The Campaign

1  The Need For This Replacement

You may already have concluded that our democratic freedom to debate belief and counter-belief to one or other elective belief-consensus never produces policies which attain their objectives in practice; that this failure to reach even a parliamentary conclusion has been highlighted by the Brexit fiasco since the referendum of June 2016; and that this prolonged failure focuses attention on the need for something other than belief/counter-belief debate.  My first step towards satisfying this need was my recognition that the knowledge which is craftsmanship, science, technology and engineering had never been differentiated from the beliefs/counter-beliefs of religion and of secular politics. Thus, having definitively differentiated knowledge from belief for the first time ever by reference to what I co-defined as the reality-evaluation which converts belief to either positive or negative knowledge, I now offer a public campaign for the replacement of belief with knowledge wherever and whenever possible in future policy-making, thus terminating the otherwise incessant and futile belief/counter-belief debates of politicians, civil servants, commentators, and electorates.

To exemplify the complete absence of definitive knowledge from politics since time immemorial, we recently had Jacob Rees-Mogg opining after the election of 2/5/19, that ‘if a party of government does not set out its core beliefs then when unexpected problems arise, it will offer unimaginative bureaucratic responses as it will have no well of ideas (beliefs) upon which to draw (my italics), and that this leaves it directionless and able to do little more than the management of decline’. He  called this lack of clarity, “the central problem of party government”, without  recognising that his central problem is that his belief had only minority support in parliament while its counter-belief had majority support therein; and that no politician, no political party, no commentator and no elector, has ever said that the missing factor in any belief/counter-belief debate is the knowledge which would conclusively terminate it.

In contrast, having long recognised the ease with which belief ignores knowledge or fails to recognise its absence, I eventually concluded that this ignorance and failure could be eliminated only by definitively differentiating the knowledge/belief dichotomy as set out in Section 7 of this campaign  document. Prior to achieving this differentiation, Sections 2 – 6, recall my dawning preference for knowledge; my early recognition of the reverse preference of politicians; my early failure to recognise the inability of knowledge to speak for itself, and my early failure to recognise the need to differentiate these terms definitively. Thus, Section 7 is prefaced by Sections 2 – 6 to emphasise the need for this newly definitive knowledge/belief differentiation; and to establish it as the foundation of my Campaign. 

Thereafter, Sections 8 and 9 re-interpret history to show how humanity’s innate capacity for knowledge-acquisition has been thwarted by its innate acceptance of belief, despite craftsmanship having been cause-effect knowledge since pre-history; that science is cause-effect knowledge acquired by the reality-evaluation of belief (hypothesis) by designed experimentation while the belief-selected (arbitrary) parameters of pseudoscience merely pose as cause and effect; and that beliefs cannot rationally override knowledge.  Section 10 then shows that the debate of belief/counter-belief produces no more than one or other transient belief-consensus; and that leaving the EU will produce no noticeable benefit if, post-Brexit, we continue to base policy on no more that elective belief-consensus as is currently the universal practice, while Section 11 concludes with the introduction of my Campaign, lists my knowledge-only websites and indicates the subject areas of future websites in further support of my Campaign.          

2  My Early Preference For knowledge Over Belief.

Long before my differentiation of the knowledge/belief dichotomy, my dawning preference for the former, caused me to acquire a BSc (1st class honours in 1961) in chemistry, with subsidiary physics, mathematics and microbiology, and a PhD in physical chemistry (1964) all from the University of Glasgow; to acquire further knowledge of the respective applications of these sciences in oceanography, geology and meteorology at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, Mass., USA (1964-1967); and to join the UK scientific civil service as a senior scientific officer (the post-doctorate recruitment grade) at the then Warren Spring Laboratory (WSL) in 1967 with the personal objective of replacing the DTI’s then current industrial/environmentalist policy beliefs with my acquisition of further in situ knowledge, my then naive expectation being that knowledge would speak for itself, despite the absence of any definitive knowledge/belief differentiation at that time. However, my general reading of history, philosophy, politics economics, sociology etc. gradually convinced me that such subjects merely compare, contrast and construe opinions/counter-opinions which are merely beliefs/counter-beliefs supported by partially selected facts/counter-facts, evidence/ counter-evidence or news/false-news none of which amount to conclusive debate-terminating knowledge, and that such are the academic subjects read by those who become policy-making civil servants, politicians and media commentators.  

However, I expanded my PhD knowledge of catalytic mechanism within that section of the chemical engineering division of WSL and applied it to the treatment of industrial and motor vehicle emissions, having installed a roller-dynamometer on which treated and untreated emissions, could be compared over variable driving cycles. In 1972, I was promoted to principle, and in 1974 to senior principle scientific officer to take charge of a newly created oil and chemical marine pollution division at WSL, together with a research ship RV Seaspring, newly converted for investigation of the means of reducing operational discharges and of responding to casualty-related releases of oil and chemicals from ships; and of evaluating their impact at sea and onshore while developing optimal means of response to them at sea, and on all shoreline types and coastal structures, while continuing my autodidactic reading of the academic subjects studied by intending politicians, policy-making civil servants and commentators. 

As a consequence of the first total loss of cargo and bunkers in the Torrey Canyon Incident of 1967 and of its arrival on West Country shorelines, an oil pollution section had been created by DTI within the chemical engineering division of WSL.  This section designed a tug-mountable dispersant spraying system for use in future incidents, and began to investigate the oil-content of bilge water discharges from ships and the efficiency of online oil/water separators intended to discharge oil-free bilge water.  It had also began to produce the means by which stranded oils could be removed from shorelines. However, as to evaluating the environmentalist belief that such accidental releases and operational discharges had the collective capacity to destroy marine life, my newly created division progressively acquired the knowledge that crude oils spread on the sea surface to a layer thickness of about 0.1mm (100 m3/ km2) from which the volatile components (about 25% by weight) evaporate to the atmosphere in about 5 hours, while seawater emulsifies the non-volatile fraction to about 80% water-content; that this emulsion-layer disperses naturally into the underlying seawater with a half-life dependent on its measurable viscosity; that all crude and fuel oils could be respectively tabulated in four and in three half-life ranges for prediction of their natural dispersion rates; that even were such slick thicknesses to disperse instantaneously, the oil concentration in the top metre of seawater would be no more than 100 parts per million (ppm); that for the most rapidly dispersing oils, the concentration in the top metre is about 20ppm and only a few ppm at 10 metres depth until all is thus dispersed (after ~ 7 half-lives) to ever lower concentrations; and that such concentrations can have no toxic effect on planktonic or bacterial organisms in the water column, while the latter biodegrade the oil to carbon dioxide and water.

