere.
Whatever the solution is, climate change is a real issue that needs to be understood (as best as possible) and dealt with accordingly.

Just be glad you don't have an identifiably Jewish surname. You ain't seen nothin' until you've seen *those* haters come out to play.

I sorta wonder what they've done to react that way... Did they run around throwing plutonium in the rain forest or something?
It's also pretty annoying that people always seem to directly attack the writer instead of his writing these days...

Actually, I've got the impression that part of being a futurist *is* about writing speculative fiction.

... and then selling it to a boardroom.

I thought it fit in rather nicely next to eg, their thoughtful China coverage, actually. Geoengineering has been around for years as a radical idea, it's time to mainstream it. Reassuring to see the WSJ tracking climate reality.

"So you have enemies? That's good. It means you've stood up for something, sometime in your life"

It is working when it stings. Any good antiseptic is not painless.

You are already way ahead of the commenters. You've already written science fiction and you don't live in a mansion, so, no need to move out.

Might as well start dressing like Dr. Evil. It could be fun.

By the way...how's the Alan Parson's Project coming along?


You live in San Francisco! Shame on you, Mister Cascio! SHAME!

Yes, I read the Comments section of that article. ;)

Regarding "State of Fear"... it is in the end absolutely appropriate that it was Michael Crichton who should have become the author to write science fiction set in the AGW-is-a-conspiracy universe.

Some SF (e.g. most movies) simply recycles a conventional mythology (galactic empires, humanoid aliens, psychic powers) and has nothing to do with science at all. Some SF (e.g. so-called hard SF) tries to be scientifically accurate or at least plausible. And then some SF consists of taking the most exaggerated, unreality-based ideas that have come out of scientific culture and running with them. I can't think of a single SF novel by Crichton which doesn't fit that last blueprint. The disease that comes from space and mutates to survive everything that can be thrown at it... the dinosaur park where the extinct reptiles have been completely recreated from scraps of fossil DNA... nanobots which evolve to malevolent human-level intelligence within a week... time travel to the Middle Ages via a sideways excursion in the quantum multiverse... All that is entirely of a piece with the idea of an ecoterrorist conspiracy to concoct artificial disasters and blame them on global warming.

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