Debra J. Saunders

When asked Monday if climate change -- global warming -- was behind the deadly Asian tsunami, the United Nations' Jan Egeland -- he of "stingy" aid fame -- said no, the tsunami was a "geologically caused" disaster. "A tsunami like this is caused by an earthquake that has nothing to do with climate change," he explained.

 Minutes later, however, Egeland did suggest a possible connection between global warming and the disaster. He had heard that one-third of the Maldives islands disappeared momentarily underwater, he said, adding that "actually climate change means oceans (are) growing, (so) certainly tsunamis will have an ever greater effect."

 Most environmentalists, to their credit, are not trying to capitalize on the Asian catastrophe. But a few cannot resist.

 As a letter writer in The New York Times scolded, "But the next time there is a severe offshore earthquake and resulting tsunami, the sea level will be just a little bit higher, and the water and destruction will go a bit further inland and kill even more people. And for that, (President Bush) will bear some culpability for not even wanting to consider global warming, much less do anything about it as the leader of the country most responsible for man-made warming and ice-cap melting."

 (Forget that Bill Clinton never worked to ratify the Kyoto Protocol global-warming treaty -- just blame Bush.)

 In an unhappy slice of synergy, the tsunami hit just after Michael Crichton's new novel, "State of Fear," was released. The plot involves eco-terrorists who try to create four "natural disasters" (including a tsunami) in order to alert the world to the dangers of global warming. Crichton penned the book to warn the public not to believe everything it hears about global warming.

 In his mind, "environmentalism" has become a religion. As he said in a 2003 speech to the Commonwealth Club in San Francisco, "There's an initial Eden, a paradise, a state of grace and unity with nature; there's a fall from grace into a state of pollution as a result of eating from the tree of knowledge and, as a result of our actions, there is a judgment day coming for us all."

 Crichton takes on the gospel according to the enviros, that is: that all scientists believe global warming is human induced, that climate projections are accurate, and that the planet is undergoing unusual change, when change is the norm in nature.

Debra J. Saunders

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