Again, we acquired the knowledge that dispersants increase the natural dispersion rate and decrease the quantity likely to strand or to remain stranded; and that with  the oil : dispersant-application ratio being 10 : 1, the dispersant concentrations in the water column are only one tenth of the oil concentrations (c.f. preceding paragraph). As to  the half-life concept which arises from the rate of radioactive decay being proportional to the amount present, I noted that the rate of slick dispersal would be proportional to the area of its contact with the underlying sea and on the viscosity which controls droplet size. Thus, by applying the viscosity of the Ekofisk slick (1976)1 to the time elapsed from the well being capped to the slick having totally dispersed at sea as droplets, I confirmed my half-life hypothesis on the basis of which my colleague Joe Nichols, after transferring to the International Tanker Owners Pollution Federation (ITOPF), tabulated2 half-lives and half-life ranges for all crude oils in Groups I -.IV while I later2 tabulated the half-life ranges for viscosity ranges of the heavy fuels in groups A, B and C.

In addition, my division acquired the knowledge that the encounter-rate for mobile recovery systems with floating layers of fully spread thinness is only 0.2 tonnes of oil per metre of swath width per knot of advance; that the floating layer disperses beneath the recovery unit and its collection-enhancing boom as droplets large enough to resurface behind them at rates of advance > 1 knot; and that while the rate of advance for dispersant treatment from ships could be an order of magnitude greater and from aircraft at least two orders of magnitude greater per swathe metre, aircraft had to return to base to reload at greater frequency than did tugs; that consequently neither dispersant use nor mechanical recovery could be expected to prevent the stranding of more than the initial impact-release from a single cargo tank (~2500 -3000 tonnes) before being terminated by seawater-entry; that they could not deal with a total cargo release; and that consequently the priority response had to be the prevention of further damage-related release (as in a grounding for example), by cargo transfer to a lightening tanker by use of emergency cargo-transfer equipment, inflatable inter-ship fenders, and inert gas generators, all of which would need to be helicopter deliverable; and that for obvious reasons such operations would best be conducted in the sheltered haven nearest to the location of the incident. 

3 Utilisation/Non-Utilisation Of The Foregoing Knowledge.

On the basis of the foregoing knowledge, my division collectively designed the optimal means of airborne dispersant spraying and of mechanical recovery for use a sea and on all shoreline types; and computed the extent to which such equipment ought to be on standby for future incidents. In addition, we promulgated the knowledge that dispersants could also be applied to stranded emulsions at the sea/ shore interface on flooding tides without exceeding the toxicity limits for water-column organisms; that any shorelines denuded of sedentary organisms by stranded emulsions were naturally re-colonised post-cleaning by deposition of the planktonic life stages which had colonised them in the first place; and that the numbers of birds killed by physical coating with oil had never been sufficient, and would now remain insufficient to endanger species-survival.

Again, we acquired further knowledge as to the effectiveness of shipboard oil/bilge-water separation systems and showed that such would require the addition of downstream coalescence and filter units if they were to comply with the belief-only oil-content limits already set for their discharges by the International Maritime Organisation (IMO). Yet again, by making measurements onboard chemical parcel tankers, we acquired the procedural knowledge which could permit post-discharge residues to be < 1 tonne per cargo tank as stipulated already by the IMO without its having any knowledge of how this limit could be met in such a way as to comply with the three belief-only toxicity-related categories into which chemical cargoes had already been allocated by the IMO.  Again, our procedural knowledge ensured that the subsequent wash-water discharges could be made to comply with already stipulated wake-concentrations at the stipulated distance behind the ship. All of the above knowledge respecting release response and operational discharge control was acquired from 1974 to my 1979 level-transfer to a new marine pollution control unit (MPCU) within the Marine Survey and Coastguard division of DTI.

As to my expectation that knowledge would speak for itself and thus be recognised as preferable to belief in the formulation of governmental policy, I now had to recognise that while the IMO delegates  to its Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC) accepted the WSL-acquired knowledge which now enables compliance with their belief-only (arbitrary) limits, they did not recognise that my approach demonstrated a general need to replace belief with knowledge in setting operational limits which otherwise were without any knowledge either of need or of feasibility of attainment. Again, this general need to replace belief with knowledge remained unrecognised by my own governmental department which represented the UK at IMO meetings, and by the belief-propagating, IMO-accredited, environmentalist NGOs, all of which continued to press for ever more stringent belief-only regulation of operational discharges and emissions from ships, for prohibition of the dispersant-use which prevented or recovered the shoreline amenity-loss caused by casualty-releases, and even for prohibition of safe haven-use for the cargo/bunker transfers which would prevent further damage-related releases. 

Again, while this newly acquired knowledge enabled me to persuade the new MPCU to purchase helicopter deliverable cargo transfer pumps, inert-gas generators, and pallet-loaded inter-ship inflatable fenders for emergency cargo/bunker transfer, it did not enable me to override the opposition of belief-only environmentalism to the use of safe havens for such operations (c.f. Section 2).  Again, while WSL-acquired knowledge enabled me to persuade the MPCU to contract for airborne dispersant spraying coupled with airborne radar, ultraviolet and infra-red detectors for measurement of relative slick thickness in relation to casualty-releases and operational-discharges respectively; to purchase WSL-designed mechanical recovery equipment for use at sea; and to purchase shoreline dispersant spraying and mechanical recovery equipment for use on differing shoreline types to supplement the stockpiles earlier specified by WSL and acquired by coastal local authorities: it nonetheless, did not enable me to reduce belief-only environmentalist opposition to the application of dispersants to floating and stranded oils and emulsions, despite their approval for such use by the Ministry of Agriculture Fisheries and Food, such approval being consistent with WSL knowledge of the low oil and lower dispersant  concentrations of Section 3, and the biodegradations of Section 6.   

