A Broken Knowlwdge System

 When we hear that "experts" have concluded that we must eliminate fossil fuels, that appears extremely compelling and trustworthy. We most certainly need to study the negative side effects of fossil fuels such as increased heat waves, droughts, wildfires, etc.

But we cannot make good policy decisions about these side effects if we don't know the benefits that will be lost when we eliminate those fossil fuels. Benefits such as affordable foods, clothing, shelter, and medical care. What about the uniquely cost-effective property of fossil fuels? What about the billions of people who have no, or few energy sources other than their own human energy? Don't we have a moral obligation? What about the relative negatives of fossil fuel energy? We need fossil fuels to construct all the windmills, and mining for materials to build electric cars and all the equipment used for environment preservation. 

Whether you believe that side effects of fossil fuels are eminent, and caused by human contributions, creating climate change so that we need an alternative soon, or whether you do not believe that human contributions are a major factor, is irrelevant. 

We need to look at both sides and what reality is showing, in say, the last fifty years. In this article I want to look at energy experts, who they are and where does our "knowledge system" fit in all this?

We have scientists in all kinds of fields; environment, weather patterns, nuclear power, biology, water management, medicine, and many more. We only hear from scientists dealing with side effects and the urgency to do away with fossil fuels like oil, gas, and coal. How "renewables" such as wind and solar power will replace fossil fuels. 

Before all this scientific research reaches the common man, and women, like you and me, there is a knowledge system that interprets the research and puts it in language understandable to six-grade level. These are the "experts", either scientists or people closely related to them; people who write in The Guardian, or Newsweek, The New York Times, and many more. John Holden, President Obama's top science adviser had a particularly dire prediction. Paul Ehrlich, a close collaborator, in 1986 wrote:

"As University of California physicist John Holden said, it is possible that carbon-dioxide climate-induced famines could kill as many as a billion people before the year 2020." Yet, climate disaster deaths reduced by 98% between the 1920's and the 2000's. 

Our knowledge system is broken. We get to hear only one side, which often does not matchup with reality.