The Three Wisest Words on Earth

“I don’t know.”

These are the three wisest words in the English tongue — or any other tongue.

These are the words of an honest man.

A man may think. A man may believe. Yet a man does not know.

This ignorance — that a man does not know — is this publication’s central assumption.

Nor do we believe that anyone else knows.

Imagine if politicians bowed before these three words.

Imagine if market experts bowed before these three words.

Imagine if the media bowed before these three words.

We hazard this world would run to far saner settings.

Who Wants to Hear That?

Yet the world’s three wisest words — “I don’t know” — are likewise its three most unpopular words.

That is because the human being hunts for certainty.

Uncertainty disturbs and unsettles him. He does not like it.

Who will heed the man who concedes that he does not know? Who will follow him?

“Will we win this war, Mr. President?”

“I don’t know.”

”Does God exist, Pastor?”

“I don’t know.”

“Does God exist, Mr. Atheist?”

“I don’t know.”

Often — not always but often — a man’s certitude precisely equals his ignorance.

Does the pastor know that God has existence? Does the atheist know that God has no existence?

Each fellow is perfectly ignorant. Yet each is certain as steel.

The concession of “I don’t know” renders them instant agnostics.

And the vast majority of men do not wish to be agnostics. They wish to believe.

They must believe in something — even anything.

The late G.K. Chesterton hooked onto something when he wrote:

When men choose not to believe in God, they do not thereafter believe in nothing, they then become capable of believing in anything.

“Is Human-Induced Climate Emergency Real, Mr. Activist?”

Above we referenced certain questions. We now raise our own:

“Is human-induced climate emergency real, Mr. Activist?”

Will “I don’t know” come issuing from his lips?

It is extremely unlikely. That is because such a concession would disarm him instantly. All zeal, all fire would extinguish in his belly.

He would cease to be a believer. Doubt would breach his perimeter… and soon overrun his position.

This he will not permit.

What unseen bugaboo explains the Hawaiian wildfires?

Climate emergency, shrieks the believer.

What unseen bugaboo explains the tempest presently besieging Florida?

Climate emergency, howls the believer.

What unseen bugaboo will explain the next earthly disaster — and the one after that one?

His answer is once again climate emergency.

May we introduce you to one such creature?

Rage Against “Climate Deniers”

A certain Glenn C. Altschuler professes American Studies at Cornell University.

He has authored an article under this title:

“Climate Deniers Are Entitled to Their Own Opinions, but Not Their Own Facts.”

From which:

2023 is likely to be the hottest year on record, and possibly the hottest in 100,000 years. Virtually all climate scientists agree that human activities (i.e. the release of carbon dioxide and methane into the atmosphere) have warmed the surface of the Earth and ocean basins, and affected extreme weather events.

We are subsequently instructed in the manifold calamities of climate emergency.

These include savage wildfires… droughts… hurricanes… floods.

Concludes this fact-follower:

Some climate deniers, it seems clear, are willfully or invincibly ignorant. These people must not be allowed to prevent the rest of us from addressing a clear, present, extraordinarily well-documented and existential threat to the United States — and to planet Earth.

Just so. Yet is a doctoral degree in American Studies — so-called — a doctoral degree in the atmospheric sciences?

By every reasonable measure it is not.

Where then are his facts? Is he not merchanting an opinion himself?

Does the pot not label the kettle black?

Even if he held a doctorate in the atmospheric sciences… would he truly know?

True Science

Science — contrary to the claims of the Dr. Faucis of this world — is never “settled.”

Scientific theory may be validated by experimentation. Yet scientific theory can never be proven.

Against every scientific theory flaws relentlessly conspire. They merely await their chance.

One of these flaws can render invalid an entire theory.

The scientist never truly knows.

Thus science — authentic science — is the avowed enemy of belief.

Politicized science… political science… is the bedfellow of belief.

This Altschuler fellow claims the present year may prove the hottest in 100,000 years.

Assume for the moment that the claim proves valid. Yet we must inquire:

Why was Earth this hot 100,000 years ago? Where was the internal-combustion engine?

And if warming yields additional warming… which yields additional warming… which yields additional warming… until Earth cooks… as the catastrophists believe… how did Earth ever cool?

We request a square answer.

“Virtually All Climate Scientists Agree”

This Altschuler claims, in reminder:

Virtually all climate scientists agree that human activities (i.e. the release of carbon dioxide and methane into the atmosphere) have warmed the surface of the Earth and ocean basins, and affected extreme weather events.

Virtually all climate scientists agree?

We are informed — reliably — that “virtually all climate scientists” do not agree.

Five hundred climate scientists authored a thing called the European Climate Declaration.

They addressed it to the United Nations Secretary-General. And it read:

A global network of more than 500 knowledgeable and experienced scientists and professionals in climate and related fields have… [determined that] the general-circulation models of climate on which international policy is at present founded are unfit for their purpose.

Therefore, it is cruel as well as imprudent to advocate the squandering of trillions of dollars on the basis of results from such immature models… We urge you to follow a climate policy based on sound science, realistic economics and genuine concern for those harmed by costly but unnecessary attempts at mitigation.


The Little Ice Age ended as recently as 1850. Therefore, it is no surprise that we now are experiencing a period of warming. Only very few peer-reviewed papers even go so far as to say that recent warming is chiefly anthropogenic…

The world has warmed at less than half the originally predicted rate, and at less than half the rate to be expected on the basis of net anthropogenic forcing…

Climate models have many shortcomings and are not remotely plausible as policy tools. Moreover, they most likely exaggerate the effect of greenhouse gases such as CO2…

There is no statistical evidence that global warming is intensifying hurricanes, floods, droughts and suchlike natural disasters, or making them more frequent…

There is no climate emergency. Therefore, there is no cause for panic and alarm.

Yet, again, Mr. Altschuler informs us that “virtually all climate scientists agree.”

Five hundred climate scientists manifestly do not agree.

Are these 500 renegades correct? Are they incorrect?

We lack the scientific credentialism to judge one way or the other.

We Know Only That We Don’t Know

What do we know?

We know… beyond all question… only that we do not know.

Yet this we do know: 500 climate scientists harpoon the “climate emergency” theory.

We know that “virtually all climate scientists” do not agree.

We hazard these 500 are elaborately more informed about the atmospheric sciences than a professor of American Studies at Cornell University.

They have proked, prodded and probed the climate emergency theory.

And they have found it riddled through with boo-boos.

Their findings are available publicly. Mr. Altschuler is free to consult them.

We hazard he has not… and will not.

For this fellow is a believer. Thus this fellow is a menace.

That is because the world’s greatest atrocities are perpetrated by believers — believers in God, disbelievers in God, believers in the equality of man, believers in this, believers in that…

Believers in “settled science.”

May the Lord deliver us from the believers among us.

May He cram their mouths with three wise words:

“I don’t know.”

The Daily Reckoning