4 Attempts By WSL To Counter Environmentalist Belief

These attempts by myself and my divisional colleagues at WSL included the running of annual training courses in the UK for the transfer of our acquired knowledge on the effects of and responses to marine pollution. for UK harbour and coastal local authorities, and for such overseas visitors as wished to benefit from them. Again, we accepted invitations to mount such courses in Bahrain for the Gulf and in Aruba for the Caribbean.  However, my chairmanship of the IMO working group on pollution response, and of the EU’s Bonn Agreement working group on marine pollution prevention and response, dispelled any doubts I might have had concerning the control exercised by the beliefs of the green lobby over all aspects of the environmental agenda which continued and continues to oppose all but the physical recovery of released oil from water and shoreline surfaces, despite such recovery imposing the further task of recycling such oil from its water-in-oil emulsions which themselves may be intimately mixed with much greater amounts of sand, shingle, pebbles etc. all of which have to be co-collected and transported for separation or for final disposal of the separated oil by combustion or by the biodegradation to carbon dioxide and water by the technique known as land-farming, by which oil refineries biodegrade in-house waste oils, and of which the overall capacity is quickly overwhelmed by such quantities as arise from a major release in the absence of permitted access to a safe haven for cargo/bunker transfer and/or from the prohibition of the dispersant-use at sea and on shore which we already know (c.f. Sections 3 and 5) results in biodegradation whether dispersants are used or not. 

Throughout the foregoing programme of knowledge acquisition, it was notable that no administrator or environmentalist-lobby employee ever attended a WSL training course or ever visited WSL for information as to its investigative and developmental programme. Indeed, even after the MPCU had purchased equipment and arranged contracts at my knowledge-only direction as described above, the official contingency plan for marine pollution response called for green-lobby attendance at MPCU HQ for all future incidents on the un-spoken understanding that if I could persuade the lobby to accept my knowledge-only response, the Department would also accept it, and if not, it would accept the lobby’s belief-only alternatives, irrespective of the negative consequences for the flora and fauna which the lobby purported to be protecting.

Despite the continuing failure of government to impose a preference for knowledge over belief on itself and thus on others, I returned to WSL in 1986 on promotion to deputy chief scientific officer (grade 4) as deputy director of WSL to take charge of its then four knowledge-acquiring environmental divisions, these being national air quality monitoring; industrial air pollution abatement; and waste recycling;together with my former oil and chemical marine pollution division and its RV Seaspring; and to take responsibility for personnel management for all eight divisions.  My fellow deputy director remained in charge of the four industry divisions, viz. chemical-engineering/computer-control; mechanical handling of difficult materials such as industrial pastes and powders; mineral processing; and metals extraction, together with management of the physical resources of all eight divisions.

Prior to my return, unsuccessful attempts had been made to privatise WSL and it was not long before the then Secretary of State indicated his intention to close the four industry divisions which were not earning their keep as intended through contracts with industry in topics approved by Industrial Requirements Boards established by DTI and industry for this purpose; and to retain only my four environmental divisions plus the supportive chemical analysis section.  Having ascertained that the WSL director (chief scientific officer, grade 3) and my fellow deputy director were to be transferred to DTI HQ in this plan, I told them I would write a counter-plan over the weekend by which I would convert the four industry divisions to a second air pollution abatement division to measure emissions at specific sites and recommend technical improvements, a new waste handling/recycling division, a new division for contaminated land remediation, and a divisional expansion of the chemical analysis section, with retention of all of the staff, and with myself as the overall business manager; and that I would send my plan to the then secretary of state on the following Monday through the head of the DTI central policy unit. Within two weeks I was informed by its undersecretary (grade 3) that the SS accepted my proposal and that a replacement for my fellow deputy director would be installed forthwith to take charge of both personnel management and physical resources in support of my business plan which called for substantial redesign of the laboratory’s pilot-scale facilities.       

Having thus been promoted to chief scientific officer (grade 3) as director of WSL, now to be known as the DTI’s Environmental Science and Technology Agency, the first government laboratory to attain agency status, we proceeded to gain contracts to the extent of making no financial calls on our parent department.  However, while the future looked bright with our main governmental customer now being the Department of the Environment, there were straws in the wind.  It was still noticeable that no representative or employee of an environmental pressure group had ever visited what had become the leading laboratory for environmental knowledge acquisition on quantified emissions, discharges and accidental releases from industrial and shipping sources to atmosphere, sea and land, together with waste recycling and contaminated land remediation and their quantified concentration/toxicity effects. 

However, the absence of such visits was unsurprising given that politicians were willing to accept environmentalist beliefs of such organisations as Green Peace, Friends of the Earth etc.; and that this preference for belief over knowledge had been increasing steadily since publication of Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring in 1963. Indeed it was this belief-only influence which had caused the IMO to set arbitrary discharge limits for the oil-content of bilge water discharges from ships and arbitrary discharge limits for the chemical content of cargo tank washings to the sea for three arbitrary toxicity ranges: all before my oil and chemical division at its own initiative had taken the necessary measurements and specified the equipment and procedures by which these discharge limits could be met (c.f. Sections 4 and 5). However, despite my DTI approved redesign of WSL, the possibility existed that belief-driven environmentalists would eventually be instrumental in closing us down.

5 Termination Of Knowledge-Acquisition At WSL And The Increasing influence Of Belief

Shortly after I became director of WSL, it was discovered that the load-bearing pillars of the building needed to be replaced because the internal metal reinforcement was corroding, expanding, and breaking the encasing concrete; and that all of these pillars supporting the otherwise glass walls of the 3-storey building were thus affected. Again, with this replacement having been agreed by the subsequent Secretary of State, it was later revealed that Glaxo, our next door neighbour in Stevenage, wished to purchase our site for future expansion.  Accordingly, the subsequent SS agreed that a new WSL could be built on a site in the neighbouring Welwyn Garden City within the sale price to Glaxo plus the sum agreed for the pillar replacement which would not be needed with the building now to be demolished by Glaxo.  It was thus demolished.

However,, despite all of our costs now being recovered by specific contract work, some of which was for the governments of the USA and the Netherlands; despite my annual published accounts having attracted management buy-out offers from two venture-capital organisations, and despite the new foundations having been installed and the walls rising under the direct supervision of my deputy director, Dr Les Goldstone, the succeeding Secretary of State cancelled the rebuild with the expressed intention of transferring staff willing to go to AEA Harwell.  However, many preferred the private sector or requested early retirement in disgust, as I did, prior to managing the run-down of staff with completion of all outstanding contracts including decontamination of the site by June 1994 to the point at which only six of us remained on the last day without any farewell or comment from DTI HQ.          

