Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Truth Irrelevant

Readers of this blog know that my masthead contains the following quote from Ayn Rand's essay "The Establishing of an Establishment" from the book Philosophy: Who Needs It:

"Governmental encouragement does not order men to believe that the false is true, it merely makes them indifferent to the issue of truth or falsehood."-Ayn Rand.

Although she was writing about government encouragement of the arts, that principle is valid regarding any government encouragement of market activities. Not only is it true as regards the arts but it's true of education and science and health care as well. We can see this principle at work in the so-called global warming "scientific" debate. A bonanza of examples exists in a series of articles called The Deniers part 1 thru 10 by Lawrence Solomon in the Canadian paper National Post.

For example, in part one "Statistics needed" Mr Solomon writes about the findings of Dr. Edward Wegman who was asked to lead a team of statisticians to examine the infamous "hockey-stick" graph of Michael Mann . Mr. Solomon writes:

**While Wegman's advice -- to use trained statisticians in studies reliant on statistics -- may seem too obvious to need stating, the "science is settled" camp resists it. Mann's hockey-stick graph may be wrong, many experts now acknowledge, but they assert that he nevertheless came to the right conclusion. To which Wegman, and doubtless others who want more rigorous science, shake their heads in disbelief. As Wegman summed it up to the energy and commerce committee in later testimony: "I am baffled by the claim that the incorrect method doesn't matter because the answer is correct anyway. Method Wrong + Answer Correct = Bad Science." With bad science, only true believers can assert that they nevertheless obtained the right answer.**
Shades of Dan Rather? Truth is irrelevant.

In pt. 2 Mr. Solomon tells of Richard S.J. Tol's critique of the recent "Stern Report" by economist Sir Nicholas Stern. "Because of his immense reputation, the Stern report itself relied on Tol's work in coming to its conclusions. But Sir Nicholas twisted Tol's work out of shape to arrive at unsupportable conclusions."
This is shades of Rachel Carson who twisted DeWitt's findings to make it look like DDT was causing egg-shell thinning. Truth doesn't matter.

In pt. 3 we see NOAA hurricane scientist Chris Landsea resigning from the IPCC because his findings were misrepresented to the media by his boss Kevin Trenberth who declared that there was evidence that global warming was causing more hurricanes even though the evidence didn't exist.
Truth is a non-essential.

All ten of these reports are examples of this indifference to truth. What is taking the place of truth as the ultimate goal? Well for some it is a hatred of capitalism and a desire to bring about the UN goal of "sustainable development" which means a return to the life style of the primitive. For others it's just a quest for money or fame or maybe just fear of not pleasing the powers that hand out the money, parasites feeding on the dying body. In the same essay Ayn Rand writes:

"Most men are quick to sense whether truth does or does not matter to their superiors. The atmosphere of cautious respect for the recipients of undeserved grants awarded by a mysterious governmental power, rapidly spreads the conviction that truth does not matter because merit does not matter, that something takes precedence over both." (Her em) (p-170)

What is that something? How does it work? She elaborates on this in another essay called "An Untitled Letter" in the same book: "It is a conspiracy, not of men, but of basic premises--and the power directing it is logic: if, at the desperate stage of a losing battle, some men point to a road logically necessitated by their basic premises, those who share the premises will rush to follow." (P-103)

Who are those rushing to follow? It is those who have been told of contrary evidence and ignore it. It is those who use words like denier or skeptic to silence and discredit contrary facts. And it is those who appeal to authority instead of reality. It is the IPCC who produce Summarys that do not accurately reflect what the scientists wrote in the actual Assesment Reports. It is most of the media who choose not to report these discrepancies thusly misleading all their readers. It is NGOs who have no use for mankind and are just hating the good for being the good. It is someone like meteorologist Heidi Cullen who wants to decertify all those in her profession who disagree with the GW dogma. And Dave Roberts who wants Nuremberg trials for everyone who doesn't work for Heidi. And Sen Henry Waxman who doesn't want the government to oversee the reports of other government agencies but says nothing when the IPCC bureaucrats make changes to the 1996 Assesment Report section 8 behind the scientists' backs, to change the meaning of the words.

What are those basic premises? The biggest one is that sacrifice is virtuous which means to suffer which means that if you are not suffering you can't be virtuous which means you must be evil and must be destroyed. Since capitalism produces people who are generally happy, smiling, about 20 lbs. overweight, driving SUV's, planning for their futures... wait, this can't be an acceptable image of sacrificial suffering and virtue can it? Not according to the morality of altruism. In fact it is precisely this image that is denounced and hated by all the intellectuals and many plain folks around the world. Overweight is denounced as an obesity epidemic, SUVs are polluters, amassing wealth to secure a good future is condemned as hoarding or greed, getting a good education is being priveleged and all of these thing are said to be manifestations of selfishness which everyone is told is evil.

Nothing is going to change I fear, until people realize that only a non-sacrficial way of life can provide man with a right to life, liberty, property and the pursuit of happiness and all the benefits these make possible. Objectivism does just that.

(For more info on the book Philosophy: Who Needs It go here.)
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