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How society gets locked in to obscurantism

Postgraduate Diploma in Energy and Environment (Global Warming & Climate Science)

Contribute Towards the Demise of Learning and Scholarship

Reading my favourite websites today, I stumbled upon an ad. for this educational experience at Murdoch University:

Advert for course in global warming

What's wrong with this picture?

Once upon a time, when the world was actually sane, they taught degrees about fields of study, not about foreordained conclusions.

For example, they might teach "Bachelor of Science (Geology)" not "Bachelor of Continental Drift); they taught "B.Sc. (Cosmology)", not "Bachelor of the Big Bang"; even in the humanities, always lax, they would title a degree, maybe, "Political Science", not "The Coming Third World War".

Now "Global Warming" is surely a summary for the assertion that humans are causing dangerous global warming by emission of CO2 (anthropogenic global warming - AGW). It can't be anything else. It isn't a field of study, it's an assertion of a factual claim. You can't study a degree in dragon-raising because (in this universe as opposed to Harry Potter's) dragon-raising doesn't exist. Offering a degree in global warming is an assertion that AGW exists. The text of the advert makes this perfectly clear:

You'll develop a strong understanding of energy policy, environmental impacts and methods of assessment and monitoring, with a particular focus on Greenhouse Gas (GHG) and global warming issues.

Now what's going to happen to these graduates, having spent lots of funds and gone into debt to pay fees, if the global warming theory is shown to be (as it is) pure rubbish?

Their degree will be worthless.

So none of those graduates will want the scam to be exposed, and, being human, they won't cynically lie about the matter, they'll instead subconsciously persuade themselves that the theory is true, no matter how much they have to warp their belief system or their ability to relate to reality. In other words, they will make themselves insane.

They have been paid for, bought, by their mistake in studying rubbish. The degree blurb holds out the hope of jobs conditional upon the rest of us continuing in our belief in the hoax:

Key employers may include:

  • Government agencies
  • Companies with GHG obligations
  • Active carbon trading companies
  • Policy stakeholders
  • Industry organisations

Only keeping the scam going will keep their own life on a sound financial footing; only maintaining the scam keeps them from admitting to themselves they wasted some years of their life.

And so, increasingly, society becomes locked into the scam. Just as medieval society was locked into Catholicism, with the educational sector, the belief system, the supply of 'salvation', and so on, all critically reliant upon the Church, so, today, are we in danger of complete social corruption as it becomes impossible for increasing numbers of individuals to ever think rationally or risk changing their views.

But that isn't the end of it. The entire conception of this degree is based on a logical confusion:

With the Australian government planning to introduce its Emission Trading Scheme in 2010, sustainable energy production has become as important to business and governments as it is to individuals.

Why the confounding of emissions and sustainability? The part of this sentence after the comma does not follow from the part before. Belief that CO2 is a dangerous emission is not in any sense logically equivalent to belief in the importance of sustainability. Indeed, they are (even accepting for argument's sake the faulty AGW theory) divergent, since making coal-fired power plants "clean" (i.e. burying the carbon dioxide plant food) takes more energy and makes increased demands upon non-renewable resources.

Even the most elementary logical thought is now beyond the scope of the academic planners at Murdock University. And they are far from the only ones to allow their intellects to fall so far.

Be concerned, be very concerned. This is a recipe for a new dark age.

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Re: How society gets locked in to obscurantism

Great post Ron. It often amazes me how people don't see the positive feedbacks that surround CAGW beliefs.

I have a degree in state intervention saves national economies!