The Experts on Caring .. go out and flood politicians and bureaucrats with questions about the environment. What will you do about this or that new catastrophe? Overpopulation, global famine, pesticide induced cancer epidemics, desert expansion, nuclear fallout, ebola, swine flu, mad cow disease, pandemics, acid rain, oil spills, resource depletion, falling sperm counts, genetically modified killer foods, sea level rise: what will “we” do? Those who ignore such calls are labeled as “anti-science”–if only they understood the science.
But knowledge of a problem gives you no conception of the relative risk it poses. As Matt Ridley points out: “The Four Horsemen of the human apocalypse, which cause the most premature and avoidable death in poor countries, are and will be for many years the same: hunger, dirty water, indoor smoke and malaria, which kill respectively about seven, three, three, and two people per minute.” The level of human suffering these problems cause is not slightly more significant, but rather several dozen orders of magnitude more significant than global warming.
Creating Experts on Caring does science a disservice–it emotionalizes the issues from the outset. Worse, it ranks these problems as more important a priori–that is, (ironically) without any empirical or scientific support ..
This blind caring about “scientific” issues has another perverse consequence. Since the Experts on Caring aren’t really experts, they simply demand action NOW (always in capitals) without any real understanding of the consequences ..
.. The Expert on Caring trying to become a real expert must overcome a huge psychological hurdle thrust on him by Sagan and many others—that these issues are of vital importance to the survival of our species. It’s no surprise then that the Experts on Caring only lend credence to alarming research. They care—that must mean the issue is important.