Education: A Vaccine Against Ignorance? Or, There Are Too Many People!

“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.


  1. Just lovely. It warms me all over to hear yet another trough sucking government functionary rail against capitalist profit. How much better off we all would be if we embraced Communist LOSS in all our endeavors. Personal, corporate, governmental, and pan-national bankruptcy are such wonderful things to aspire to.

    But then the TSPEC (Trough Sucking Public Employee Class) reacts violently when their taxpayer victims suggest that TSPEC-ers pay some small percentage of their own pensions and benefits out of their own personal capital. Heaven forfend! Time to riot in the streets.

    The authors ask, “So why has the USA failed so miserably to act in the interests of the common good?” and answer their own rhetorical question, “The answer lies at the human root of capitalism.”

    Obviously the correct response to such deep truths is to SEIZE the capitalist assets of the authors. Commandeer their private property. They don’t want it, they recommend against owning it, and so it is fair game to whomever wants it. Jack and Milton and their overly large families can sleep under a bridge, a communist bridge, and forgo the failed comforts of our failed national experiment in failure-prone capitalism.

    You’ve got to love this logic: “The existence of human-caused Global Warming is an established fact with no evidence to contradict the basis for its occurrence. And the theoretical basis was established over 50 years ago!”

    Except it’s not a fact, no matter how old the theory is, and all the evidence contradicts it. The theoretical basis for communism was established 160 years ago, and the evidence of it’s failure abounds, and yet the authors still believe in it. The adherence to junk theories, whether economic or environmental, seems to be a persistent trait of the TSPEC.

    WASP is a journal that has jumped the shark. Time to seize their capitalist assets, too.

  2. Hwan

    Oh I see. I guess our problem is that we are not “Enlightened” enough. We need the guiding hand of real thinkers like Trevors and Saier.

    I believe that in their mind that must think themselves to be gods or at least have god-like powers. In their minds only “scholars” are truly objective. How quaint.

    Yes. Yes. Yes…What we really need are philospher-Kings like Trevors and Saier. Therefore, let me be the first to proclaim my fealty to His Royal Highness, King Trevors of Guelph…and his trusty minion Prince Saier of La Jolla (Defender of the Faith, Lord Protector of the lesser realm of the Americas.)

  3. Ray

    “If a man refuses education he must be extirpated lest he spread the cancer of ignorance.”

    Ignorance is a lack or absence of knowledge. How do you spread absence of knowledge? Must be the same way the obesity epedimic was spread. Better stay away from fat or ignorant people because it might be contagious.

  4. Pat Moffitt

    Capitalism is about “profit making” on a micro scale however on a macro scale it is about efficiency.

  5. Tim

    Really? We have Capitalism in the US? Must be hidden behind all these Subsidies. To that extent, I guess it has failed.

  6. Rich

    ” Some organisms live and reproduce, some live and do not reproduce and some die before they reproduce.”

    Unless they’ve discovered an immortal species the last two groups are the same. This sort of mistake occurs when rhetoric runs away with logic. As in the rest of it.

  7. William Sears

    Springer used to be a reputable scientific publishing company. Yet another academic who has discovered that the root of all evil is greedy capitalists and that the solution is socialists who only work for the human good. I wouldn’t believe that such simple-mindedness could exist if I hadn’t personally met grown up people with this affliction. Does the last hundred years of history simply not exist for them?

    Many of my colleagues like to puff themselves up and state that the solution to the myriad conflicts around the world is more education. I guess if the only tool you have is a hammer, every problem looks like a nail. Playing the Devil’s advocate, I always say that education has produced the conflicts that they are complaining about. I realise that my colleagues really mean leftist indoctrination when they say education, although they will never admit it. In any case it is a grand conceit (The Fatal Conceit – Hayek) that the educated can think grand thoughts and plan society so as to solve all problems. This sort of group-think is so entrenched that I only get blank stares when I challenge it. What is even more depressing is that many of the people caught up in these beliefs are otherwise rational and do not run their own lives in a socialist fashion. Or is this less depressing?

