As some here with long memories may recall, I lived among you years ago, taught some of you in school, and stained these pages with my turgid prose as well from time to time.
My wife and I now have the honor of attending to the health and welfare of a secluded and snowed in Idaho hunting lodge this winter. We were relaxing yesterday afternoon (As I think about it, we relax every afternoon.) and heard the growing sound of snowmachine engines. Soon we were treated to the company of two gentlemen who were out for a long ride in the winter woods. They were very pleasant to deal with, one a young man who was taking his first deep forest ride and the other an established Idaho contractor who radiated financial success.
As they were leaving, standing beside their high-speed modern gasoline powered steeds, the subject of Climate Change was raised. (I must admit it almost always finds its way into any conversation I am part of as soon as I can find an opening. Really, given what anyone can know with a small amount of study, what else is there to talk about?) Our businessman said quickly, ‘I don’t think there is anything to worry about.’ Reflexively I replied, ‘You are wrong. One thing about science, it’s true whether or not one believes it.’
He seemed unaccustomed to being told directly that he was wrong about anything.
THAT is what organized superstition has given us. Peter Pan has contributed the same nonsense, the idea that if one believes strongly enough, what one believes becomes true. That is intellectually and rationally indefensible nonsense! It is not even defendable to teach children such a philosophy!
We have a candidate attempting to gain a seat in the United States House of Representatives from the state of Wyoming who just said, Climate Change is based on ‘junk science.’ Another of the many reasons to think America’s day is over is the fact that such an individual is permitted to speak such nonsense to the general public and not be shouted down.
In modern Germany a person faces criminal penalties if they deny the Holocaust or display any NAZI paraphernalia. The reason is that Germany, a sensible country, has learned that such political and historical poison is a form of social cancer. Another form of social cancer is allowing, in the name of free speech, people to express what is known to be incorrect over the public media without challenge.
We have passed through the place where we could tolerate stupidity on the subject of Climate Change. Sadly, we may have passed through the time when we had any chance to do anything to save the biosphere because we have permitted venal and stupid people to mislead our fellows.