Deeply Offended by Theodore Bayer’s Guest Opinion

Published March 7, 2005

Dear Editor:

I am deeply offended by Theodore Bayer’s guest opinion piece which appeared in your February 10th edition (“My read on book ‘review’: It’s environmental fantasy”).

Bayer mocks my review of Michael Crichton’s new novel, State of Fear, which appeared in the January 14-20 issue of the Business Times. In my review I say Crichton is right to challenge the flimsy scientific basis of the global warming “crisis” as well as other phoney environmental campaigns.

Bayer twice implies that I was paid by corporate interest groups to write the review, which is false. My organization, The Heartland Institute, is a 21-year-old organization funded by some 1,500 donors who support the sound-science, free-market perspective of Heartland’s publications.

Bayer says Michael Crichton is “a famous author who has virtually no bona fides in environmental sciences.” I would think being a Visiting Lecturer in Anthropology at Cambridge University, England, receiving an M.D. from Harvard Medical School, being a post-doctoral fellow at the Salk Institute for Biological Sciences and being a visiting writer at Massachusetts Institute of Technology would count for something.

Mr. Bayer, who apparently practices law, says he prefers what “many of us sense in our guts” over the findings of real experts. Maybe that sort of rhetoric works in front of a jury, but it is a poor guide to public policy.”

Joseph L. Bast
President, The Heartland Institute
Chicago, Illinois

Joseph L. Bast ([email protected]) is the president of The Heartland Institute, a national public policy think tank based in Chicago. He is the coauthor of Eco-Sanity: A Common-Sense Guide to Environmentalism and the publisher of Environment & Climate News.