  8. Briggs


    Jack Trevors responded to my offer of publishing a rebuttal:

    Dear William- always good to hear from the citizens of the world. Education is a part of the answer to evolving modern stable democracies. We never said it was the total cure, but without education we cannot engineer our modern societies, universal human rights, public health, food production and whatever else as the list is immense.

    My suggestion is you simply publish your papers in peer reviewed journals and then you can interact with the science community and make your points to a larger audience and they can cite your work.


    Jack TT

    I suggested that I write my own rebuttal article to be published in WASP. Will update you when I hear.

  9. Holding my breath for Trevor’s response, professor. Just my luck he’s likely too busy searching for a spare brain to go along with his mislaid spare Earth.

  10. “citizens of the world”

    Those would be the same citizens eating cake when we run out of bread, I suppose. How quaint that peasants (and statisticians!) of the world would even think of talking back to him and interrupt his societal engineering.

    It is funny how Trevors thinks his opinion pieces emanating from his safely ensconced editor job at his pollution journal constitutes ‘interaction’ with the ‘scientific community’, when in reality, the bizzare opinions he holds wouldn’t survive two minutes outside his ivory tower, in the sunlight of the wide world.

    Jack Trevors has pushed his population eradication campaigning in many other editorials. There is little question that he views humans as pollution.

    Let me quote examples:

    Human males are the cause of virtually all of our major problems on the Earth. Most past and present dictators, elected political officials, military officials and terrorists have been or are males who inflict immense human suffering by their actions. Rarely have females been responsible for comparable degrees of destruction. In fact, men have consistently cast tremendous suffering not only upon themselves, but also on women and children.

    The total planetary abuse is the extraction of hydrocarbons from the Earth and depositing the gasses and particulates in the atmosphere, oceans, soils, and bodies of animals. This form of abuse is the total pollution of our biosphere. To complicate the situation, add about 6.6 billion humans to the planet with an increase of 75 million humans annually. This is also abuse of our common shared biosphere.

    We must succeed in decreasing the human population if we are to slow the assault on the Earth’s biosphere. Only if we do so, will we have sufficient time, energy, and capability to meet the challenges of global climate change, human and animal pandemics, and conflicts at international, national, communal, and personal levels.

    Managing humans requires short-term action and long-term education, particularly on how to manage our reproductive activities. This would be the first and most important step toward becoming responsible world citizens. Progress toward resource consumption limitation will be thwarted if the numbers of humans on Earth continue to increase. Education can provide a dual knowledge–value system that allows people to think globally—long-term—instead of only considering the short-term individual desires for immediate gratification. Everyone must recognize the consequences of unwanted pregnancy and birth.

    Humans are on a direct and fast collision course with global environmental disaster, and we are doing little to avoid the consequences. We must provide the means for fertility restriction so women can choose their family sizes and never be forced into unwanted pregnancy and motherhood. Universal women’s rights and human rights must be guaranteed. Remember, women are the victims of assaults, incest, and male domination. In every country where free birth control methods become available, birth rates drop to near replacement levels. This means that high fertility rates are not wanted by the citizens of underdeveloped countries; high fertility is forced upon women everywhere when free contraception and safe abortion services are not available.

  11. Cris

    And for those who think that our host’s thoughts on the quality of students must represent a new phenomenon, check out Jacob Neusner’s “The Commencement Speech You’ll Never Hear” (1980?): (Google Books)

  12. dlclove

    Wow. So what happens to those who refuse to be enlightened? Extermination? I can see where this is leading.

  13. Doug M

    Capitalism is in nearly all cases leads to the most efficient division of resources. Do you think GOSPLAN. Could coordinate the deliveries an exchanges that happen every day in New York City?

  14. It has never been clearer that environmentalism is a religion…nor that among the world’s other major religions, it compares most closely to Islam.

    Convert, subjugate, or kill the unbeliever! The planet demands it!

