Although I can't resist the insulting title above, I actually like Michael Crichton. He's a godawful prose stylist and, as Ron Bailey noted here a while back, a technophobe-of-all-trades. But he's got million-dollar ideas by the score, and in this speech (thanks to Arts & Letters Daily for the link), he ties global warming, secondhand smoke, the smearing of Bjorn Lomborg, and many other topics dear to Reason's black heart into the Search for Extra-Terrestrial Intelligence boondoggle. Sample:
As with nuclear winter, bad science is used to promote what most people would consider good policy. I certainly think it is. I don't want people smoking around me. So who will speak out against banning second-hand smoke? Nobody, and if you do, you'll be branded a shill of RJ Reynolds. A big tobacco flunky. But the truth is that we now have a social policy supported by the grossest of superstitions. And we've given the EPA a bad lesson in how to behave in the future. We've told them that cheating is the way to succeed.
Plenty more where that came from.