Sunday, September 19, 2010

If China's So Great, Then Why Don't You Move There?

Tom Friedman springs wood for China again today, but does anybody besides FLG see this point, which is supposed to be a major tally in China's favor, as anything but:
“There is really no debate about climate change in China,” said Peggy Liu, chairwoman of the Joint U.S.-China Collaboration on Clean Energy, a nonprofit group working to accelerate the greening of China. “China’s leaders are mostly engineers and scientists, so they don’t waste time questioning scientific data.”

First, as FLG has been arguing for years, engineers are largely incapable of dealing with the vagaries of political life. Perhaps they work well within a system that seems stable, like communism, but inevitably they're going to mismanage themselves into a disaster. FLG doesn't like the types of solutions engineers and scientists would come up with to deal with a political disaster. Conversely, there's a reason lawyers are mostly in charge democracies. Sure, they suck, but they thrive in the gray areas, which is just what a democracy needs.

Second, the entire point of science is to question hypotheses and by extension data. So, not only are they engineers and scientists, but apparently bad ones at that.

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