Where’s our respect for science and fact?

I read something recently that has stuck with me: We are in the new Dark Ages. I can’t help but wonder why so many Americans dismiss, disregard and outright reject proven fact, the word of experts, and science in general.

It is tempting to blame Donald Trump beginning with his birther theory, then his claims of fake news, followed by his dismissal of science regarding covid-19 and its severity along with climate change, insisting science doesn’t really know and that “it will start getting cooler soon.”

I, however, believe Trump is merely a symptom, rather than the cause. To put it bluntly, the American people are impatient, selfish, spoiled and lazy. We want what we want and we want it now. We don’t want to wait and heaven forbid that we should sacrifice comfort and a way of life that is so taken for granted that it’s thought to be a right rather than a privilege.

We don’t want to be inconvenienced even for a few months by wearing masks and limiting social gatherings even though the health and welfare of our neighbors depends on it. Hospitals and frontline healthcare workers are already stretched to the limit. If small sacrifices are so easily dismissed, it’s no wonder willingness to change for the health of our planet is a non-starter.

Perhaps I’m being too harsh. Perhaps the reason for today’s Dark Ages is a reaction to what is perceived as intellectual elitism. People feel intimidated by, rather than respect for, experts in a given field of learning. Although an elitist attitude of any kind is inexcusable, the voice of science must be heard and heeded before it’s too late.

Whatever the cause of these current Dark Ages, my hope for the American people is that wishful thinking will be replaced by facing the facts and doing what must be done to preserve and protect the health of our neighbors and our planet.

Sherry Haigh


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