There is another world, but it is in this one.

Paul Eluard. Œuvres complètes, vol. 1, Gallimard, 1968.

Saturday, April 6, 2019

The search for more money: State of Fear by Michrael Crichton






"I hate global warming," Drake said, almost shouting. "I fucking hate it. It's a goddamn disaster."

"It's been established," Henley said calmly. "Over many years. It's what we have to work with."

"To work with? But it doesn't work," Drake said. "That's my point. You can't raise a dime with it, especially in winter. Every time it snows people forget all about global warming. Or else they decide some warming might be a good thing after all. They're trudging through the snow, hoping for a little global warming. It's not like pollution, John. Pollution worked. It still works. Pollution scares the shit out of people. You tell 'em they'll get cancer, and the money rolls in. But nobody is scared of a little warming. Especially if it won't happen for a hundred years."

"You have ways to play it," Henley said.

"Not anymore," Drake said. "We've tried them all. Species extinction from global warming—nobody gives a shit. They've heard that most of the species that will become extinct are insects. You can't raise money on insect extinctions, John. Exotic diseases from global warming—nobody cares. Hasn't happened. We ran that huge campaign last year connecting global warming to the Ebola and Hanta viruses. Nobody went for it. Sea-level rise from global warming—we all know where that'll end up. The Vanutu lawsuit is a fucking disaster. Everybody'll assume the sea level isn't rising anywhere. And that Scandinavian guy, that sea level expert. He's becoming a pest. He's even attacking the IPCC for incompetence."

"Yes," Henley said patiently. "That's all true…"

"So you tell me," Drake said, "how the hell I'm supposed to play global warming. Because you know what I have to raise to keep this organization going, John. I need forty-two million dollars a year. The foundations will only give me a quarter of that this year. The celebrities show up at the fund-raisers, but they don't give us shit. They're so egotistical they think showing up should be payment enough. Of course we sue the EPA every year, and they may cough up three, four million. With EPA grants, maybe five total. That still leaves a big gap, John. Global warming isn't going to cut it. I need a fucking cause. A cause that works!"

"I understand," Henley said, still very calm. "But you are forgetting the conference."

"Oh, Christ, the conference," Drake said. "These assholes can't even get the posters right. Bendix is our best speaker; he's got a family problem. Wife is having chemo. Gordon was scheduled, but he's got some lawsuit about his research…Seems his notebooks were faked…"

"Those are details, Nicholas," Henley said. "I'm asking you to stay with the big picture—"

At that moment, the phone rang. Drake answered it, listened briefly. Then he put his hand over the phone and turned to Henley.

"We have to continue this later, John. I've got an emergency here."





State of Fear
Michael Crichton
2004



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