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Thomas Sowell: Global Warming Is a Classic Example of The Need for Crusades

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During a 2009 interview with host of Uncommon Knowledge Peter Robinson, Thomas Sowell argued that public demand for intellectuals is largely manufactured by intellectuals themselves. He said intellectuals make alarming predictions using causes like global warming to create a need for their services.

Thomas Sowell is an American economist and political commentator. He taught economics at Cornell University, the University of California, Los Angeles, and since 1980 at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University, where he is currently a Senior Fellow.

Peter M. Robinson at the time of the interview was a research fellow and is now a Distinguished Policy Fellow at the Hoover Institution, where he writes about business and politics, edits Hoover’s quarterly journal, the Hoover Digest, and hosts Hoover’s television program, Uncommon Knowledge.


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Sowell’s interview with Robinson was to discuss his 2009 book ‘Intellectuals and Society’.  A book which examines the track record of intellectuals in the things they have advocated and analyses the incentives and constraints under which their views and visions have emerged. One of the most surprising aspects of this study is how often intellectuals have been proved not only wrong but grossly and disastrously wrong in their prescriptions for the ills of society – and how little their views have changed in response to empirical evidence of the disasters entailed by those views.

At the beginning of the interview, Sowell explained that “intellectuals” were people whose end products are ideas. “There are other people with great intelligence whose end products are things, like the Salk vaccine.”  An engineer is not an intellectual, for example, because an engineer is judged by the end product which is not simply ideas.  “If [an engineer] builds a building that collapses it doesn’t matter how brilliant his idea was, well, he’s ruined.  Conversely, if an intellectual, who’s brilliant, has an idea for rearranging society and that ends in disaster, he pays no price at all,” Sowell said.

In the video below which is clipped from towards the end of the interview, Robinson asked how intellectuals manufacture demand for their own services, Sowell responded: “One thing is by making alarming predictions [then] offering solutions to our problems.”

On global warming, he said: “I think it’s a classic example of the need for Crusades … I read the original UN study years ago, and I was just curious with how they were going to deal with the question that the temperatures went up first and then there was the increase in carbon dioxide – because you can’t say A causes B if B happened first.”

FORA.tv: Uncommon Knowledge – Thomas Sowell | Global Warming Manufactured by Intellectuals? 25 January 2010 (3 mins)

The above clip was taken from the interview ‘Thomas Sowell on Intellectuals and Society’ on 11 December 2009.  Watch the full interview HERE (clip begins at timestamp 29:13, ends at timestamp 32:24)

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Miki
Miki
1 month ago

Such simplified definition of intellectuals tries to push forcibly reality onto a theory. That is one of basic characteristics of pseudo intellectuals.
It might be a coincidence that an economist tries to define an intellectual, whem economists are known for not producing ANYTHING. Specifically macroeconomics is known to be non-exact science because it is unable to predict even simplest macro ecomomical events,and mostly observing “trends”, “peaks” and similar phenomenon.
How much ideas must many engineers have in order to solve the atypical problem, only an engineer could say. The same can be said for carpenters, musicians, and many other productive professions.

Edward L
Edward L
Reply to  Miki
28 days ago

Exactly Miki. Sowell is no Anthony Sutton who was the same profession and taught at the same institute but was fired for having the intelligence to use common sense and write about the evils of his profession.

turpin
turpin
1 month ago

Thomas Sowell is one of the brightest men living today. What a shame we don’t have his kind in our governments!!

Merv
Merv
Reply to  turpin
1 month ago

And yet he believes in germ theory. He should be intelligent enough to research subjects befor passing comments. Ask the children injured by the same, and their parents, in India what they think of quackcines. I do wish Dr. gates, oh, that’s right, he not a doctor, gates the eugenicist, would visit India so he may be served the warrant issued for murder. No link, but research will enlighten. Hint, don’t use gurgle search engine.

Brin Jenkins
Brin Jenkins
1 month ago

This term intellectuals. Are we talking of a resurrected Frankfurt School? Those with political ambition using the Hegel method of using or creating a crisis to introduce massive change.

Not so much their services as promoting Communism, the nu world order, the big rest. If so they are not intellectuals but enemies of the people.

Ldrhawke
Ldrhawke
1 month ago

When the Global warming failed first, try try again.

How Quickly They Bury the Truth – The Aging Viking

https://theagingviking.substack.com/p/how-quickly-they-bury-the-truth

Merv
Merv
1 month ago

ClimateGate. Should be all you need to know concerning the lengths to which some will go to manufacture evidence for their needs.

GunDelete
GunDelete
Reply to  Merv
29 days ago

The best documentary on it, all started with Teacher.

GunDelete
GunDelete
29 days ago

How to mimic global warming?
“HAARP, the most powerful ionosphere heater on Earth”https://physicstoday.scitation.org/doi/10.1063/PT.3.3032

trackback
29 days ago

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Enkidu
Enkidu
27 days ago

Generally Thomas Sowell is right about the intellectuals. Noam Chomsky is a perfect example of an intentionally promoted, overestimated fake intellectual.

Mr. Sowell misses the knowledge about Climate Control, to be able to understand why the stupid lies about global warming are told by artificially stupid fake intellectuals.

By measures of Climate Control (Climate Geoengineering) water cycle is managed to be able to decide where it should rain and where not.

Humidity and temperatures are intentionally shifted to bring the water where is more urgently needed for fracking of oil and a gas and also for large scale industrial farming in dry and desert regions, like in Arabia, USA, North Africa, Australia etc.

More about this can be found here:

What is CLIMATE CONTROL? Who does it, who benefits & who is harmed?
https://enkidugilgamesh.wordpress.com/2022/11/05/what-is-climate-control-who-does-it-who-benefits-who-is-harmed/