Just Above Sunset Archives
January 4, 2004 Odds and Ends
Selected items from the daily weblog (blog) As seen from Just Above Sunset
Intellectual Life Out Here in Los Angeles (Pasadena, actually): Aliens from Outer Space
The California Institute
of Technology hosted this:
And it's not so outrageous. Here's how it opens.
My topic today sounds humorous but unfortunately I am serious. I am going to argue that
extraterrestrials lie behind global warming. Or to speak more precisely, I will argue that a belief in extraterrestrials
has paved the way, in a progression of steps, to a belief in global warming. Charting this progression of belief will
be my task today.
What Crichton is getting
at is that science should be at odds with public policy, in his view. Or it should be separate from
public policy. He reviews the history of extrapolating prediction from scientific findings into government policy.
It's kind of sad.
He wants to keep science "pure" - so to speak. I think he feels used. And that folks should be more careful.
You tell me you can predict the world of 2100. Tell me it's even worth thinking about. Our models just carry the present into the future. They're bound to be wrong. Everybody who gives a moment's thought knows it.
So, should we do nothing about global warming? He's not saying that. He's saying one doesn't know. But doing something couldn't hurt.