Addendum to The Evidence

A few days ago, I returned to the issue of climate alarmism, using as my kick-off point the predictable public and media response to the recent unusually severe rainy season in Korea, where I live. As I noted then, it was all but impossible here, for a few wet weeks, to mention the rain in any context without being met immediately by a stock reply as invariable as the hypnopaedic wisdom reflexively spouted in answer to any triggering topic by the citizens of the World State in Brave New World.

So imagine my amusement, followed quickly by my wistfulness, when I happened to note this morning that just recently, a 2022 Nobel Prize-winning physicist, John Clauser, spoke at an event in Seoul, and used much of his keynote address, which was supposed to inspire young scientists and engineers, to explain how the current pseudo-scientific chatter on climate change does not live up to the standards of proper scientific inquiry, and how its allegedly persuasive data would easily be dismissed by anyone properly trained in data analysis and sufficiently skeptical about propaganda and public perceptions. 

Talk about walking into the lion’s den! Poor Dr. Clauser, an elderly man of accomplishment reaching out to young scientific researchers on a basis of “just-between-us” sincerity, oblivious, I presume, to the fact that South Korea is a nation thoroughly and almost uniformly devoted to the political pieties of climate change, rather than to the open-minded investigation of facts and the rational refusal to rush to compliant judgment. And oblivious to the particularly inapt timing of his remarks here, which were sure to be met with uncomprehending alarm by almost all hearers. 

Then again, the phrase “almost all hearers” may hint at an important point. After all, in an age of monolithic media, in which political consensus is routinely and systematically passed off as truth, what can anyone hope for, beyond the chance to reach one or two people, most likely young ones, who by some miracle are still able to be energized by the call to assert their independent intellects in defiance of the artificial and indoctrinated certainties being sprayed at them like sleeping gas by every kind of public authority. If Clauser was so fortunate as to reach one or two such young people in his keynote address in Seoul, then should we not deem that victory enough, given all the weight of money and power stacked against him? And against anyone willing to put his reputation and career on the line by humbly accepting the ignominious mantle of “climate denier” in the name of a personal commitment to goals higher than fancy speaking engagements, and goods nobler than being officially approved and accepted by today’s right-thinking gatekeepers. 

Good for Dr. John Clauser. “The unexamined life is not worth living,” said Socrates at his trial, speaking to a jury about to vote to condemn him for seeking unpopular and impious truth. A growing number of highly accomplished scientists are showing a similar kind of pride and principle today on the issue of climate change, faced with a global jury prepared to shut down their careers and smear their good names. Let us admire them for it.

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