Prior to the announced closure of WSL, the central policy unit of DTI had asked whether or not I believed in anthropogenic global warming, the establishment of a Climate Change Committee  (CCC) having been mooted at that time.  My position was that before any governmental action could be contemplated, this belief would need to be validated or refuted by cause-effect experimentation; that a start could be made by seeking to identify the cause or causes of the Earth’s Ice Ages and Interglacial Warm Ages over geological time; that, indeed, we had as yet no knowledge as to the cause of the global warming which has been on-going since the last Ice Age or as to a cause of future cooling towards the next Ice Age; that despite these causes being unknown, we already knew that the ice over what is now the British Isles had been of very substantial thickness at the height the last Ice Age; and that as to sea-level rise, we already knew that < 20,000 years ago,  what became the English channel was passable on foot. Thus, I concluded that until the cause of such ice-melt and sea-level rise could be known, we knew only that they had begun prior to any anthropogenic causes because they long pre-dated the existence of Homo sapiens and could well be continuing irrespective of our existence and current practices.     

Thus, as to the hypothetical effects of anthropogenic releases of carbon dioxide, my position was that consideration be given to our already available knowledge that the vegetative biomass of land and sea has always been the photosynthetic embodiment of atmospheric carbon dioxide; that the animal biomass of land and sea is the secondary embodiment of the photosynthetic biomass; that the overall total living biomass is always dying, biodegrading (decomposing) and releasing itself back to the atmosphere as carbon dioxide; that the only interruption to this otherwise incessant recycling of carbon dioxide is the the burial of a portion of this dead organic material by the geological processes which convert it to natural gas, oil and coal; that our combustion of such fuels merely returns to the atmosphere the carbon dioxide which would otherwise have returned by oxidative biodegradation; and that the tectonic plate movement which raises the global mountain ranges absorbs carbon dioxide from the  atmosphere by the Urey reaction (Harold Urey) which converts exposed silicates to carbonates by reaction with atmospheric carbon dioxide by rain which in reality is dilute carbonic acid.

Yet again, with respect to beliefs in the deleterious effects of anthropogenic emissions of nitrogen dioxide (NO2), consideration should be given to our knowledge that lightning flashes cause atmospheric nitrogen to combine with the hydrogen of atmospheric water vapour to form ammonia (NH3) which is also  carried to the soil in rain. This is then converted to the nitrite ion by soil bacteria (Nitrosomonas) which in turn is converted to the nitrate ion by other soil bacteria (Nitrobacteria), the nitrate being the only from in which nitrogen is available for the amino acids and proteins of plant and hence of animal growth.  Otherwise, atmospheric nitrogen is available to plants as nitrate only through the Azotobacter and Rhizobium associatedwith root nodules of legumes, hence the longstanding practice of crop rotation to maintain the fertility of agricultural soil. Indeed, as crop extraction became increasingly intensive this fertility-maintenance began to require supplementary addition of nitrates in the form of guano imported from Chile to Europe, and when the British blockade of World War I prevented such imports to Germany, Fritz Haber responded with the Haber process which continues to produce nitrate fertilisers from atmospheric nitrogen on a worldwide industrial scale. Otherwise, nitrates are recycled for soil fertilisation by the decomposition of dead biomass, though denitrifying soil bacteria return this nitrogen to ammonia before this is reconverted to nitrates by the bacterial species cited above. As to anthropogenic emissions of sulphur dioxide we know that sulphur bacteria can either oxidise sulphur or its compounds or reduce them to sulphur; that in oxidising sulphur to sulphuric acid these organisms not only produce sulphates for the higher plants but also liberate phosphorus from insoluble phosphates in the soil, thus making it accessible to plants as soluble phosphates which are otherwise among the most necessary and expensive ‘artificial’ fertilisers.  On the other hand, sulphate-reducing bacteria reduce the acidity of damp and marshy ground which is caused by sulphur acids and thus improves it agriculturally and industrially.    In addition, we know that oil released to the environment is decomposed to carbon dioxide and water by a wide variety of micro-organisms such as the Methanomonas, Alcaligenes, Aspergillus, Monilia, Sarcina, Azotobacter, Rhizobium; Desulphibrio and Clostribium; that the presence of such oil automatically results in the increased presence of such organisms.  (c.f. Sections 3 and 4); that all organisms are part of the natural environment; and that we are not inimical to it to the extent believed by the green lobby.    

6  My Post-Retirement Promotion Of Knowledge Over Belief

In my retirement, I was invited to chair the committee of the British Oil Spill Control Association (BOSCA) and to be the accredited NGO representative of the International Spill Control organisation (ISCO) on the IMO MEPC and on the International Oil Pollution Compensation Fund (IOPCF) Assembly. In addition, my experience and that of John Dawes, a former manufacturer of pollution response equipment  caused us to create the International Spill Accreditation Association (ISAA) to encourage response contractors to operate on our knowledge-only basis. However, while this was initially endorsed by the Department of Environment (DoE) with respect its local authority responsibilities for shoreline pollution clearance, this endorsement was withdrawn when the MPCU, which had direct responsibility for response at sea, decided to let contractors accredit themselves.

Nonetheless, I produced a knowledge-only system to which lawyers referred in reaching agreement on the compensation due to a salver for removing cargo and bunkers under emergency conditions.  In this system, I used the known viscosity and volatility of the known quantity of oils released by the known tank damage, to calculate the quantity which would reach shore under the known conditions of wind and tide, as diminished by the known evaporative loss and known half-lives of the dispersing water-in-oil emulsions of the crude and fuel oils, in the times taken to reach shore (c.f. Section 2). I then compared these calculated quantities with those known to have stranded, and having thus confirmed my selected half-lives by the equality of these comparisons, I calculated the quantities which could have reached shore under these and subsequent wind and tide conditions had the salver not removed the remaining cargo and bunkers. Lawyers then computed the compensation by comparing known pollution clearance costs with those which could have arisen in absence of the salver‘s actions.

