My views on the ability of the average adult citizen to employ critical thinking skills have been sorely tested this morning.
As is my usual practice in the early hours of the day, I am at my desk with coffee and a smoke perusing online news sources with the tube on in the background tuned to one of the cable news channels. On this particular Saturday Fox News happens to be up and they are doing a small segment on global warming and the recently concluded fiasco in Copenhagen. Out of one ear I hear that as their “special guest expert” on such matters, the segment will feature “Bill Nye The Science Guy”.
If you are not familiar with BNTSG, he got his start here in the Seattle area explaining elementary science principles to children, first in a traveling road show to local schools and then later as a regional TV personality. The children apparently knew a condescending buffoon when they saw one as his clownish schtick of bow tied geekiness and exaggerated wide eyed fascination with the most simple science was met by any kid over the age of six with rolled eyes and muttered under the breath exclamations of “Seriously…what a dork”. Not one to let this rebuke stand in the way of his ambition of being to the scientist what Al Jolson was to African Americans, he started appearing more and more before adult audiences, who strangely lapped up his caricature of the scientist as a semi-retarded fool regurgitating conventional wisdom, culminating before me now in the surreal spectacle of his being brought forth as an “expert” on a news segment regarding AGW. Apparently to our media elite, science is so incomprehensible to us rubes that it must be presented to us by the equivalent of Soupy Sales in a lab coat rather than say a Richard Lindzen or Anthony Watts, or any number of scientists who could actually enlighten us on the subject. Sadly, upon watching the antics of the warmalists and the “science” with which they base their clearly religious beliefs, I fear that these elites may be correct in their assumptions.
What a strange world we live in where children can effortlessly spot a fool warning us of the imminent dangers of Manbearpig and casually dismiss them, only to have the adults enthusiastically embrace these charlatans as the speakers of truth.
Here’s a crazy idea. Instead of “Science Guys”, perhaps actual scientists would be more helpful to us in expanding our knowledge of science.