Berean Jeff Haymond wrote a blog yesterday which overlapped my blog, but you should read both. His is broader. Mine focuses on the global climate change issue.
A recent Rasmussen poll indicates that 27% of Democrats surveyed favor prosecuting those who do not agree with global warming. Here is the question from the Rasmussen Report of November 9-10, 2015:
2* Should the government investigate and prosecute scientists and others including major corporations who question global warming?
To be sure, 68% said the dissenters should not be prosecuted. But nearly 30% is in a sense mind-boggling in the United States.
Now I thought science was a free inquiry with peer review designed to prevent fraud in the methodology, but not governmental intervention to guarantee only a favored outcome. Apparently some people believe the state’s power should be used to do just that—to stifle dissent. Man-made climate change as a major factor in environmental degradation is by no means “settled science.” The reigning paradigm is of course that it does exist and that it does make a major difference. But as we ought to know (see Thomas Kuhn, The Structure of Scientific Revolutions) paradigms shift. And if some authority intervenes to force the reigning paradigm on everyone, only then will it generally persist. Witness the “Galileo Affair” of the early 17th century (not that Galileo’s argument was all that good either, as he wanted to interpret Scripture his own way and would always err away from it if in his mind it contradicted his particular paradigm—he happened to be correct on this one).
So what has happened? It appears totalitarianism has found a safe haven among a sub-set of liberals, not the majority, but all too many. Nearly 30% is a lot of people. And for what? They seem oblivious to the fact that man-made global climate change is only a theory based on models rooted in unreliable past figures (as I have shown in an earlier blog). Somehow they have been convinced that this theory is absolute and unchallengeable fact.
Some commenters on this blog may be tempted to write off my comments, convinced that climate change is man-made and threatens our very existence. But I remind them that even if they hold that view, they should not sympathize with those whom would legally punish dissenters. The Galileo Affair is instructive. Those who would argue for prosecution of climate dissenters would ironically have absolved Galileo from his dissent. They might argue in defense that Galileo was “right” but that was not determined at the time and not accepted by many, including church authorities. Moreover it should be interesting to climate change advocates that it was the church that did prosecute dissenters. Today’s advocates would condemn that, but it is exactly what they want to do in 30% of those Democrats polled. I call that totalitarianism.