Posted on | May 16, 2014 | 59 Comments
Definition of intellectual: Someone who presumes to judge, outside the field of their own expertise, who qualifies as an “expert”:
Florida’s Sen. Marco Rubio came under attack this week for refusing to submit to scientific authority. “I do not believe that human activity is causing these dramatic changes to our climate the way these scientists are portraying it,” he said in an interview with Jonathan Karl.
Nonscientist Ruth Marcus, writing for the Washington Post, declared that Rubio’s words “undermine his other assertion,” namely “that he is prepared to be president.” Juliet Lapidos, also lacking in scientific expertise, went so far as to assert, in a New York Times blog post, that Rubio had “disqualified himself” from the presidency. . . .
[T]hey’re entirely typical of the genre of global-warmist opinion journalism, in which ignorant journalists taunt politicians for their ignorance but have no argument beyond an appeal to authority. . . .
Appeals to authority aren’t necessarily fallacious, except in the realm of formal deductive logic, where they entail adopting the unfounded premise that the authority is infallible. . . .
Read the whole thing. Conservatives are often accused of being “anti-intellectual” for the very reason that we are suspicious of the kind of “expertise” which demands that we accept tendentious claims without criticism, skepticism or dissent. But our skepticism toward climate-change doomsayers is not a reflection of conservative ignorance — quite the opposite. There is a well-established pattern, dating back to the 19th century (if not earlier) of erroneous “consensus” among self-appointed scientific “experts,” and it is our knowledge of this pattern — repeat, knowledge, not ignorance — that leads us to be skeptical of global-warming Chicken Little prophecies.
The sky is (probably) not falling. Earth’s atmosphere is (probably) large enough to absorb anthropogenic CO2 emissions without catastrophic damage. The result of global warming will (probably) not resemble any of the doomsayers’ predictions, and it is entirely possible that the global warming trend is not actually anthropogenic, but is instead mostly the result of normal variation in Earth’s temperatures. Inaccuracy in measurement, misguided computer modeling, flawed theories and other methodological errors (probably) explain most or all of the “science” that claims we are hurtling toward an impending man-made climate disaster.
Conservatives skeptical of climate-change doomsaying should not let themselves be bullied by arrogant “experts,” nor by the naive “intellectual” apostles of this Chicken Little cult.