Sunday, October 28, 2012

Horse and Buggy Era political party "isms" vs today's new scientific reality : not up for the job ?

I am pro MULTIPLE choice !
Our electioneering rhetoric is, as always, as flexible as an Etch A Sketch ( big shout out to Mitt Romney !)

 But once in government, our party ideologies, those beloved "isms" of Liberalism, Conservatism and Socialism, are as rigid and unchanging today as at their birth 150 to 200 years ago - when the Horse and Buggy, not the Airbus A380, reigned supreme.

There you have our prolonged Global Climate crisis in a nutshell : Science has moved on in the 150 years since the exuberant Mid-Victorian Era and its naive optimism about Man's ability to control Reality, but our political "isms" remain locked in some dusty time warp.

By education, I am a political scientist, but my abiding interest is in physical science ---- but with the proviso that I view all science as political !

When I say Science has changed, I lie.

Oh yes, public (formally peer reviewed published) science has changed greatly since the 1860s : moving from an overwhelming emphasis on PRODUCTION science (science of the hubris-laden first law of thermodynamics) to a new emphasis on IMPACT science (science of the more-somber second law of thermodynamics).

But popular (aka public school science) science has not changed a pinch since the days of total Anglo Saxon Protestant dominance of science.

Newton, Dalton and Darwin still reign supreme and nothing of dour 20th century science, let alone that of the 21st century, dares stain the ever-optimistic laboratories and textbooks of your average high school science course.

Like Carthage, our current high school science boosterism 'must be destroyed' .

The writing and selecting of Public School textbooks ( physical and social science texts above all) are not really in the hands of teachers and scientists ---- they reveal instead the dead weight of the political-commercial elites who really run departments of education and district school boards.

All they ask of high school textbooks is that they are "uplifting" and "positive" (Service Club Boosterism science, as it were).

Ever more and more of that time-old Mid Victorian optimism that science can do almost anything and even if it (temporarily and locally) messes up ,science can also step in to fix the mess.

See it as a case of an ever more optimistic frantic whistling, past our current 'grave' climate graveyard.

If we truly want to save the planet and prevent global climate disaster, setting our sights and scopes on our truly God-awful high school science Babbitry would be an pretty good place to start......

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