  15. Briggs


    Thanks! Could you provide citations for these quotes? They would be very useful.

  16. Briggs


    Reference: DOI 10.1007/s11270-011-0773-1

    (Just for the search engines)

  17. Sorry for the delayed reply!

    The first passage quoted in my post above is from:

    Trevors J, Saier M. Testosterone: The Cause of Our World’s Problems? Water, Air, & Soil Pollution. 2009;200(1):1-2.

    The second passage is from:

    Trevors J. Total Abuse of the Earth: Human Overpopulation and Climate Change. Water, Air, & Soil Pollution. 2010;205(0):113-4.

    The remaining passages are from:

    Trevors J, Saier M. Manage Humans, not the Environment. Water, Air, & Soil Pollution. 2010;205(0):93-5.

    Here are some more, in the same vein:

    Some people believe that more credit must be made available to fuel consumption of renewable and nonrenewable resources in order to stimulate economic growth. Yet, the human population is now marching towards seven billion people, and we are already living painfully unsustainably. The planet is infected with too many humans.

    It would take an annual 30–40 billion dollars, a trifling really, to provide universal birth control for the entire human population. This would be by far our best investment, but the USA, for one, or its current governmental officials, does not seem willing to even provide a tiny fraction of this meager sum. It would rather devote trillions for war and destruction, trillions for “home security”, and trillions for an untested rescue plan that allows billions to be pocketed by its planners.

    Humanitarian organizations, the wealthy nations of the world, and everyone everywhere need to contribute to a well thought out, comprehensive, environmental rescue plan. We all need to contribute until it hurts, because the alternative is loss of our biosphere and species extinction with Homo sapiens being one of the casualties. Before humans disappear from the face of the Earth, human civilization will go by the wayside, resulting in incessant warfare, suffering, and destruction. We desperately need proper education, especially in the areas of human fertility, birth control, and global pollution.

    The above three passages are from:

    Trevors J, Saier M. Where Is the Global Environmental Bailout? Water, Air, & Soil Pollution. 2009;198(1):1-3.


    Democracy is not an idea on paper or in people’s minds. Democracy must be enacted internationally so humans can protect and preserve our common, shared, singular biosphere, mostly by controlling human population growth, reducing resource depletion, conservation, ending conflicts, cooperation, research, and education.

    A priority national and international challenge will be to engineer actual stable democratic states, in sufficient time to deal with human population growth and the immense amount of pollution contributing to global climate change. Engineering the correct democracies has been an immense challenge for all countries and some have totally failed to make any progress.

    The above two passages are from:

    Trevors J. Global Pollution, Climate Change, and Democracies. Water, Air, & Soil Pollution. 2010;205(0):125-6.

    It is quite clear from the many editorials that have flowed from the generous pen of JT Trevors that “education”, from him, is an euphemism for “inhibition of reproductive and procreative impulses” and little else. Lest anyone feel that these passages are “cherrypicked” – a common, and stupid enough an accusation in ‘climate change debate’, the citations are available. Feel free to check the original sources yourself.

    Almost all of the above comes along with a (very thin) humanitarian patina that Trevors drapes over his ‘headcount control’ agenda. How do you accept that all he wishes is the best for us, when he says that humans have “infected the earth”?

  18. Don

    Some people are educated beyond their intelligence.

    Refreshing to read the ‘unenlightened’ masses see through Lord Trevor’s insanity.

  19. PeterB in Indianapolis

    The USA has not been anything even vaguely resembling a “capitalist system” for well over 100 years. At BEST you might call it Mercantilist, but it most certainly nothing really resembling free-market capitalism.

    As such, the Trevors and Saier present a false premise, which isn’t even worth discussing.

    More illogical leftist claptrap disguised as logic I am afraid.

  20. Pete

    Another creepy little totalitarian, rattling the bars of his academic cage in frustration and shouting at the people passing by. God help us if these fools ever get power.

    As I get older I hate them more and more. The degenerate, fascist scum of the earth.

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