Friday, June 02, 2017

Conditioned to trust the system

Now that Trump has "withdraw" from the Paris accords, we will constantly be hearing the argument from authority by global warming alarmists. How we should automatically defer to the "experts" on global warming. In that regard, here's an instructive anecdote:

Dead birds. As Ralph Nader walked under the trees, he noticed dead birds.

And not just one or two. There were more than a dozen of them spread around the ground under the trees and on the sidewalk. What was doing on?

Nader knew someone regularly sprayed pesticides to kill insects on the trees at Princeton University, where he was then a student. He had watched men in trucks with big tanks of liquid chemicals pull out huge hoses and shoot streams of spray up at the trees.

"Sometimes students were sprayed going to and from classes," Nader says. "I remember getting sprayed with the stuff myself."

But what about the birds?

"They weren't mutilated," he says. "It was pretty easy to put things together and conclude that their deaths probably were caused by the spray, which I knew contained the chemical DDT. I decided to take a couple of the birds up to the school newspaper to let them know they should look into it."

When Nader arrived, he found a reporter on the paper leaning back in his chair with his feet propped on his desk. The reporter was not interested when Nader showed him the dead birds and told and him of his discovery. In fact, he acted bothered by Nader's intrusion into his office.

"Listen," he bluntly informed Nader. "We have some of the best chemistry and biology professors in the nation here. They're smart, all right? If there was a problem with DDT, don't you think they would've figured it out?"

"Look what it's obviously done to these birds," Nader replied. "You don't think it might be harmful to people, too?"

After the reporter waved him off, Nader wrote a letter to the editor for publication in the school newspaper. But the editor refused to run the letter, even after Nader went back and argued with him.

"I learned then that you can have very smart people around, but if they are not interested in finding out what might be going on–or are simply busy with their own research or consulting–things can get missed. Important things," Nader says. "It was a perfect example of what people will take for granted if they've been conditioned to trust the system". Kevin Graham, Ralph Nader: Battling for Democracy (2000), chap. 7. 

No comments:

Post a Comment