American wars of the past ranged from the noble to the dubious, but the brave men and women we remember today were all motivated by a belief that they were defending the principles of truth, freedom, and democracy. On this day of mourning and remembrance, we should not forget those who have fallen in the dark and destructive assault on the search for truth that is science.
As the US death toll tips over 100,000, we can imagine more than 60 World Trade Towers falling, crumbling in slow motion, as the scientists who sought to warn us were dismantled, disregarded, and demeaned. COVID-19 has unmasked the War on Science, putting deceit and disinformation on camera for all to see and offered a glimpse at the vast, covert, Dark-Money-driven assault on any science that threatens the profits of the wealthy or the political ascendency of their party of choice.
In fact, the same forces that are generating confusion in the response to the pandemic in a misguided effort to keep the GOP in power are using the cover created by the endless news tornado of COVID-19 to dismiss the science behind environmental regulations protecting human health. The dismantling of climate science has been the central goal of the Koch Brothers and their allies for decades. The casualties in that battle will be far harder to trace. There will be no laboratory test to prove the cause. There will be no second chances and no immunity from the disease of climate change. We and our children and their children will be the victims and, once the diagnosis is certain, there will be no recovery.
The victims in the War on Science are all around us. We must remember them and resolve never to let it happen again. Science is not a point of view, it is a determination to find the objective truth. Only its denial reveals a point of view and a determination to mislead on behalf of an agenda, regardless of the cost. For the past two months, we have upended our worlds based on science and saved tens of thousands, if not hundreds of thousands of lives. We must tap into that determination to change the minds of those who are confused and defeat those who confused them. This is war, and, to win, we must rise up en masse and fight back with a determination that money can’t buy to crush the enemies of truth. But how?
A few suggested rules of engagement.
- Science is where alternative facts go to die. Understand the science as well as you can. If you are a scientist, become an advocate. If you are not, defer and refer to the experts.
- Engage with those who have been manipulated by anti-science propaganda. Whether it’s that annoying guy on Facebook or your Fox-watching Cousin Mark, don’t disconnect, speak your mind. Be civil, but relentless. When they suddenly redirect to Hillary, keep them on topic. Facts are stubborn things. Arm yourself with them and repost/repeat them again and again and again.
- Remember the body count in November.
Copyright- 2020 Robert D. Morris- All Rights Reserved