It is the Sun That Does it, Not Man


Hat tip: XtnYoda, via Rick, via Gerard.

Get ready to start paying your Sun-That-Does-It tax. You said it was change you could believe in…

US Energy Secretary Steven Chu has floated the idea of a carbon emissions tax to fight global warming, in an interview with The New York Times Thursday.

During the US presidential campaign, the notion was kept largely on the back burner as candidates were reluctant to promote the idea of costlier energy at a time when gasoline prices were soaring.

But since President Barack Obama’s administration took office in January, Congress has been working on setting up a system for swapping greenhouse gas emissions quotas similar to the one used in the European Union.

And Chu said “alternatives could emerge, including a tax on carbon emissions,” the Times reported.

Chu, a Nobel laureate in physics, long concerned about global warming, acknowledged it would be a tough sell to get a law passed in the United States that could lead to higher energy prices.

But he said he “supports putting a price on carbon emissions to begin to address climate change” the daily said.

The guy’s a Nobel laureate, who am I to challenge him? He’s a college professor, works a lot with laser cooling, he’s published stuff, gotten his Nobel prize — his confirmation by the Senate was unanimous. He seems to have what it takes to do stuff…that has to do with earning praise from others…who, in turn, are trying to impress yet others. His family is buried in Ph.D.’s and other stellar credentials.

Arguments that we should be listening to people like Steven Chu, are not the same as the arguments that we should be listening to people like Jay Lehr and Chad Myers. The latter has to do with what we know, and what common sense tells us about what we know. The former has to do with building a sort of high-priesthood of such interpretations; if you’re beneath a certain authoritarian level, your role is to shut your mouth and wait to see what someone else tells you to do. That isn’t what I have in mind when I hear the word “scientific.”

Eratosthenes himself figured out the size of the earth by peeking in wells. He wasn’t a geologist or an astronomer, he was a library administrator. The Nobel laureates of that time said the earth didn’t have a diameter or a radius because it was flat. But the library guy was the one that got it right. He paid attention to the evidence before his own eyes, and figured out for himself what it meant.

Thing I Know #183. When an education has given you the ability to dismiss ideas more quickly, it’s not really an education.

Thing I Know #263. The one thing that’s wrong with higher education that nobody ever seems to want to discuss, is that it is valued through something called “prestige.” Get this prestigious diploma. Get that prestigious degree. Attend a prestigious university. My alma mater is more prestigious than yours. Trouble is that genuine learning has very, very little to do with prestige. It is, arguably, the exact opposite.

Cross-posted at House of Eratosthenes.