Hard to Keep Good Scientists Down

On the heels of a rare entry on global warming comes this (via Kurzweil):

When politicians and journalists declare that the science of global warming is
settled, they show a regrettable ignorance about how science works. We were
treated to another dose of it recently when the experts of the
Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change issued the Summary for
Policymakers that puts the political spin on an unfinished scientific
dossier on climate change due for publication in a few months’ time. They
declared that most of the rise in temperatures since the mid-20th century is
very likely due to man-made greenhouse gases.

While I agree that most politicians and journalists are certainly ignorant about how science works, I don’t see that as causal. It’s actually a tool. They strive to ignore honest inquiry (evade reality), because the "value" they are acting for is not honesty, integrity, or truth. And what better way to exploit the ignorance in others than to develop a keen insight into how such ignorance functions to
generate rationalizations (dishonesties and evasions) within one’s self?

You can apply this same line of analysis to whole hosts of things.
There’s nothing special about global warming. Generally, the value
that’s being acted for is some form of effortless, risk-free, and
comfortable existence (unearned, unreal, illusory, and ultimately
boring). Global warming is merely one of hundreds of social and
political issues that afford those primarily seeking opportunities to retire
from the reality of living a human life, a means of leverage — and such
leverage is always expressed in terms of "ethics," but in
complete reality and context,
is the exact opposite. Of course
ironically — but surely not surprisingly — those with the real
opportunity to retire from most or all of life’s typical requirements
— because they acted for values that truly benefit others and were
rewarded — are the least likely to do so. The result? Bitter,
spit-spewing envy and hatred toward those who refuse to settle down;
who instead, continue to produce and to have values heaped upon them in
abundance. Yes, dear
reader: from where I sit, most of what you believe is ethical and moral
in a political context (and strangely enough: probably hardly anyplace else), I judge as utterly evil. How can that be?

The world is awash in people who are very busy, but rather than
being busy creating and producing values for which others will reward
them bountifully, they occupy themselves in various forms of
parasitism. The cleverest, of course, are able to mask their true
destructiveness by means of plundering only enough to hamper growth
(opportunity cost), but not enough to "seriously harm," or kill. In
this way, whole classes
of parasites in government, bureaucracy, regulatory agency, ivory-tower
education, information media, legal profession,
political activism, and elsewhere are able to exist by sucking their
sustenance from
the very things they attack. And, fundamentally, they only ever attack
one single thing: they attack all forms of private, capitalist productivity, from a
personal level right up to the largest mega-corporation.

It is a fantastically successful strategy. Think about it. Ten
thousand years ago, when the invention and development of agriculture
gave rise to plunder, thieving was probably a pretty meager existence,
because those whom you could plunder must remain healthy enough to keep
producing, so that you can continue to eat yourself. But could a
village of 100 people sustain 100 thieves? Doubtful. They probably
could not have come within a tenth of that while feeding themselves,
livestock, and surviving what nature threw at them. But today, we
approach levels where over half the population is supported by various
means of plunder against the other half, and the whole classes of
"brokers" in this operation (see laundry list above) make off with
billions in "transaction fees." And all they had to do was create ignorance through illusion and
exploit the envy, rationalization, and evasion that was sure to follow.

But there is something unique about environmentalism as a tool of
plunder, as apart from, say, socialism. Unless we all go completely
mad, then at the end of the day, people are going to expect to be
presented with factual scientific data. Unlike socialism, where natural
feelings of compassion for other human beings goes a long, long way toward
being able to mask reality with clever illusion, you can rely only so far upon compassion for
"the planet." It’s just not quite the same. Those who read Michael Crichton’s State of Fear
may remember some humorous dialog amongst environmentalists, formerly
activists of a different sort, lamenting about how much harder it is to
get people to care.

I also tend to think that so long as the environmental movement
appears relatively contained from the perspective of your average
honest scientist, he’s going to be perfectly happy leaving people to
their fantasies and delusions. After all, he’s been doing it all his
life; he’s used to ignorance about science and doesn’t get worked up
over it anymore, or that’s all he’d ever do. But then things reach a
critical mass, and I’m sure that nothing is more irritating for a good,
honest scientist but to read and hear all over the news that he, as a
scientist, is in consensus over "scientific conclusions" that cannot possibly be
called "scientific."

So, if you look around, there might be a bit of a backlash brewing.
If so, not a moment too soon. Perhaps Zamizdata will document the inquisition that’s certain to rise up should all this heresy in denying The Received Truth continue unabated.

Richard Nikoley

I'm Richard Nikoley. Free The Animal began in 2003 and as of 2021, contains 5,000 posts. I blog what I wish...from health, diet, and food to travel and lifestyle; to politics, social antagonism, expat-living location and time independent—while you sleep—income. I celebrate the audacity and hubris to live by your own exclusive authority and take your own chances. Read More

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