As to the prohibition on moving such casualties to safe havens for cargo/bunker removal (c.f. Section 5), the Sea Empress Incident of 1996 released cargo oil from tank-damage within such a location when it grounded in the entrance to Milford Haven, which itself was/is a major oil terminal.  In this case, the response ought to have been to re-float the casualty and move it into one of the Haven terminals for discharge of the remaining cargo, neither the engine room nor the onboard discharge machinery having been damaged by the grounding.  But with no such response being permitted by environmentalist belief (c.f. Sections 5 and 7), with none of the then MPCU staff having had any experience of such incidents, and with all WSL staff having been relocated or having relocated themselves with its closure (c.f. Section 9), things went from bad to worse. Thus, the casualty was anchored in situ where it floated on each subsequent flood tide and grounded again on each subsequent ebb, with the result that after the initial damage-releases of some 6000 tonnes of cargo on February 15, there were further damage-releases on February 16, 17, 18 and 19, the last of which was about 30,000 tonnes.  In all, the ship lost 72,000 tonnes before commonsense removed it to one of the Haven terminals where it discharged the remaining 58,000 tonnes before being dry-docked in Belfast.

I sent my analysis as to the fates of these releases (c.f. second paragraph of this Section) together with my critique of the response to the ensuing Lord Donaldson (Master of the Rolls) Enquiry into the incident and its response, but I received no acknowledgement of receipt, let alone any recognition of the general need to replace environmentalist belief with environmental knowledge.  This experience caused me to write my second book as a review and assessment2. Again, after I had achieved my knowledge/ belief differentiation in my third book3 (c.f. Sections 12 – 15) I began to write a series of weekly articles for the ISCO Newsletter based on my first two books as now re-interpreted on the basis of my newly definitive differentiation, while  my subsequent websites4,5 were  intended to widen its public impact.    

7  The First Definitive Differentiation Of The Knowledge/Belief Dichotomy

With my first two books1,2 having been written in my mistaken belief that knowledge would speak for itself in the otherwise belief-ridden corridors of power (c.f. Sections 1 – 6), I had to recognise that politics has never been more than the debate of belief/counter-belief to one or other elective belief-consensus while politicians and electorates ignore knowledge or fail to recognise its absence in respect of these activities, despite its on-going acquisition as craftsmanship, science, technology and engineering.  Thus, in rising to the chief scientific officer grade as director of a laboratory in HM civil service, I concluded that belief would be rejected only by definitively differentiating it from knowledge by an as yet undefined reference to the reality common to all; and that such differentiation would show that the debate of opinion/counter-opinion is no more than the debate of belief/counter-belief supported by partially selected facts/counter-facts, evidence/counter-evidence or news/false-news, no set of which is debate-terminating knowledge; that academia’s self-styled rational/critical thinking produces no more than one or other opinion; and that while mathematical (rational) analysis can apply the knowledge-content of a mathematical equation to new purposes, it cannot produce additional knowledge, such addition being precluded by the equality maintained throughout the said analysis (c.f. Sections 1 and 2).

As to providing the requisite reference to reality, I concluded in my third book3 that reality stimulates our imaginations through our sense receptors to rational beliefs transformable to positive or negative knowledge of reality by evaluation of their compliance or non-compliance with it, or to beliefs which are beyond this reality-evaluation in pro tem practice or in principle, and which thus remain belief pro tem or permanently; and that the latter can only be accepted, rejected or suspended as religious beliefs in the Beyond, and thus can never be converted to positive or negative knowledge. On this basis, my third book shows that reality-evaluation of specific beliefs (hypotheses) produced the craft- and self-knowledge which secured our group-species survival from time immemorial and the science and technology (engineering) which enhanced our welfare from the seventeenth century onwards; that the reality-validated self-knowledge which harmonises our innate selfishness with our innate need for survival-related social cohesion as the group-species we are, is expressed in the injunction ‘to do unto others as you would have them do to you’ and that the implementation of this self-knowledge as policy is variously disrupted by conflicting religious beliefs, by knowledge rejecting secular beliefs, or by reality itself in ways which belief is unable to anticipate and avert (c.f. Section 1)

Having thus definitively differentiated the knowledge/belief dichotomy and with it those of truth/ falsehood, wisdom/folly, right/wrong and good/bad by reference to my now co-defined reality-evaluation, I have rendered metaphysics redundant, and resolved epistemology. Thus, I have shown that the behavioural beliefs of religion and secularism require reality-evaluation with respect to their compliance or non-compliance with our species-specific need for hierarchical social cohesion; that the absence of reality-evaluation leads to endless and futile debate across all political fields within and between all political parties and religions; that such irresolvable debates all too often lead to violence, revolution and war; and that the absence of reality-evaluation corrupts what could be the human, social, economic and environmental sciences to the pseudoscience now responsible for deteriorating personal behaviour, diminishing social cohesion, recurring financial crises, increasing uncertainty of material and energy supply, and diversion of resources from real to unreal problems.

Further to my science/pseudoscience differentiation, my third book shows that science investigates cause and effect by experiments designed to isolate a believed (hypothetical) cause from all other possible causes, thus permitting the effect to be observed or not.  If observed, the experiment then permits the cause to be varied in magnitude, the corresponding effects to be measured, and this relationship to be expressed as a mathematical equation from which, ever after, effects can be predicted from causes and vice versa; and that, in contrast, pseudoscience arbitrarily selects a cause for an observed effect without confirming the pair to be in a cause-effect relationship by any cause-effect experimentation, and is thus incapable of predicting anything, there being no relationship-equation, as is daily revealed by all pseudoscience, though these revelations are ignored by belief-only policy implementers and electorates.  Thus, while the implementations of the beliefs of pseudoscience are their sole reality-evaluations, their failure to deliver promised effects (results) have yet to be publicly recognised as their reality-refutations.  Nonetheless, it is often jokingly recognised that economics is incapable of predicting the next financial crisis; and that sociology and psychology cannot cure society’s ills. However, progress would be made were such pseudo-scientists to reality-evaluate their beliefs as hypotheses, instead of falsely propagating them as knowledge without prior reality-evaluation.  

