Thursday, August 12, 2010

Wicked Witch of the West: I'm melting!

Huge rains have killed more than 1,600 and created millions of internal environmental refugees in Pakistan.

Huge rains have killed more than 1,000 in mud slides in China.

The boreal forest is in flames around Moscow, approaching radioactive contaminated areas and probably causing the haze we experience in the Willamette Valley in Oregon.

The world's largest iceberg in at least 50 years just calved off a glacier in Greenland.

And now we see the world's scientists--who boldly began warning about global warming back when science was still mostly non-ideological, back in the Olde Millennium--these scientists are suddenly circumspect. Well, you never know. Could be this, could be that. Scientists, who challenged America in the 1960s to begin to listen to the deafening silence in the spring from the toxic cocktails we sprayed on forests and crops and lawns, suddenly turn from seers with the evidence to profiles in pusillanimity. Listen to them on media as they waffle and flip flop, studiously ignoring overwhelming evidence, as though humanity is plunging over the cliff and they are entertaining optional alternative theories about gravity.

Follow that money, as H. L. Mencken use to say, and you'll find the attack dogs of Big Oil, snarling over the supine body of scientific evidence, fangs poised above the grant sources that keep scientists alive, and all you then hear from the compromised 'professionals' is meek assurances that they have no answers.

The terrorists have won. We worry in the West about the Islamicists retreating into the Middle Ages while we slide back into the Dark Ages. Big Oil or al Qa'ida, two sides of a bizarre coin of the Realm of Religion, in which observable, testable science is discounted and a faith-based rampage of blood and oil is killing life.

Purchased professional prostitutes with Ph.D.s are loyal--not to the truth, not to the scientific method any longer, but to the American Petroleum Institute and its agents who scour the mediascape for chances to attack. Books are written 'exposing' global warming as a "Marx-inspired social-engineering scheme."

How can people of sound mind, who can connect the blobs (the rampant weather, the dying fisheries, the rising seas are not dots), how can we help to turn the national discourse back from Darwin-denying Know-nothingism
Alfred E. Neuman "What--me worry?" blankheads, to a sane, rational discourse?

~~Educate ourselves
~~Stop pandering to the right wing and start appealing to logic
~~Start living as though we are in the post-oil age
~~Participate in public dialog--blog, letters to the editor, public testimony, etc.
~~Encourage the scientists who actually continue to speak out honestly
~~Push politicians to engage meaningfully and with a little courage

When religion, the rightwing, and Big Oil collude and conflate to influence science so we cannot even get honest assessment to help us become an informed electorate, it is time to engage. They don't get to wreck Creation in the name of their fundamentalism, do they? Do they?


Andy said...

Tom, A possible contributing factor to reserved comments from scientists is journalists picking scientists who will make such luke warm comments. "News" organizations are also under pressure from the powers you mention, and would probably prefer to void certain kinds of trouble. Of course, many "news" outlets have an agenda themselves, which is another story.

Tom H. Hastings said...

You are of course absolutely correct, Andy, and the pressure on mainstream corporate media from fellow corporate interests is enormous, sometimes subtle, but always in play. The scientists are chosen for their point of view in too many cases.