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"State of Fear" Book Review by Don Amador
Thriller novel exposes environmental radical anti-access agenda

Author -Michael Crichton
Publisher – Harper Collins
Date: Jan. 9, 200 5

Crisis mongering by extreme environmental groups has long been a topic discussed by dirt-bikers sitting around a campfire after a hard day of trail riding or by access advocates at any number of recreation conferences or land-use workshops.  While there have been numerous and well-written books penned by authors who understand and have tried to expose the political agenda of radical anti-access groups,  Michael Crichton’s new book has just validated said trail-side discussions and literary exposés.

More than just a spy-type thriller, State of Fear , disembowels most of the current eco-myths being championed by old-guard environmental groups.  Crichton uses his medical degree-based investigative skills to separate eco-fact from fiction. 

As the book’s heroes travel the globe to counter a coordinated attack by eco-terrorists against people and resources in order to generate support for an eco-summit on climate change, Crichton cleverly weaves scientific information gleaned from over three years of research into the story to blow up currently held views of limousine liberals regarding global warming, preservation, and Wilderness.

The book also daylights a concept that the old  “military-industrial complex” has been replaced by a new dynamic comprised of agenda driven politics, an activist legal system, and a biased media.  

It appears the author’s message is that our environmental policy should be science-based and not agenda driven.  Our natural resources should be managed by staff in the field rather than by ideologues sitting behind a computer or arguing before a judge.  Off-roaders, hikers, mountain-bikers, and other recreationists would be better served if they worked together in a cooperative manner and that public land access should not be a partisan issue.

State of Fear is 600 pages of must read material.  It’s a thriller to be sure, but it also brings some common sense into the environmental debate. 

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Don Amador is a land-use consultant for the BlueRibbon Coalition, a national recreation group.  He is also a noted speaker on recreation issues.  He writes from Oakley , CA .  He may be contacted by email at:

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