When I received an email the other day from a Multnomah County employee sporting their new logo “ALL are welcome here,” I wondered if that really applied to older white male scientists who dare to disagree with the County’s official religion “’Climate Hysteria” and all the anti-modern, anti-Christian dogma that goes along with it? Have Multnomah County, the City of Portland, and the surrounding area finally become inclusive and respectful, even welcoming black sheep who are clearly different from them? Or do their concerns merely extend to illegal aliens who have committed a felony and are in danger of being deported?
In hopeful anticipation, I consulted the County website where their concerns were for “immigrants,” “LGBTQ rights, marriage equality,” “seniors, the homeless and children.” Former Chair of the County Board Deborah Kafoury said her goal was “to take a stand against hatred, racism and violence.”
Does that mean that a senior white male scientist is now free from the “hatred, racism, and violence” that he and his colleagues have experienced from the elites during the Obama years? Somehow I doubt it.
The intolerance that I experienced is too ingrained to disappear with the stroke of a pen. If I challenge the elites to live up to lofty ideals, I find that they never intended them to apply to heretics who dare to question their views.
For instance two years ago, I listened to a presentation by the joint County and City “’Office of Planning and Sustainability” at the invitation of one of their technical staff members. When I raised my hand during the question period to ask a question, I was rudely cut-off not only by the meeting chairperson but by the large audience of public employees. The meeting was abruptly adjourned. So much for tolerance in ideologically pure Portland.
The question that so offended the public employees was why they had not considered the possibility that our climate might cool as well as warm? That way they would not have to take a position on the applicable science where they have no expertise and would be prepared for all eventualities. Covering all bases is an obvious win/win approach. It would also have given them some cover when our climate did turn dramatically colder this winter, and local governments were completely unprepared.
Obviously, when it comes to a choice between ideology and competent governing, the local ruling class defaults to ideology. Then they can at least claim to be following Post-Christian religious scripture, even if they are otherwise completely incompetent.
What about our respected colleges and universities? Are they tolerant of a spectrum of ideas or only the official party line? A year ago, I visited Reed College where I had been warned that tolerance was a myth. The “liberal arts college” would never allow any challenges to their fanatical political and religious beliefs. When I attempted to ask a question of their guest speaker Brian Deese, President Obama’s climate advisor, the audience shouted me down; and a co-ed grabbed my microphone. Afterwards, Reed professors physically blocked me from speaking with Deese. I dared to ask why President Obama had ignored a letter that more than a hundred scientists (including a Nobel Laureate in Physics) sent to him.
Following that up a few weeks ago, I wrote to Reed College President John Kroger, asking if his support for diversity and tolerance extended to science. I got no reply.
And then there was the great display of intolerance at the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry (OMSI) five years ago, when President Nancy Stueber abruptly canceled a meeting of the Oregon Chapter of the American Meteorological Society, because former Oregon State Climatologist George Taylor, Meteorologist Chuck Wiese, and I were to speak. Stueber had been contacted by professors Phil Mote and Christina Hulbe who objected to any public expression of doubt about a paradigm that had brought them much Federal money.
That display of intolerance so angered the Executive Council of the local AMS that they redoubled their efforts to hold the event at a location where the elites could not torpedo it. With help from Mark Hemstreet, the owner of Shilo Inns, we secured a large meeting room. It barely held the huge crowd that came to hear the other side of Global Warming. The 525 attendees made that by far the largest meeting in the Society’s 70 year history. For a brief moment, local scientists succeeded in overcoming the enormous backwardness and prejudice of the Portland political elites.
To see if perhaps Stueber had acquired a little wisdom in the intervening years, I suggested that the AMS consider an encore meeting at OMSI to deal with the many climate issues that have arisen in recent years. That would give Stueber a chance to prove that she now supports the free and open discussions that are so essential to the advancement of science. But of course, she still stonewalls any suggestions that they need to welcome newer and better ideas. Tolerance of heretics would offend her patrons.
Then there was the incident with the Portland Public Schools, last year, that was so reminiscent of another era when the teaching of Evolution was banned, because it violated the tenets of an old-time religion. The Portland School Board, in its infinite wisdom, banned the teaching of any doubt about Catastrophic Anthropogenic Global Warming. Their Post-Christian beliefs were greatly offended by any doubt that Al Gore was our new Savior and that carbon dioxide was the Great Satan. Our children must learn the new gospel, and never think for themselves at all!
So much for teaching tolerance and providing a real education for our youth! In Portland it is apparently sufficient to provide all types of restrooms to accommodate all sexual orientations.
Post-Modern beliefs hold that we humans are unwanted foreigners on this planet, plundering what rightly belongs to the plants and lesser animals. We are supposed to feel Christian-style guilt about the industrialization that has so benefited us. Of course, the elites are allowed to jet-set around the country and the world, lecturing others about their carbon footprints, smartphones, and pickup trucks.
The problem with such great contrast between the political elites and their subjects is that the peons get tired of the hypocrisy. That inevitably leads to rebellion. Some rebellions are successful, especially when royalty does not see them coming. Such was the case last November 8th when Donald Trump stunned the world with his successful bid for President of the United States. In one dramatic turn of events, elitism and its closely linked intolerance were swept away at the national level and replaced by the solid practicality that had built America in the first place. Gone were the Post-Modern and Post-Christian experiments of a strongly ideological president. Obama’s Utopia was an abject failure. American exceptionalism was given a rebirth.
Unfortunately, routs in American politics are rarely as complete and final as was, for instance, the French Revolution. That revolution hardly restored tolerance as heads rolled. But at least the losing elites did not immediately resort to sabotage, simply because they could not. Today, losing Democrats who characterize themselves as “Liberals” have escalated to a fever pitch their intolerance of Conservatives, Republicans, and especially President Trump. Representative Earl Blumenaur calls it “resistance.” But it is just destructive behavior, born of a profound disappointment that their ideology is faltering.
One has to wonder if their liberalism has also faltered, because of a hard left turn. Liberals once prided themselves in being the most tolerant of all people, not the least. They saw the value in considering all ideas and embracing all of their fellow citizens. Not anymore. President Obama saw to that.
Gordon J. Fulks lives in Corbett and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. He holds a doctorate in physics from the University of Chicago’s Laboratory for Astrophysics and Space Research and has no conflicts of interest on this subject.