Ceasing to think

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by Jim Bertram

An article I read in these pages last week recalled to mind words written long ago, somewhat before my time, despite my admittedly considerable age. While they were written so long ago by the Roman poet, Horace, they are still pertinent today. Horace said: “Men cease to think when they think they know it all.”

The article in question attacked the notion that questions should be asked about the federal government’s carbon tax policy, among other things. Apparently, apprehensions and questions about the impact on disposable family income, now and in the future as this policy evolves, are not to be tolerated by the climate cognoscenti who, by definition, know it all. How foolish of us lesser mortals to allow ourselves to be lured into questioning by the apparently awful class of beings known as conservatives, whom the author casually castigates, almost literally, as intellectual knuckle draggers. Gosh. And I thought the pain in my knuckles was entirely due to arthritis!

Unfortunately, the entire article was a litany of insults and innuendo, purporting to prove that those who question the wisdom of profligate government spending and the ever greater extension of government’s power into our daily lives through policies like the carbon tax are just not with it intellectually. At no point does the article even suggest the whisper of a question as to the rock solidity of the assertions of the writer, or the possibility that those outside the writer’s political “club” might deserve to be heard. That is where the quote I have presented above comes into play.

It is also worthwhile to note that the so-called “settled science” on Global Warming- cum Climate Change is challenged by numerous highly qualified practitioners in various fields of science at this time. A partial list of scientists who ask highly pertinent questions on the Global Warming file follows: www.climatescienceinternational.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=289.

As for myself, well, I have questions as well in this area and others. And before I am ready to commit economic mayhem in this country and risk serious long-term damage to our country’s economic underpinnings, I want conclusive answers to those questions. I don’t want to make far-reaching decisions based on politicized science. I want to know that social and economic policies of immense proportions and imposing serious costs to society are being taken in the actual and incontrovertible best interest of my country and its people.

And my questions will not be deterred by those who shriek epithets and impugn my intelligence, or that of others who share my concerns. I would invite those who do not share my questions to explain their point(s) of view to me in a civilised manner, and be willing to hear mine. And, finally, if they are not willing to do so, they should not wonder at the lack of dialogue among us. Really, let’s not stop thinking folks. Hard as it may be for some to accept, there is still a lot for all of us to learn. I’m not the only one who doesn’t know it all.

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