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National Sauna Day (did you know we had one) was celebrated recently at Embarrass. While I was there I met a sincere middle-age person clearly concerned about emissions from their wood-burning sauna.
For the planet’s sake they were considering giving up their wood-fired sauna. My “why bother” expression clearly upset them (as it may you) because it showed skepticism for the carbon doctrine. Before you reject my position as that person did, give me a chance to explain.
I accept carbon doctrine, but find it incomplete, a narrowly construed classroom-textbook view of the environment. Inadequate but determined to show otherwise, it loftily refuses to let other insight enter its holy corridors. Do you truly think environmental knowledge comes in one way only?
Is a logger from Floodwood environmentally lacking? Same true of devoted sportsmen or Iron Range miners, or longtime Lake Superior fishermen?
Those groups and others are highly aware of environmental factors, but they are not invited to contribute. More likely they are shut out and looked down on if they try to raise a “What about this?”
If carbon doctrine is right does protecting it from question make it stronger or more correct?
The funny part is the way believers end up dancing around the obvious in order to not give up the faith found in the academic text. Here’s an example. Ever hear of a “Prescribed burn”? I bet you have, so maybe you know that some species of grasses and trees are types that need fire to do well. Since the glacier left our region nine to ten thousand years ago the forests and plains were often burned. Some burns were local. Other fires raged over huge areas. Before humans had any impact, nature was putting large amounts of carbon into the environment and did so regularly for thousands of years.
There’s nothing wrong with considering the impact of your sauna stove, but seen against the thousands of years and the thousands or millions of acres gone up in wildfire smoke the sauna chimney has barely a walk-on role. We don’t know much about prehistoric fire patterns or the larger picture of areas being burned bare on a regular basis. Why don’t we know?
Well for one thing it’s not a popular sort of area of inquiry, is it? You’d have to look a great many areas to even begin sorting through the evidence of pollen in cores from nine thousand year old bogs of the ash/fire lines left in river sediments. Worse from the academic point of view that favors a “discipline,” any approach that crosses over disciplinary lines will win frowns and balks from the academic powers that more times than not want to see their discipline, their view, and their department be seen in a favorable and ascendant light.
Academia hails outside-the-box thought, but woe to they who try it because they shall be seen as defilers and cranks.
I’m personally OK with carbon (which is not a poison) theory, but I’m damned disappointed that the discussion of a topic large and important is so dominated by children (professors and such often being not more than inflated children).
It is, I’m reasonably satisfied, a child’s view and a child’s way to point at the stack of a sauna stove and proclaim doom and dire consequences. The case being proven to the child’s satisfaction they settle back in victory until the next short-sighted bit of “science” needs their attending affirmation.
Now come on, kids, it’s not science if you do not (and in cases blithely reject) more information. Science is process not conclusion.
But too often it’s the conclusion we see trying to drive the bus through forest and over prairie. Academia being for children ends up being by them as well. In the child’s studied view the facts have to fit the text or they don’t belong. This handy practice allows nine thousands years of intense prairie and forest burning to be ignored and a sauna chimney to be scientifically proven as culprit. God bless the adults who believe these children because they won’t easily get praise and acceptance from me.
By their nature and definition academic disciplines are limited. When (as too often occurs) a dab of discipline knowledge gets applied to a larger condition the application will be as apt as putting mustard on cupcake frosting.
Sadly (but very human) we get sucked into the absurd conclusions of the pedantic children tantruming among us. We go along in hope of quieting the noisy little bastards. Doesn’t work well does it? Noisy complaint supports baseless protest, a fact of living the old and young children know very well.
If you have a firm conviction and are satisfied you can support it then what problem resides in hearing out conflicting or side issues?
I ask because listening to those other view should (if you are indeed correct) add to the validity of your view. Instead (and far too often because we are encouraged to be tribal takers of sides) the tendency is to attack contrary views with scorn, derision, and some of the emptiest thinking imaginable.
Doubt me? Well try on for size the gem of probity that says that since objectivity and fairness are not 100% achievable there is no point to try. That disfiguring blow to reasonable process promotes some of our worst traits, such as placing lust for a good attack over an attempt at objective verification.
Truth and fact have little place in the reality theatre of make-it-up-as-you-go where masked bit players are dragged on and off stage for no reason but show. Vicious is a fair description of such dramatics. You have perhaps participated directly. Maybe you’ve watched or have experienced what happens when observation or objection is raised.
In any of those the response-attack is meant to destroy not nurture human curiosity. The processes we support directly or passively determine whether we’ll be advocates or discoverers. But keep this in mind.
When advocacy replaces discovery it does so at the cost of humanity.