As the new school year gets underway, here’s some reflection on what may be the current atmosphere of the academic scientific community.
Certain campus professors and theoreticians have cast their lofty claims of climate catastrophe out of the comfort of the credulous classroom and faculty lounge and on to the critical community of the wary general public. The result: substantial resistance.
Many campus scientists are dismayed at what they see as unreasonable skepticism of the scientific establishment and the denial of the edifice of scientific facts that include disastrous global warming resulting from excessive human carbon emissions. In the coming decades, such emissions will apparently doom the planet, according to some high-level sources.
Step off campus and confident predictions of climate calamity are confronted by the world of reality where there are no safe spaces. The reverberations from the college echo chamber are damped by wide-open reality.
Antics, such as marches on Washington for ostensibly protecting scientific integrity, only serve to accent the politics and juvenility involved with modern scientific practice. When you don’t get your way, stomp your feet in unison and shout slick slogans to get the attention of the authorities who distribute your allowance. But, oftentimes that allowance ultimately flows from the taxpayers who are suspicious of grandiose claims.
Popular economist Thomas Sowell observed in his book “Intellectuals and Society” that the population at large “may have vastly more total knowledge — in the mundane sense — than the elites, even if that knowledge is scattered in individually unimpressive fragments among the vast numbers of people” That total knowledge translates into practicality from common experience and common sense.
And, the more knowledge brought to bear on complex challenges such as the connection between human greenhouse gas emissions and long term climate change, the better. After all, society’s problems in general boil down to two conditions ignorance and arrogance. Ignorance, because complete understanding of a situation cannot usually be known; and, arrogance because we think we have complete understanding. This is especially true of future reality.
Those who believe they have all the answers and that it’s the duty of the rest of us to trust them are woefully self-deluded.