Day By Day

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Mad Science

Yet another reason to be frightened of the environmentalists and suspicious of scientific authority -- a lot of these guys are completely nuts.

According to Michael Valpy, writing in the Globe and Mail:

Yesterday’s climate-change worry: addiction to oil. Tomorrow’s climate-change worry: addiction to geo-engineering – the quickest, cheapest, most effective way of blocking global warming that is increasingly being embraced by fashionable proponents of fixing Earth.

To the University of Michigan’s Edward Parson, one of the world’s leading scholars on the politics of climate change, geo-engineering is raising the spectre of what he calls “nutty, delusional cheerleading,” a facile rush to trumpet a massive scientific rescue of the Earth from the doomsday scenario of rising temperatures.

Read it here.

"Nutty" and "delusional" are good terms to describe so much of the rhetoric and so many of the schemes issuing from the environmental left. Geo-engineering -- in this case pumping massive amounts of sulfur dioxide the atmosphere to cool it -- is as risky an enterprise as I can imagine, yet some "scientific authorities" not only speculate on, they actively endorse, such actions. Time and again we have seen scientists' pet projects result in unintended consequences. Now that they are dreaming on such a grand scale is that supposed to stop?

On the other hand, public advocacy of such lunatic schemes can only hasten the already marked decline of scientific authority. And that, as a famous criminal might say "is a good thing".


From the New York Post:

One fashionable notion among some of the intel ligentsia is that old peo ple have "a duty to die," rather than become a burden to others.

This is more than just an idea discussed around a seminar table. Already Britain's government-run medical system is restricting what medications or treatments it will authorize for the elderly. It seems almost certain that similar attempts to contain runaway costs will lead to similar policies when US medical care is taken over by the government.

Make no mistake: Letting old people die is a lot cheaper than spending the kind of money required to keep them alive and well. If a government-run medical system is going to save any serious amount of money, it is almost certain to do so by sacrificing the elderly.

There was a time when some desperately poor societies had to abandon old people to their fate, because there was just not enough margin for everyone to survive. Sometimes the elderly would simply go off to face their fate alone.

This is the kind of reaction you can expect when you allow intellectuals and scientists to speak in public. This is why throughout the West we see a [much lamented, but ultimately healthy] skepticism regarding elite pronouncements, and this is why a rigid wall of separation should be maintained between intellectuals and the formulation of public policy. Things that may seem perfectly plausible when presented in the narrow and seriously warped of the seminar rooms, the laboratories, and professional association meetings, but once they escape into the real world the demented moral implications they entail are evident for all to see.

No comments: