I like Ike

May 25, 2009

ike
You might remember the famous warning about “the military industrial complex” that President Eisenhower expressed when leaving office:

But yet this quote from that same speech is largely ignored:

Akin to, and largely responsible for the sweeping changes in our industrial-military posture, has been the technological revolution during recent decades.

In this revolution, research has become central, it also becomes more formalized, complex, and costly. A steadily increasing share is conducted for, by, or at the direction of, the Federal government.

Today, the solitary inventor, tinkering in his shop, has been overshadowed by task forces of scientists in laboratories and testing fields. In the same fashion, the free university, historically the fountainhead of free ideas and scientific discovery, has experienced a revolution in the conduct of research. Partly because of the huge costs involved, a government contract becomes virtually a substitute for intellectual curiosity. For every old blackboard there are now hundreds of new electronic computers.

The prospect of domination of the nation’s scholars by Federal employment, project allocations, and the power of money is ever present – and is gravely to be regarded.

Is it just me or does “global warming” research follow this pattern?

Bjorn Lomborg (my favorite Dane) has an excellent piece in the WSJ on the subject. His main point:

We are told that very expensive carbon regulations are the only way to respond to global warming, despite ample evidence that this approach does not pass a basic cost-benefit test. We must ask whether a “climate-industrial complex” is emerging, pressing taxpayers to fork over money to please those who stand to gain.

Advertisements

9 Responses to “I like Ike”

  1. kate Says:

    The question, for me, is who to trust? I go with the Union of Concerned Scientists.

    But I don’t go with an overwhelming sense of understanding or trust.

    And I’m bummed about it.

    But I’m bummed about a lot of things…

  2. John in IL Says:

    The thing to remember about the UCS is that it is not a group of scientists but an advocacy group. I could join the UCS if I wanted to. To be fair, I think that some of their goals are admirable but disagree with them in support of the current global warming bill. You are a reasonable person. Do you think a tenth of a degree reduction in world temperature is really worth trillions of dollars?

    For a better understanding of the money involved, check out anything by economist Bjorn Lomberg (a believer in global warming). So much more good can be done to help the poor than this load of crap we are being sold.

    As far as global warming science goes, read anything by scientists John Christy, Richard Lindzen (who both were contributors to the UN IPCC report) or Roger Pielke (Sr). They all accept climate change as a fact but have legitimate arguments with the “science is settled”/UCS crowd.

    You can be an environmentalist and be concerned for the poor without supporting wrongheaded and terribly costly legislation.

  3. John in IL Says:

    And I think I owe you a picture.

  4. superdave524 Says:

    The Eisenhower “military-industrial complex” speech is a classic, and I appreciate the thought that went into this (the Dane’s and yours). The best way to reduce carbon emissions isn’t expensive at all: consume less fossil fuel. Didn’t the first oil crises give us, “is this trip really necessary”?

  5. John in IL Says:

    The best way to reduce carbon emissions isn’t expensive at all: consume less fossil fuel.

    Nonsense. Reducing carbon emissions will be expensive no matter what. Non carbon sources of energy are expensive and inefficient sources of energy.

  6. superdave524 Says:

    I’m not talking about alternative sources of energy (though I think that also is a good idea), I’m talking about using less energy. Walk or ride a bike to work instead of driving. Consolidate errands when you’ve got to drive. Or, yes, inflate your tires a little more. Simple stuff that could help a lot.

  7. John in IL Says:

    I’m talking about using less energy. Walk or ride a bike to work instead of driving. Consolidate errands when you’ve got to drive. Or, yes, inflate your tires a little more.

    You don’t understand the world’s need for energy. You can’t conserve your way to more energy. You have to produce it.

  8. superdave524 Says:

    You mean, Like THIS?


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: