The Clear Thinking blog is on hiatus and will return with new posts on July 18, 2011. Meanwhile, please enjoy this re-post of the “Dissecting progressive arrogance” series.
By Chuck Rogér
Progressive Arrogance 101
Main Learning: The ability to role model
- ideological zealotry
- an utter disregard for fact and logic
- the gullibility to swallow other zealots’ twists of fact and logic
- ignorance of the scientific method
- self-righteous preachiness
- and a superior attitude
in as few as two compact sentences, all the while impersonating an enlightened academic sage.
Course Instructor: Patrick Caffrey, Ph.D., Associate Professor of History specializing in Asian history, World Environmental History, and European Civilization at Washington & Jefferson College in Washington, Pennsylvania.
In a Washington area newspaper letter to the editor, Professor Caffrey writes:
What do the unfolding nuclear tragedy in Japan and our refusal to address global warming have in common? Both are rooted in the willful disregard of science.
Caffrey then spends the next 316 words weaving flawed argument after flawed argument into a tapestry of fallacy and illogic in which the professor not only sounds the usual global alarmist siren of “catastrophic,” human-caused warming of the “global climate,” but also manages to drag in utterly unrelated points. Caffrey uses the non-sequiturs to imply that killing jobs supported by “[e]normous coal and oil deposits” would “strengthen us as a nation[.]” Then after offering up additional non-sequiturs, Caffrey finally arrives at his true objective: to promote an upcoming talk in which a “medical professor” committed to “saving lives” will discuss the dangers presented by “global warming.”
Ross points out that Americans have come to distrust
…the self-promoting Luddites in lab coats brandishing a flurry of politically-motivated studies to hamper progress and return us to some make-believe idyllic time when the only harmful gasses came from the back end of cows.
Let’s let Ross carry this post through to conclusion.
It’s difficult these days to distinguish honest scientists searching for the truth from those who manipulate data to achieve their desired results. The real “disregard for science” comes from populists like Sagan, Dawkins and Ehrlich. How many times must we suffer anti-science like the Piltdown Man, the Michael Mann fiasco, DDT, the Day After Tomorrow and the rest of the “academic” hoaxes and Hollywood fictions? I can understand the writer’s frustration as he sees Americans increasingly unwilling to offer obeisance to academics that chant “fairness,” “open-mindedness,” and “inclusivity” while shouting down views opposing their leftist ideology. Watch the documentary “Expelled” to see this bias in action.
We’re told that “the science is settled on man-made global warming,” but a visit to the website http://www.petitionproject.org/ shows that 31,000 scientists (over 9,000 with Ph.D.s) don’t agree that the science is settled. The men and women at the Petition Project are dismissed by the ecology priests not for their methods but for their sacrilegious challenge to the gospel of anthropogenic global warming.
If Caffrey and his fellow warmists believe that “excessive fossil fuel emissions” will be the demise of the planet, and that eliminating this devil will solve a myriad of ecological problems, then they should immediately stop using anything made of or produced by coal, oil, gas or any petroleum product or by-product. Until that time, I remain skeptical of their anti-oil hysteria.
The question here is not whether climate changes, we all know it does (ever heard of the ice age?); the question is whether it is caused by, and can be manipulated by, man’s activities. And, if we can manipulate it, to what end would we be striving?
Don Ross welcomes your emails at email@example.com .