My copy of Rebel-in-Chief just arrived, and I can now quote you exactly what the book says about Bush’s views on global warming, and his meeting with Michael Crichton. From p. 22-23:
The president later provoked worldwide protests when he formally withdrew the United States from the Kyoto global warming treaty. The environmental lobby in this country fumed, but Bush didn’t flinch. The treaty had never been ratified and stood little chance of winning Senate approval. Though he didn’t say so publicly, Bush is a dissenter on the theory of global warming. To the extent it’s a problem, Bush believes it can be solved by technology. He avidly read Michael Crichton’s 2004 novel State of Fear, whose villain falsifies scientific studies to justify draconian steps to curb global warming. Crichton himself has studied the issue extensively and concluded that global warming is an unproven theory and that the threat is vastly overstated. Early in 2005, political adviser Karl Rove arranged for Crichton to meet with Bush at the White House. They talked for an hour and were in near-total agreement. The visit was not made public for fear of outraging environmentalists all the more.
It’s hard to decide what’s the bigger outrage here: 1) That Bush didn’t tell the public his real “dissenter” view on global warming; or 2) that Karl Rove set up a secret science advisory session for the president with a novelist. In any case, in this story we see several strong tendencies of this administration going hand in hand: A penchant for secrecy, an unwillingness to level with the public, and a disdain for science.