“Currently, one could argue that the most significant form of global pollution is human population growth.” So says Mr Jack Trevors, Editor-in-Chief of Water, Air, & Soil Pollution (WASP), “an international, interdisciplinary journal on all aspects of pollution and solutions to pollution in the biosphere. This includes chemical, physical and biological processes affecting flora, fauna, water, air and soil in relation to environmental pollution.”
WASP insists on rigorous peer review: “Articles should not be submitted that are of local interest only and do not advance international knowledge in environmental pollution and solutions to pollution. Articles that simply replicate known knowledge or techniques while researching a local pollution problem will normally be rejected without review.”
So what are we to make of the peer-reviewed article “A Vaccine Against Ignorance?” by Trevors and Associate Editor Mr Milton Saier?
It begins by echoing d’Holbach: “One of the greatest challenges facing humanity is ignorance.” This keystone of Enlightenment philosophy promises that once man is properly educated he will live in paradise. However, it is with sadness that I report that this discovery, of obvious monumental importance, has the bloody empirical corollary, “If a man refuses education he must be extirpated lest he spread the cancer of ignorance.”
What can Trevors and Saier teach mankind?
[T]he capitalistic systems of economy follow the one principal rule: the rule of profit making. All else must bow down to this rule…The current USA is an example of a failed capitalistic state in which essential long-term goals such as prevention of climate change and limitation of human population growth are subjugated to the short-term profit motive and the principle of economic growth.
The word “failed” is curious until we hear their lamentation that “many people in the USA” are “confused” about the unbearable “truth of human-caused Global Warming.” Confused is comforting because confusion can be repaired by education. And nowhere is there more misunderstanding than about global warming whose “theoretical basis was established over 50 years ago!” 50! If only we could educate the befuddled, the rise of the oceans would begin to slow, the planet would begin to heal.
Alas, the ignorant “are likely to prefer a fairy tale to reality; it’s so much nicer (for a while) to think that no serious problems exist. Such people just continue to live in a fantasy world that will dissolve when reality becomes oppressive, just as does a dream fades [sic] away after one wakes.” But by then it will “be too late to correct the problems that were propagated by ignorance” (this tortuous metaphor appears to argue that the citizenry should remain aslumber1).
Only the panacea Education can cause the ignorant to develop “a deep feeling of compassion and responsibility towards all, a feeling of dedication to the welfare of humans and other beings on the planet.” We must not yield “to the greedy interests of profiteers! Unless the impediments that prevent people from gaining the educations they desire are overcome, we will remain intellectual barbarians.”
Wait: how can the ignorant desire the education they lack? Are they not asleep? Are they not wallowing in their greed and self-centeredness? Never mind: education is what counts, education is all. Education cures “insecure” urges to “spend excessively on military”.
This isn’t some random non sequitur, no sir! See, every dollar a country spends on “weapons of destruction” is one they could have invested on “means to limit their population”. The educated know that people are the cause of misery; therefore, limiting people reduces misery.
What’s needed is obvious: more education. But coupled with “restrictions on people, agencies, and corporations determined to follow the profit motive, and in so doing, undermine the intelligence of the populace.” And you thought Steve Jobs, head of Apple corporation, was benign. Cut out the cancer!
With the steel-handed education championed by our authors, “ignorance would fade into the background, and discrimination, racism, intolerance, terrorism, crime, and fraud would be countered by the larger more rational segments of the human population.” Trevors and Saier are not, they are certainly not, “suggesting the resurrection of a utopian wish.” Yet something approaching bliss can be had when “inferior ideas and thoughts in ignorant human minds are eliminated from the equation and replaced with superior ideas resulting from a sound education.” Eliminated!
Brothers and sisters, ladies and gentlemen, let us “submerge our selfish desires for the betterment of humanity and the planet.” Can I get an amen?
Our caring pair also have published “We do not have a spare Earth ” in the science journal Environmentalist, in which they take great pains to say, repeatedly and with scintillating emphasis, “We do not have a spare Earth.” More science: “The living organisms including humans in our common biosphere follow a simple set of rules. Some organisms live and reproduce, some live and do not reproduce and some die before they reproduce.” Because of their glamorous and demanding careers, many statisticians fall into that last category.
1No, but it’s a word now.