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The Journal

Science is political

Being told you’re wrong sucks, but you’re still wrong

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It is the height of irony that Florida, Louisiana, and Texas are all going to be eviscerated by climate change within the next handful of decades, and their populations generally believe climate change doesn’t exist.

Florida is drowning more and more each year, Louisiana is getting hit harder and harder by storms and floods in places where there have never been before, Texas is drying up leaving the land starved for life, and they refuse to believe that what is happening is happening.

These are the people who believe that evolution is an attempt to destroy religion. Science is political because truth is political. It is a basic truth of humanity that there are always loud voices who rail against the slightest deviation from the established order of things: a technological advancement, a forbidden love, a force they don’t understand, an attempt to explore.

These are the men and women who burn books and witches and banish those who do not comply. No matter where or when this society exists, in whatever context, they are present.

It is morally ambiguous to resist change; in some cases it prevents foolish and destructive alterations to the fabric of society, in others it can prevent changes necessary to the preservation of life.

But the scale of truth is, at its heart, the fundamental scale by which politics is measured, and on that scale the Republicans elected to office have drifted farther and farther past lying to outright hallucination to Jonestown.

For those of you who don’t know that reference, Jonestown was where thousands of cult members drank poison kool-aid.

Scientist don’t want to fight like this. They want to be spending their time doing the work they love, which usually isn’t lobbying congress.

These are people who want to study the weather, or the oceans, or biology, or physics – people who don’t want to be political. But we can’t let them do their work, because we can’t accept truth we don’t like.This is why we can’t have nice things.Failure to alter your actions in the face of new evidence or experiences is immoral when those actions taken or not taken affect those who lack the power to decide their own actions. If, therefore, you seek and are elected to public office and do not acknowledge things which are both true and life-threatening, no matter their convenience, you are a coward.

Long live science.

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Award winning, student run, weekly campus newspaper of the University of Illinois, Springfield..
Science is political