|Climategate: Are Scientists Trying to Take Over the World?|
|Tuesday, 15 December 2009 11:54 | Written by Justin Pot | Blog Entry|
Climate-change talks in Copenhagen are here, bringing the issue to the forefront of the media's attention. National Geographic pointed out how this decade changed global warming from an abstract concept into a clear and present threat, and also note that the past decade has been the hottest on record.
A recent move by the Obama administration gives the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) the right to limit carbon credits using existing laws, putting pressure on the Senate to pass its legislation quickly—but, as always, nothing's instant in America's political system. Expect climate legislation to be delayed at least as long as the healthcare bill.
The EPA, for its part, rightly argued that the recent climate-change email controversy changes nothing about the validity of the science backing climate-change legislation.
Certain segments of the media disagree with the EPA on this point, however. Rush Limbaugh recently claimed that climate scientists are just political hacks—that is, leftist ideologues who are only interested in using fear to change policy.
That's right: climate scientists made up an entire theory, and twisted decades worth of evidence, just to trick the world for political reasons. In case you aren't keeping up with Limbaugh's logic, the diabolical plan goes something like this:
Step 1 - Trick governments around the world into reducing carbon output.
Obvious idiocy aside, there's one vital flaw in this theory: If scientists actually wanted to take over the world, they would have done so a long time ago.
Scientists have no shortage of ways to hold world governments hostage using fear. Biologists could engineer a real-world Godzilla and threaten to destroy Tokyo; physicists could presumably take out most of Europe using the LHC; chemists could halt production on erectile dysfunction medication, quickly turning the largely over-60-and-male US Senate into a collection of obedient puppets. And don’t think they haven’t thought all these ideas through.
The problem with all such plans, however, is that afterward the scientists would have to actually rule the world. Doing that is not nearly as much fun as the work they're doing now. Politics is boring. If you're already a scientist, hard at work unraveling the mysteries of the universe, trivialities like politics will simply be of no interest to you.
I know this because my wife's a physicist. As I write this, she's in the other room studying concepts so cryptic that my brain physically hurts every time she tries to explain one to me. Her friends frequently come over to study with her, and I sit in the other room watching the news or playing video games while they work out the math behind the origin of the universe. If my wife wanted to be a real-world Peter Wiggin, it wouldn't take her all that long, but the prospect of all those political meetings would immediately turn her off to the idea
What scientists would never, ever do to take over the world is construct a fake theory from scratch and then argue for political change to avert catastrophe. There are easier ways and, anyway, no scientist wants to end up going to that many meetings and have to put up with that many politicians. To the average scientist, politicians are stupid and uninteresting, and all-around the sort of people who should be avoided.
Knowing this I ask you, Rush: Why would scientists do that much boring stuff just to convince the global community that the world's at risk? After all, if they wanted to, scientists could easily create actual threats with which to control us. They could destroy us on a whim, and we’d have no recourse.
Having said that... Merry Christmas, everyone! May our scientist overlords treat us kindly in the New Year.