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Climate fools

4 April 2005
Just when he thought it was safe to pass go and collect another two million dollars, Michael Crichton is the target of big wet raspberries from the science and activism communities.

Over at RealClimate, the boffins report Doubts about the advent of spring:

A "consensus view" amongst climate scientists holds that the Northern Hemisphere will be warming this month, as spring is coming. This is thought to be due to the Earth's orbit around the sun and the inclination of the Earth's axis, tilting the Northern Hemisphere progressively towards the sun throughout March and April and increasing the amount of solar radiation received at northern latitudes.

In a new novel, State of Euphoria, bestselling author Michael Crikey uncovers major flaws in this theory and warns against false hopes for the arrival of spring.

And Grist magazine leaks an exclusive from Hollywood Reporter:

Michael Crichton's techno-thriller novel State of Fear would seem an obvious gem for Hollywood, what with its exotic locales, action-packed plot, and attractive heroines. But Crichton has had difficulty getting a high-profile director to take the project on -- because, he says, liberal Hollywood blanches at the thought of producing a movie that attacks the theory of global warming. But the author may have found his hero in Mel Gibson, whose Passion of the Christ made him the go-to director for movies focusing on, um, topics of interest to far-right conservatives.

Caspar Henderson

Stop the secrecy: Publish the NHS COVID data deals


To: Matt Hancock, Secretary of State for Health and Social Care

We’re calling on you to immediately release details of the secret NHS data deals struck with private companies, to deliver the NHS COVID-19 datastore.

We, the public, deserve to know exactly how our personal information has been traded in this ‘unprecedented’ deal with US tech giants like Google, and firms linked to Donald Trump (Palantir) and Vote Leave (Faculty AI).

The COVID-19 datastore will hold private, personal information about every single one of us who relies on the NHS. We don’t want our personal data falling into the wrong hands.

And we don’t want private companies – many with poor reputations for protecting privacy – using it for their own commercial purposes, or to undermine the NHS.

The datastore could be an important tool in tackling the pandemic. But for it to be a success, the public has to be able to trust it.

Today, we urgently call on you to publish all the data-sharing agreements, data-impact assessments, and details of how the private companies stand to profit from their involvement.

The NHS is a precious public institution. Any involvement from private companies should be open to public scrutiny and debate. We need more transparency during this pandemic – not less.


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