Letter: The war against science is getting worse
The backstory behind so many of today’s headlines and controversies is an ongoing war against science. It is a war that is crippling this society’s ability to respond rationally and quickly to existential dangers to our nation, our state, our families.
We see it most clearly when scientific findings threaten political or business interests. Years ago, we saw it play out regarding tobacco, where the tobacco industry, Tobacco Institute and bought-off politicians denied, doubted and delayed meaningful connection or action regarding tobacco and bad health outcomes.
That playbook of deny, doubt, delay and legal bribery of politicians was adopted by the fossil-fuel industry, against climate change. There are think tanks, political careers, PR firms and one political party in particular, who wage a war against the science and scientists who study global climate change driven by the burning of fossil fuels.
Trump calls climate change “a hoax.” Recently, in a meeting with West Coast governors about the wildfires raging across three states, Trump rebuffed their argument that climate change is driving the wildfires, saying “I don’t think science knows.”
Trump has also been publicly denying the science about COVID-19 and how to stop the pandemic. In his own political interest, he has downplayed the severity of the disease, failed managing it on numerous fronts and now has adopted the quack solution of herd immunity and/or a vaccine that might magically show up right before the November elections
Right-wing media, talk radio and social media, and in all probability Russian bots, have deliberately misled and misinformed the American public about a host of other issues: vaccines, endangered species, labor rights, worker safety, COVID-19 masking and social distancing, etc.
The end result has been massive confusion and division about what constitutes facts, science and truth, versus a bubbling stew of conspiracies on the Internet, fed and encouraged by politicians foreign and domestic.
All this denial, doubt and conspiracies muddle, divide and paralyze political will. It works very well for the interests of Putin, China and Iran. They can go and do largely what they want, knowing that the giant power of America is tied down and immobilized by a web of lies and manipulation.
Don’t be played the fool. Find and seek the truth — not from one source — but from many, across the political spectrum.
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