State of Fear in a nutshell: Hippies try to flood the USA to give the US a very good reason to start spending more on anti-global warming initiatives.In depth: The US Government, a lawyer, and several others investigate a corporation suspected of having ties to the Environmental Liberation Front. Said corporation has been claiming headway into weather control technologies, with associates and researchers mysteriously dying.A Global Warming themed conspiracy novel by Michael Crichton, as in "global warming is a conspiracy to get power." Cue the media firestorm calling it controversial, which naturally amounted to free advertising.
Animal Wrongs Group: The Earth Liberation Front, or ELF. Called the Environmental Liberation Front in the book. While the "real" ELF is (as far as we know) merely a gang of arsonists united only by a common tactic/motive, Crichton's ELF is essentially an ecoterrorist Global Frequency - non-centralized communications uniting a network of fanatically dedicated and skilled operatives. It's more likely that the name was chosen as a joke; the ELF's "legitimate" cover organization is called the National Environmental Resource Fund - NERF!
Artistic License - Physics: While a great deal of research was clearly done, weather-control technologies were also exaggerated for dramatic effect.
Asshole Victim: Bradley. The fact that he's an asshole doesn't make his murder any less horrific or reprehensible, though.
Professor Norman Hoffman seemed to exist only to drop Character Filibusters that would be out of place for Kenner to make. He's in once scene, drops two or three, and then the Everyman protagonist leaves, while Hoffman attempts to shout one or two more at his retreating back.
Kenner: You think civilization is some horrible, polluting human invention that separates us from the state of nature. But civilization doesn't separate us from nature, Ted. Civilization protects us from nature. Because what you see right now, all around you -(referring to a tribe of cannibals)- this is nature.
Never Found the Body: At one point, a character apparently gets drunk and drives his car off a cliff. They never find the body. Well until he inevitably comes back to save the day at any rate. He really doesn't save it, aside from helping to accompany Kenner's crack team. He has been feeding the US investigators information on the ELF camp, however.
Shown Their Work: Perhaps anticipating a lot of "he made it all up" from environmentalists, every fact Kenner expounds upon is supported by real life references and footnotes, which appear to be completely genuine.
Strawman Political: Replete with them, the most obvious one being the ELF-supporting celebrity that, at one point, believes a poverty-ridden third-world city is "in touch with nature". He gets eaten by cannibals, starting with getting his mouth torn out.
Take That: Potentially the ELF, though in an odd twist Crichton portrays them as significantly higher tech and better organized and funded than the real life version in order to justify having them as the antagonists.
The End of the World as We Know It: Again, the subject of the book. Additionally, the ELF tries to heighten awareness of Global Warming by using earthquake generators to cause a Tsunami that will damage America pretty badly.
This Loser Is You: Peter Evans, especially concerning his initial views over global warming.
Trivial Title: The title refers to the thesis that the U.S. government and the media are collaborating to keep the public in a near-constant panic, ensuring their continued power. This thesis was completely overshadowed (both in the novel, and in the Real Life media controversy surrounding the novel) by the secondary point that global warming in particular is just a hoax—the latest such hoax used to perpetuate the state of fear.
Villain Ball: Following people near the cavitation machines which are about to set off a tsunami and are vibrating quickly enough to smash you into itty-bitty pieces is not going to bode well for your face. Especially if you're dealing with a guy who knows kung-fu.
What Happened to the Mouse?: The two assassins working for the ELF, much bandied about in the intro and first half, after trying to befriend the main character and instead paralyzing the private detective spying on them, disappear.
Writer on Board: It's Crichton, to be sure. If you know his works, it should be obvious here.
Ye Goode Olde Days: Subverted. A popular environmental enthusiast says "that people who live closer to the earth, in their villages, surrounded by nature, that those people have a natural ecological sense and a feeling for the fitness of it all", that "village life is best and ecologically soundest", and "everyone in the world should live that way, and certainly, we should not be encouraging village people to industrialize." However, whenever he visits those areas, he stays in hotels.