Year 3, Month 2, Day 22: More Ultra-Hard Sapir-Whorfianism

More on Heartland Institute, this time from the Boston Globe:

Because Heartland was not specific about what was fake and what was real, The Associated Press attempted to verify independently key parts of separate budget and fundraising documents that were leaked. The federal consultant working on the classroom curriculum, the former TV weatherman, a Chicago elected official who campaigns against hidden local debt and two corporate donors all confirmed to the AP that the sections in the document that pertained to them were accurate. No one the AP contacted said the budget or fundraising documents mentioning them were incorrect.

David Wojick, a Virginia-based federal database contractor, said in an email that the document was accurate about his project to put curriculum materials in schools that promote climate skepticism.

“My goal is to help them teach one of the greatest scientific debates in history,” Wojick said. “This means teaching both sides of the science, more science, not less.”

Googling “david wojik” +epistemologist gets you the self-description in the first sentence of my letter. I am proud of the final sentence in the second graf. Sent February 17:

The Heartland Institute’s point man for climate-change denial in public-school curricula is David Wojik, who has described himself as a “philosopher, engineer and logician.” Note the absence of any training in climate science! Wojik’s doctoral work focused on the history and philosophy of science — surely worthy areas of study, but ones which he’s well paid to misapply in distorting the nature of research on global warming.

While all but a statistically insignificant minority of climatologists agree on the human causes of climate change, many details are yet unresolved: which are the primary forcing agents? How do different feedback loops interact? By highlighting areas of disagreement while ignoring a worldwide scientific consensus, Wojik and his sponsors wrap greed-driven denialism in a cloak of spurious intellectual rectitude.

While Wojik’s employers are no doubt pleased with his work, the laws of chemistry and physics are unaffected by even the glibbest epistemological sophistry.

Warren Senders

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *