The Power of Knowledge

Up to now I haven’t mentioned what I believe is the most important source of power, and that is knowledge.

Dot Earth is a very good site for keeping up to date on current knowledge about biology and other sciences that are relevant to the political issues we face. Today’s report very neatly describes why conflicts within countries are seldom solved when the “root cause” of the problem is scarce natural resources. You would think that would be obvious, wouldn’t it? Not enough to eat, people fight over what is available, but now we know from both the obvious and from the statistics and from the United Nations Environment Program. So why haven’t we solved the problem?

Probably because we need more than knowledge to solve problems. We must also exercise the power of our own choices, first to listen to factual reality and think about it as it is (not as we are), and then to do something. And that’s when we get all wound up in the political problem of trying to decide which is more important — the politician or the long-term welfare of the people.