I just started a fine historic novel that my brother gave me for Christmas, The Hangman’s Daughter; the first 100 pages are really good. In addition to the story itself, a murder mystery set in mid-17th Century Bavaria, the author reminds us of the horrors and brutalities of living at that time, e.g., the persecution of witches and the outrageously illogical ways in which this took place. “If she has a birthmark, she’s probably a witch. Stick it with a needle; if she bleeds, then definitely she’s a witch.” How would you like to have been born female in 1650 with a birthmark?
To me, the remarkable thing about this isn’t that people were at one point so stupid to think like this. The amazing thing is that this was fairly recent. Almost exactly 2000 years earlier we had Ancient Greece with its fantastic developments in mathematics, science, education, philosophy, focus on virtue, jurisprudence, democracy and the like – not to mention logic. Aristotle did such a good job in codifying logic that very few advancements what been made in the 2300 years since his day. I challenge you to think about another intellectual discipline that was nailed down so completely in 300 BCE.
Doesn’t this make us wonder what happened to mankind that could have takes us down do badly? I have my own theory, but I’d be interested in yours.
So, what’s does this have to do with renewable energy? I believe that clear thinking and some level of dedication to and respect for science is essential if we’re going to overcome the huge challenges, of which energy policy is one, we face here in the 21st Century. As long as we can look at our scientists who tell us that we’re ruining our planet (the only planet we have, btw) and dismiss them as pawns of the Marxists who are trying to destroy our economy, or as frauds who have conspired to perpetrate a hoax so as to bilk our civilization out of a few bucks for unnecessary atmospheric research, we’ll really living in a throwback to 17th Century in terms of the application of logic.