Consensus

Winningreen Discourse                  A021610a
 
By Tom Randall
 
Date:
  February 16, 2010
 
It all began is the waning years of the 19th century.  The industrial revolution was underway.  Science and enlightenment were replacing superstition.  Facts would rule.
 
That was when the great thinkers of the day turned their minds toward the persistent and ever more urgent problem of saving civilization by protecting and perfecting humanities' gene pool.  Eugenics was born.
 
There quickly became a "scientific consensus" that the problems of civilization could be traced to allowing inferior races and defective individuals corrupt the gene pool of superior races, notably northern Europeans.
 
The scientific movement grew rapidly and attracted many well-known and successful scientist/inventors of the day.  Alexander Graham Bell did a "study" of deaf people on Martha's Vineyard (apparently good research starts at home) and determined that deafness was heredity and advocated that deaf people be prohibited from marrying and having children.
 
Henry Ford became one of the leading advocates of eugenics and advocated strongly in its favor in his local newspaper in Greenfield, Michigan.  He particularly condemned composer George Gershwin, a Jew, for corrupting music by introducing the lowly and base elements of black culture and music.  It was proof, Ford said, that inferior races and defective individuals should not be allowed to reproduce.  He particularly disliked what many now believe is the greatest piece of music ever written by an American composer, Rhapsody in Blue (playing in the background as this is written).
 
Not only were the "feeble-minded" in mental institutions to be sterilized, ideally whole nationalities were to be erased, Blacks from everywhere, Italians and Irish were particularly targeted.  The poor, too, were obviously inferior…because they were poor.
 
In 1907, Indiana became the first of over 30 states to pass mandatory sterilization laws as eugenics, driven by public opinion, led by scientific consensus (but ultimately driven by fear and racial hatred) swept not only the U.S. but the world.  In the end, 64,000 Americans were sterilized between 1907 and 1963 (that's right, 1963).  Then, as now, California led the way with 20,000 sterilizations.  The U.S. Supreme Court upheld the constitutionality of such laws.
 
The scientific consensus around eugenics was invoked to pass even stricter state laws forbidding interracial marriage.  One of the best-know "anti-miscegenation" laws was Virginia's Racial Integrity Act of 1924, which was not overturned until the U.S. Supreme Court determined such laws to be unconstitutional…in 1967.
 
At the Nuremburg war crimes trials following World War II, Nazi administrators used eugenics, particularly the U.S. example to justify 450,000 forced sterilizations.  It also formed their "moral" shield for the Holocaust.
 
For roughly 60 years racial terror reigned under the guise of the scientific consensus behind eugenics.
 
In fact, however, there was no scientific consensus.
 
In fact, there was no science at all.
 
We now know that the science of genetics is very new and we are only just beginning to make important, but still rudimentary, discoveries that may one day improve the lives of all.
 
But for those six decades, the myth of scientific consensus on eugenics, endorsed by powerful and famous people who desperately wanted it to be true, persisted.
 
There are lingering symptoms, even today.
 
We also now know, nearly 50 years into the scare, that a scientific consensus saying man is causing catastrophic climate change is a hoax.
 
Not only is there so consensus behind man-made climate change, the climate-gate scandal at East Anglia University, Pennsylvania State University and the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change demonstrate there is no science, either.
 
In fact, what little evidence that has been uncovered by the young science of climatology strongly demonstrates that human activity in general, and our emissions of carbon dioxide in general, have had no effect on climate.
 
Yet thousands of the powerful and famous, from Senator Barbara Boxer to Barbara Streisand, continue to urge policies to restrict emissions and dramatically raise energy costs.  Ironically, like eugenics, it is the poor, minorities and others at the fringes of our society who will be most negatively affected.
 
My father grew up in the eugenics era, when signs in shop windows said, "Irish need not apply."  But he was a stubborn and lucky Irish Mick who eventually became a leader of men.
 
It seems that this kind of foolishness runs in 50 to 60-year cycles, just as the sun operates in a series of different cycles, affecting the climate of the earth.
 
It is time to bring this latest foolish cycle to an end and not let the climate change hoax make it tougher for future generations to enjoy healthy and prosperous lives.
 
Links: Learn more about the science of climate change on our website at http://www.winningreen.com  There are excellent papers on the subject both in the public articles and log-in sections.
 
Contact: Tom Randall
Winningreen LLC
Phone: 773-857-5086
e-mail: trandall@winningreen.com