8 Conclusions Of My Third Book

As to the benefits of my reality-evaluation, my third book concludes that religious beliefs in the Beyond are beyond such evaluation in principle and thus cannot be accepted as knowledge of reality; that on the other hand, so-called religious beliefs respecting human nature and behaviour can be reality-evaluated as to whether they are conducive to cooperative social cohesion or disruptive of it; that the injunction to do unto others as you would have them do to you, is a codification of the reality-validated knowledge which harmonises our innate selfishness with our innate need for cooperative social cohesion as the group-species we are; that it is not a belief peculiar to one religion; and that it is knowledge available to all, and is incumbent (obligatory) on all, irrespective of differing beliefs as to the Beyond.  Thus, my third book concludes that religious, secular and political beliefs respecting human behaviour must now be reality-evaluated as to whether or not they are conducive to social harmony in the widest sense; that the absence of this reality-evaluation of belief to positive or negative knowledge leads to social disruption, violence, revolution, and war; and that lax application or absence of this reality-evaluation of belief corrupts what could be social, economic and environmental science to the pseudoscience now responsible for deteriorating personal behaviour, diminishing social cohesion, recurring financial crises, and uncertainty of material and energy supply by diverting resources from real to unreal problems.

Thus, my third book concludes that our current maladies can be rectified only by a general and public recognition that knowledge-only policies conducive to our species survival and to our social and physical welfare are properly defined as right and good with counter-beliefs being wrong and bad; that party-political manifestos must start to prioritise knowledge-only policies and identify all belief-only policies as those which have arisen from  pro tem ignorance or from beliefs which ought to be identified as such and replaced with knowledge already available or needing to be acquired as soon as possible and certainly before such belief-only policies are implemented; and that this now clearly defined Change from belief to knowledge will render continuous our otherwise disrupted progress. Indeed, my third book concludes that the act of reality-evaluation of belief to positive or negative knowledge not only differentiates the knowledge/belief dichotomy, but also those truth/falsehood, wisdom/folly, right/ wrong and good/bad; and that in thus exposing the redundancy of metaphysics and epistemology my knowledge/belief differentiation now saves the time previously and currently wasted on them. 

Chapter 1 of my third book3 shows how our innate but unrecognised capacity for knowledge/belief differentiation enabled our species to progress on knowledge-acquisition from time immemorial, despite belief-only disruptions.  Chapter 2 shows how this innate capacity for reality-evaluation of belief created our craftsmanship and social cultures from then to the Iron Age, while Chapter 3 outlines our mistaken search for knowledge through rationality alone, in the belief that the spirits of earth, fire, air and water of the Beyond were embodied to varied and varying extents in the here-and-now.  Chapter 4 then shows how contending religious beliefs beyond resolution by reality-evaluation could only be resolved to successive Christian orthodoxies by the Imperial Edicts of Constantine and his successors until replaced by the similarly authoritative Papacy, while Chapters 5, 6 and 7 show how religious and secular beliefs touching on reality were gradually resolved by my now co-defined reality-evaluation, either by direct observation or later by the cause-effect experimentation of physicochemical science.  Thereafter, Chapter 8 shows how physicochemical science transformed craftsmanship to technology and engineering, and provided other sciences with deeper knowledge than that of direct observation, while Chapter 9 shows how physicochemical science explained the evolution of universe, earth and life to the point now reached, and took technology and engineering to their current levels, all within our innate capacity to imagine beliefs capable of reality-evaluation by cause-effect experimentation. 

In contrast, Chapter 10 shows that philosophy is pure belief in its reliance on rationality alone to the extent of actually rejecting the reality-evaluation of belief which is the sole route to knowledge, while Chapter 11 shows that the secular now implement interpretations of belief in equality, freedom, rights and environmentalism to the extent of corrupting commonsense, general and specific knowledge, and even the scientific method itself in ways never attempted by the religious.  Again, in conclusion, Chapter 12 shows that the recognition of definitive knowledge would harmonise secularism with the knowledge-content of religion and vice versa, technology and engineering with the knowledge of environmental science (not belief) and permit economics and all other pseudoscience to be rejected by commonsense and replaced with cause-effect science; that the current disillusion with belief-only politics could become enthusiasm for its knowledge-only alternatives; that these could be selected and prioritised for implementation by party-specific voters in elections both general and local; that electorates could be confident of their working on implementation, in contrast to their belief-only alternatives which have always failed on implementation; and that elections thus far might as well have been coin tosses between one set of party-specific belief-only policies and another, in the absence of any knowledge of why they were being offered, or of how they were to be effectively implemented. 

9 Categorisation Of Beliefs For Avoidance Of Debate And Consequent Conflict

My third3 book identifies our Ur-belief in the availability of knowledge as the source of the specific beliefs (hypotheses) of Category A which remove all belief/counter-belief debate and the possibility of conflict, by reality-validating or reality-refuting all such beliefs and which has progressively produced our reality-validated craftsmanship, science, technology and engineering together with the knowledge-content of the traditional behaviour codes which maintain our cooperative social cohesion as the group species we are, and which are the bases of our commonsense.  Again, it allocates to Category B those beliefs which derive from our religious Ur-belief which produces the beliefs and counter-beliefs of differing religions with respect to the Beyond, and which are beyond reality-evaluation in principle  and thus can only be accepted, rejected or suspended as personal belief, if conflict is to be avoided. Yet again, it allocates to Category C, the beliefs which metaphysicians derive from the Ur-belief in rationality itself being a provider of knowledge, without recourse to reality-evaluation, and which is thus reality-refuted, though its derivatives can be reality-evaluated as hypotheses of Category A and accepted as knowledge if reality-validated, or consigned to Category C if reality-refuted, while rationality itself develops mathematics from reality-validated axioms, mathematical analysis being itself a succession of equalities, this being the meaning of the sequential signs of equality.

Thus, my third book shows that what was previously mistaken as the belief-only behaviour codes of Judeo-Christianity must now be recognised as the reality-validated knowledge which harmonises our innate selfishness with our innate need for cooperative social cohesion as the group-species we are; that some derivatives of the Ur-belief in religion respecting the nature of God can be recognised as reflections of our self-knowledge as confirmed by their ability to provide emotional support and to inspire, motivate and encourage compliance with socially cooperative behaviour; and that such knowledge is accepted as belief by the religious and rejected as such by the anti-religious and by the secular, in a joint failure to recognise it as reality-validated knowledge.  Again, my third book shows that our concepts of good and bad, and right and wrong, reflect our knowledge of what works or not in craftsmanship and of what is beneficial or not to our collective survival; and that our conscience and sense of fairness express our innate acceptance of responsibility for this survival.  Furthermore, my third book recognises that the traditional behaviour codes of individual religions, including Judeo-Christianity, also contain belief-only elements inimical to social cohesion to varying degrees; and that all such beliefs together with their secular counter-beliefs must be reality-evaluated as to whether or not they are compliant with our species-specific need for socially cooperative cohesion overall.

