One of the problems with science is that most folks believe it should move as fast as humanly possible to bring utilitarian value to the masses. What I observe is that a large number of Americans desire this kind of democratic progress and quite a few, notably Atheists as I think of it, find no other frame of reference useful in checking this desire. For them, the rationality of science itself offers an insurmountable reason for action. This is foolish.
When I become harried by the insoucient impatience of those taken over by the fever of argument, I am forced to ask 'Who's your Leviathan?'. This becomes especially poignant when one considers the implications of global warming. When I first encountered the concept of Cap & Trade, I was all for it. I liked the idea of a market system assigning costs to environmental damage and I often cited the SCAQMD exemplifying their rules on leaded paints. Nowadays I tend not to trust newly minted market-makers, but I must say it has got to be one of the more penetrating fields of study and action. Nevertheless, I saw the problems of Big Air and in Monetizing Carbon.
To wit, how are scientists like those embroiled here, going to do anything more nagging than posting blogs? This is to beg the question that gets to the root of a central question of liberty, which is whether or not collective action done over our heads gets done right. You see there has yet to be another Carl Sagan who speaks broadly to the American people who is also properly connected to those scientific researchers that be. In fact, there seem fewer inroads to the popular consciousness by reasonable avatars of any industrial endeavors. This is why, I suppose, I am using the rather disembodied abstract of 'science'; it speaks to our diminished capacity. So I don't find myself particularly sanguine that elite scientific activism done on behalf of the common man with regard to policing the world's air quality is going to be anything nearly democratic.
I am rather convinced that China is the most awfully polluted place contributing the most dirt into the air, and that there is little American consumer habits are going to change about that. The Chinese will have to grow such habits themselves, presumably after they grow sufficient numbers of cancerous tumors. In the meantime, unless we determine that war is in order, there will be no megaprojects or globally persuasive treaties to reign in the Chinese compulsion towards greater urbanization and its environmentally toxic consequences. So long as the Chinese poor prefer to ride in cars rather than on oxcarts, we can take this vector as a given.
We thus in the States are to suffer the yelps of our elected nannies on carbon taxation against the Chinese perpetrators over which our taxation has no effect as we similarly suffer their gun controls against our own criminals. If we could only export our nagging nannies and emplace them into the National People's Congress. We shall not, and the effect of the tireless nagging will be a uselessly excruciating censure of our own actions to which our contribution to the global problem will be marginal.
If the consequence of ignoring the research of scientists is that we don't empower global frameworks, I think this is a good development. One wonders how it is that scientists themselves don't consider the implications of global observations given no global Leviathan for fo their consquential activism.
Science lives within humanity. Scientific agendas are political and economic. Humans will always make political and economic decisions, with or without science. Science is not an end to itself, even if that end is truth. Truth does not serve mankind. It simply exists whether or not people pay attention.