24 February 2011

Wisdom and Knowledge

"Wisdom and knowledge shall be the stability of thy times."
This is the inscription above the entrance to 30 Rockefeller Place. I made the quip
"okay, we're screwed." We appear to be in a time of collective denial of the systems of knowledge that we have developed. I appreciate skepticism. It allows us to question received wisdom and the distortion of facts. Skepticism has lead to the development of the scientific method and peer review. It provides for regulatory oversight and third party verification. It gives us a way to trust.

But how to explain Virginia Attorney General Cuccinelli? http://www.nytimes.com/2011/02/23/science/earth/23virginia.html?_r=1&ref=science. The science of climate analysis is incredibly robust. It has sustained repeated assault with no evidence of wrong doing. It is minutely reviewed. Yet, there are no calls for senate or congressional hearings. Faith has replaced knowledge. Cleverness has replaced wisdom. Cucccinelli I fear is pursuing this for cynical and self-serving reasons. Why others less intelligent and informed than he abandon wisdom and knowledge I have more sympathy for: it forms the basis of their way of life. To believe that we are permanently damaging the global environment through our daily actions is hard to accept, especially when we cannot see any effect - CO2 is invisible.

I can only pray for reason to return.

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