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August 1, 2017

Why So Many Americans Ignore (Fake) Science


Former Vice President Al Gore is a frustrated man because no one’s listening to him, so much so he’s out with another movie, An Inconvenient Sequel, hoping to finally convince the public that we’re all gonna die! 
The problem is that the public has become increasingly immune to doom-and-gloomers who assure us “the science is clear that (fill in the blank).”  And then we discover a few years later that the experts were wrong—even as they assure us they’re right now.
If you have a few years under your belt—not to mention a few eggs, steak and even bread—you will likely recall all of these various warnings in this satire, not from the “future,” but from experts who say they are concerned about our health and safety.

 You Tube Time Travel Dietician
And it’s just as true in climate change as with our diets. 
In the early 1970s, the climate scientists assured us that we were heading for a prolonged cold spell—perhaps a mini-ice age.  By the late 1980s, and ever since, they’ve assured us we’re headed for a firey doom.
Highlighting the errors of numerous doomsayers, as American Enterprise Institute economist Mark J. Perry does here, has become a popular, not to mention entertaining, pastime.
It’s not about being “anti-science” as so many sneer.  It’s more about being “anti-fake science,” or maybe “anti-fad science.”  Fads come and go, just like many of the alleged threats facing us.
The public is not skeptical of science when it is engaged in real science—e.g., gene splicing, robotics, medical innovations, rocket launches, nanotechnology, etc.  
But people have become increasingly skeptical of science when its focus is public policy, especially from the “experts” who benefit from making wild claims and whose only solution is more government restrictions and spending.  And of the media that breathlessly and unquestioningly cover their claims. The wilder the claims the more coverage the experts receive.
To be clear, the earth may be warming—it has been since the last ice age.  And humans may be playing a role in it. 
But the public is increasingly skeptical when doom-and-gloom warnings come from hypocrites—like those who travel in private jets and stretch limos to give speeches that scold the “deplorables” for not reducing their fossil fuel usage. 
In a decade or so they may be warning us to use even more fossil fuels, or otherwise we’re all gonna die from another ice age.


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