|View From a Height
Commentary from the Mile High City
Thursday, May 20, 2004
By now, pretty much anyone who's read this space for any length of time knows that my b-school ethics professor is an old-time Democrat, who once headed the party up in this state. Yesterday, it was our turn to talk about the environment.
For some reason, the question was framed as "Green by Conviction," or "Green When It's Profitable." For some reason, "Green Only When the Government Makes You Scream in Pain," didn't make the list. He actually went so far as to tolerate, without comment, a slide arguing in favor of Malthusian population dynamics, which nobody believes any more. Evidently, the environmental question, at least in this class, isn't played between the 40-yard-lines, but well within the Left's field goal range.
With most cases, there's some sort of flanking maneuver available. Not with this case. The only option left was to tunnel underneath and explode a mine from below. So of course, I had to ask about the quality of the research, and the tendency of environmental advocacy groups to do science by press conference rather than in peer-reviewed journals.
There are a million answers to this, many of them covered by my friend Ronald "Beetle" Bailey, here, in today's WSJ. Arguments for which he has no answers, but which appear to have no perceptible effect on his opinion, or on the range of debate allowable in class.
He's also an ex-Presbyterian minister, who still claims to love the sinner (capitalism) while despising all the mayhem it works throughout the world. Now, he seems to have transmitted his religious fervor to the environment.
Julian Simon once asked an audience of his whether or not there was any data, any data at all, that he could present to make them question their opinions. When met with silence, he apologized for not being dressed for church.
I'm not happy having to come to class dressed for church.