I was so amused and impressed by this insightful and eloquent rant from reader Fred in comments yesterday, that I’ve decided it deserves a wider airing.
Oh Yeah! I heard Rob Oakeshot on ABC radio this morning! 702 I think it was. Thanks for reminding me; as I don’t mind a bit of tearing apart a stupid logical argument.
Rob went on about supporting the carbon tax and added that we need to trust the scientists on this matter, just as we need to, and often do, trust specialists like doctors or even an auto mechanic that are expert in their field.
Ahh, where to begin….
Firstly, on matters of grave irreversible importance you should not just trust your doctor. You should get a second opinion and possibly even a 3rd or 4th. And when the doctors opinions do not align, you’ve got to think carefully about the more invasive options espoused by some. And how many times has an auto-mechanic told me that I need to get some work done on the widget when it did not need it? Plenty.
Fail. There are plenty of second opinions on climate science and they ought to be sought.
Secondly, trusting your auto mechanic and even your doctor, and trusting climate scientists are not in the same league; with the impact of the former two limited pretty much to you and costing in the hundreds or perhaps thousands of dollars. The impact of the latter, climate scientists, will costs billions if not trillions of dollars and will greatly affect families, nations and industries, probably irreversibly. Even if a doctors choice kills you, it would be bad, but on the whole, at the economic level, it’s small potatoes.
Fail. Your sense of when and how trust should be applied is warped.
Thirdly, doctors and mechanics are doing their stuff day after day. It’s a trade. They get good at it, they test, they can see the good results and not so good results and they can adjust, learn and improve. By the time you see them, most are very good at diagnosing and rectifying. Comparing that to the carbon tax, we’ve never done it, the subjects are vastly different scale, the impact good or bad (of an ETS) will be huge and possibly irreversible, and the boof-heads in charge may be incompetent or worse.
Fail. Medicine and mechanics are pretty well proved. Fixing climate problems, and possibly fabricated problems, with financial tools is not proved. So they can not be compared.
Fourthly, that Rob would stoop to such ridiculous analogies that even plodders like me can make him look stupid by tells me that he ain’t thinking too straight, or he’s a little too cute or desperate or bought. Either way; your fitness for office now stinks.
Rob, I thought you were an OK guy until today. I had no problems with your political choice and I was pleased to see you shake up the lower house a little. But based solely on your idiotic and insulting rhetoric today on an important topic; you’ve lost me.