Again, my third book shows that while irresolvable debates of belief/counter-belief, whether religious or secular, have given rise to violence, revolution and war, no conflict need arise between such beliefs and the knowledge which resolves their behavioural aspects. Again, no conflict need arise between Category C beliefs, these having already been reality-refuted, while as to the religious Ur-belief of Category B and its derivatives, no conflict need arise with knowledge, such beliefs being beyond reality-validation or reality-refutation by being beyond reality, and thus beyond knowledge-acquisition itself.  Nonetheless, all derivatives of the religious Ur-belief which touch on the reality of human behaviour and derivatives of the Ur-belief in rationality which touch on any aspect of reality must be reality-validated to knowledge or reality-refuted as beliefs consignable to belief Category C, to avoid any mistaken conflict with knowledge already available or awaiting acquisition.

At this point, I note for clarity, that new knowledge extends existing knowledge and is never in conflict with it; that beliefs per se have no intrinsic value other than as hypotheses for reality-evaluation to positive or negative knowledge, and thus provide no grounds for inter-belief debate or conflict; and that believers have so far avoided this no-contest defeat by knowledge, only because belief and knowledge have never been previously differentiated by the means explained in my third book (c.f. Sections 12 – 14). Indeed, we can now see that party-specific believers, both religious and secular, have maintained their governing role throughout history without regard for society’s need for knowledge-only social cohesion;  that secular belief is now overwhelming the knowledge-content of our traditional behaviour codes with belief-only interpretations of equality, freedom, and rights; and that it is now impossible to identify any party-political policy which actually delivers as promised on implementation.

Again, I note for clarity, that those who adopt an opinion rather than its counter opinion i.e. a belief rather than its counter-belief, and who complain of social ostracism from one side or the other, or of being removed from employment or from advisory and/or honorary positions, would be well-advised to recognise that the conflict of which they complain is the conflict of belief/counter-belief in absence of the resolution available from the reality-evaluation which transforms beliefs/counter-beliefs to positive or negative knowledge.  To take three examples at the time of writing, commentators are complaining as are the victims themselves about the circumstances in which such as Roger Scruton, Toby Young, and Jordan Peterson now find themselves, while such as Nigel Biggar now seek to avoid conflict with their ‘politically correct’ students by writing for a journal which protects their anonymity. However, those who support or oppose such self-styled luminaries, and indeed the luminaries themselves, all fail to recognise that they are engaged in the eternal debate of belief/counter-belief and opinion counter-opinion; that their time would be better spent on identifying conclusive knowledge or in recognising the need to acquire it; and that all such could clear away the conflict of which they complain by recognising the benefits of my knowledge/belief differentiation (c.f. Sections 7 – 9, my third book3 and websites4-7).

10 The EU And Brexit

Having been shown in Sections 1- 9 that politics is merely the debate of belief/counter-belief to one or other transient belief-consensus, the public ought now to recognise that a parliamentary belief-consensus took the UK into the EU in the first place; that another is currently being sought to keep us in regardless of the electorate’s belief-consensus for leaving as revealed by the referendum of June 2016; that this belief-only parliamentary response disregards both the labour and conservative election manifestos which are known to have promised to implement the referendum result; and that it disregards the parliamentary vote of 495 which is known to have activated the article 50 which could have enabled us to leave on 29/3/2019 with or without a trade deal with the EU.  Again, while the electorate had been led to believe for two and a half years that a withdrawal agreement was being negotiated, it transpired that the resulting agreement would never let us leave; and that subsequent debate of belief/counter-belief resulted in calls for an extension to 15/10/2019 and again to 31 January 2020  despite the first extension having put us into EU elections some three years after article 50 had announced our intention to leave. However, we ought to recognise that this is nothing new: the belief-only policies implemented by political parties, never bear much resemblance to their election manifestos, nor do their belief-only policies ever deliver their promised results.

Indeed, the only occasion when a reality-evaluation experiment (c.f. Section 7) might have been recognised as such, was when the exchange-rate mechanism (ERM) was implemented as ‘a glide-path’ to the single currency, in Margaret Thatcher‘s days.  This mechanism allocated two bands of exchange-rate variation for EU members divided into two groups for observation of the degree of success achieved by individual members in staying within their bands as time passed.  However, as individual members sought, as usual, to avoid internal unemployment by maintaining their competitiveness in selling their products to others, they quickly dropped to the bottom of their allocated exchange-rate ranges. Indeed, the UK fell out of its range and withdrew from the mechanism with the loss of Margaret Thatcher, despite her opposition to our involvement, while those who continued to believe in the benefits of a single currency chose to ignore the obvious question: how would countries, diverse to the extent of requiring such exchange-rate flexibility for financial survival, actually survive within a single currency which permitted no such flexibility?  They adopted one nonetheless, though their belief in a single currency for Europe did not extend to calling for one for the world as a whole.

However, with this reality-refutation of belief having been ignored in creating the Euro, it was and is possible to question why the UK should persist for > 40 years in complying with the ever-widening belief-only policies of the EU, rather than leaving to pursue our own alternatives even if these were also belief-only.  However, when I  asked my then MP whether in ‘taking back control’ we would continue with the belief-only policies pursued prior to joining the EU and while within it, or whether we would adopt knowledge-only policies after leaving, he sent me a copy of his presentation to an All Souls meeting in which he described adoption of WTO rules as a ‘doddle’, but he said nothing as to my suggestion that ‘taking back control’ would enable knowledge to replace belief in UK policy-making (c.f. Sections 7 -9), though he was aware of my third book3.

