In a comment yesterday, Joe L wrote:
There appears to be a concerted effort to demonize vaping which exploded in recent weeks.
Not being a vaper, I don’t pay much attention to vaping news, so I’ll simply take his word for this. But it prompted the thought that there seems to be a concerted effort currently under way in multiple directions.
After all, we’ve been also seeing a concerted effort, with Extinction Rebellion and Greta Thunberg, to push the climate change agenda back to the centre of public attention, after languishing in the doldrums for the past few years.
At the same time, after having got nowhere with the Mueller investigation, a whole series of new attacks are being launched on Donald Trump, with shadowy “whistleblowers” emerging to accuse him of applying pressure to Ukraine to investigate Joe Biden and his son Hunter Biden’s dodgy dealings there, and Nancy Pelosi launching an “impeachment” inquiry about it. Add to that mounting rumours that Hillary Clinton is going to enter the 2020 presidential race.
And then of course there’s Brexit, with increasingly desperate attempts being made in recent weeks in the UK parliament and courts to prevent it from happening.
Add it all up, and it looks like a concerted global attempt to get the faltering globalist project back on the track. The Empire is striking back.
All these various pushes seem to have the character of propaganda wars, and to all be advancing one new lie or other:
1) E-cigarettes cause cancer.
2) We’ve only got 11 years to do something about climate change.
3) Rep. Adam Schiff seems to have simply made stuff up about what Donald Trump said to the Ukrainian president.
4) A No Deal Brexit would be a catastrophe.
It’s all scaremongering and lies.
Unless, of course, you believe it all.
And it all comes down to what you believe, or who you believe. In the past, most people believed in one religion or other. And now most people (in the developed world) believe in Science. They used to put their faith in bishops and priests, but now they put their faith in doctors and scientists and experts. And that’s just as much a belief system as any religion. It entails believing what you’re told by some authority figure.
What happens when that trust ebbs away? I never had much faith in bishops and priests, but I have increasingly little faith in doctors and scientists and experts. They all seem to be simply making stuff up, just like Adam Schiff. They’re no longer trying to discover truth, but instead to use their prestige to get people to believe them, and do what they tell them to do.
My response is (to try) to think for myself. Perhaps that’s the only possible response in a world in which trustworthy authorities have largely vanished. You’re on your own. You’ve only got your own judgement available to you.
This isn’t new. This sort of large scale loss of faith and trust happened during the Reformation circa 1500, when large numbers of Protestants started disbelieving the Pope in Rome, some even believing that he was a satanic figure. And these Protestants started thinking for themselves, and in doing so they fractured into hundreds, perhaps even thousands, of rival sects, as much at war with each other as they were with Rome. And now we’re seeing the same thing happening with the Church of Science.
In my own case, thinking for myself about climate change has resulted in me building dynamic heat flow models of ice ages – because I used to build heat flow models of buildings 40 years ago. And I’ve come up with my own new Theory Of Ice Ages (Brief outline: During glacial periods thick snow on the surface of the Earth makes the underlying socks slowly warm up over thousands of years, and eventually melt the overlying snow, after which the rocks rapidly cool down during the subsequent brief interglacial period, allowing snow to again settle on them and and repeat the cycle.) However, climate scientists seem oblivious to this idea, and so it’s a new heresy. But it’s exactly the sort of thing that one should expect to see when people stop trusting experts and start thinking for themselves. They’ll come up with their own ideas just like the Protestants in 1500 came up with their own interpretations of the Bible. So I’m a modern-day Shaker or Quaker or Ranter. And, still greater heresy, I’ve come to believe that Global Warming is a Good Thing, because it might just delay or prevent the onset of the otherwise inevitable next Ice Age. How terrible! Don’t be too surprised if I get my head chopped off, because chopping people’s heads off is the one sure way of stopping people thinking for themselves.
But I expect to see lots and lots of people thinking for themselves about not just climate change, but everything else as well. They’re going to be forced to think for themselves. And they’ll come up with all sorts of outlandish ideas. A whole forest of them is going to spring up.
But that’s how science works. Science advances when people start thinking for themselves, rather than blindly following authorities. As Feynman said: “Science is the belief in the ignorance of experts.” Isaac Newton was just thinking for himself. And so were Copernicus and Galileo and Kepler. And they were all thinking for themselves because the authoritative structure of the world in which they were living was coming apart, and they had to do their own thinking, in the exact same way that sailors who leap off a sinking ship into the sea have to do their own swimming.