Thus, while my newly definitive knowledge/belief differentiation could deliver a knowledge-only Brexit, knowledge-only policies will not be produced and their benefits realised until electorates call for, and vote on, party-specific knowledge-only policy options for implementation within known resource limits. However, if the public were to call for party-specific knowledge-only policies, the results would reinforce public recognition of the benefits of progressively replacing belief with knowledge in policy-making. Yet again, it would decrease the social divisiveness which all belief/ counter-belief debaters bemoan while perpetuating and even increasing it.  Indeed, until this knowledge-only choice is offered by individual political parties, elections will remain no better than coin-tosses. Thus, while the Brexit party is well placed to initiate and implement my newly definitive knowledge-only reformation of politics, it must itself recognise that UKIP has never been more than a contributor to the endless debate of belief/counter-belief. As further exposure of the need and opportunity for knowledge to replace beliefs and opinions (c.f. Sections 7 – 9), I now provide a brief analyses of the belief-only conservative and labour positions respecting the belief-only EU position.

As to the conservatives, we recall that they took us into the EU in their then consensual belief that it was better to be in than out; and that they permitted the referendum only to endorse that earlier decision to their lasting political benefit. Again, Mrs May and her co-remainers referred  only to the referendum result without ever endorsing it. Nor did ostensible leavers ever cite the known failures of (belief-only) EU policies, despite these failures per se being increasingly recognised by its internal electorates.  Again, remainers cite only frightening beliefs as to the disadvantages of leaving without ever attempting to cite any (belief-only) benefits of remaining. Again, the parliamentary majority-belief for remaining has never been upset by any reference to knowledge of the advantages of leaving,  Indeed, parliament appears more attentive to the beliefs/counter-beliefs which will decide the next belief-only general election than to the knowledge which could deliver Brexit.  As to the labour party, Jeremy Corbyn and his colleagues are more engaged on internal left/right issues than on leaving or remaining in the EU. 

Thus, at the time of writing, the underlying reality is that the electorate’s belief-consensual majority is for leaving, while the parliamentary belief-consensual majority is for remaining, as is that of a civil service which wants to remain in the self-preserving position of playing middle-man to both the UK and the EU which requires the UK to remain in the EU. However, in contrast to all existing parties, a new Brexit party could, in unison with the electorate, take up my call for all previous belief-only failures to be replaced with knowledge-only successes by adoption of my newly definitive knowledge/belief differentiation, which in turn, could not only deliver a knowledge-only Brexit but also a knowledge-only government through a new assemblage of electors, members, and self-recruited politicians from other parties, or each individual party could produce its own suite of knowledge-only policies for selective prioritisation by a knowledge-only electorate were my public campaign8 to be successful.

11 Conclusions, Campaign References, And Future Websites

My conclusions are that while commonsense would take knowledge to be preferable to belief (c.f. Sections 1 – 4), knowledge is all too easily ignored or suppressed by active belief; that the ever-increasing numbers of environmentalist believers facilitated the closure of a knowledge-acquiring environmental laboratory and ignored/suppressed all subsequent attempts to promulgate the knowledge which it had acquired (c.f. Sections 5 – 11); that the predominance of belief over knowledge, can be reversed only by my newly definitive knowledge/belief differentiation; that my co-defined reality-evaluation gives commonsense a reference point for this differentiation and reveals the irrationally of all conflict of beliefs with knowledge or with each other; that application of this differentiation enables pre-history and history to be re-interpreted as knowledge-only success and belief-only failure (c.f. Sections 7 – 9); and that the predominance of belief over knowledge caused the Brexit fiasco (c.f. Section 10) which provides an overwhelming example of the need for knowledge to replace belief in all future policy-making whenever and wherever such knowledge is available, and of the need to avoid policy-making until the necessary knowledge has been acquired by the scientific method which reality-validates or reality-refutes beliefs thus treated as hypotheses for this reality-evaluation.   

In light of these conclusions, the public can now recognise that democracy as currently practiced only appears to work because freedom of speech enables one political party to replace another in successive general and local elections, but that it does not actually work because the replacement of one party with another merely replaces one set of beliefs with alternative beliefs; that when individual parties are internally split into believers and counter-believers, as with Brexit, democracies do not even appear to work; that the only way to make them work in practice is for electorates to insist on being offered party-specific knowledge-only policies which will work and thus deliver prioritised party-specific objectives; and that freedom of speech is useless when all that is spoken of is the belief/counter-belief which leads to one or other belief-consensus, neither of which will actually work in reality (c.f. Sections 7 – 10).

In response to the foregoing, my public Campaign calls for knowledge-only policies to replace all current belief-only policies as soon as possible. Having achieved the necessary differentiation of the knowledge/belief dichotomy, and with it those of truth/falsehood, wisdom/folly, right/wrong and good/ bad some ten years ago3 (c.f. Section 7), I now find it timely to launch this Campaign after the public has had its attention focussed on the belief/counter-belief fiasco of Brexit for three years (c.f. Sections 10 – 11) a duration which far exceeds the public attention spans given to any of the other belief/counter-belief fiascos which I might have chosen to exemplify the need for knowledge to replace belief in all fields of policy-making (c.f. Sections 2 – 10). Again, I now consider the newly established Brexit party as the most likely to welcome my Campaign for two reasons. The first is that it has no governmental belief-only past to hinder its knowledge-only future, while all other parties could now be sunk by their belief-only pasts. The second is that the accusation of single-issue focus could be dispelled for the Brexit party by its adoption of my ubiquitously applicable knowledge/belief differentiation.   However, I do not expect any political party to replace belief with knowledge without being pressurised by the public to do so. Consequently, I invite my readers to bring this Campaign to the attention of friends, acquaintances, and party-specific contacts as a first step to this end. Again, public pressure will be needed for continuance of these party-specific replacements post-Brexit (c.f. Sections 1 – 11).

1 Response to Oil and Chemical Marine Pollution, D. Cormack, Elsevier Applied Science, 1983.
2 Response to Marine Pollution: Review and Assessment, Douglas Cormack, Kluwer Academic, 1999.
3 The Rational Trinity: Imagination, Belief and Knowledge, Douglas Cormack, available on the print-on-demand basis since 2010 at £14.95 for 444 pages including index.
Knowledge Only Policy
Knowledge Only Marine Policy
Religion and Politics Knowledge Only Policy
7 Knowledge Only Politics
8 Against Belief-Consensus Ltd., registered in 2016 for activation at the first realistic opportunity.

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