While giving an extensive interview with ThinkProgress, science popularizer, astrophysicist, and television personality Neil deGrasse Tyson slammed politicians and the media for allowing a “debate” over anthropogenic global warming, and suggested that we’re experiencing “the beginning of the end of an informed democracy.”
Seems like an honest assessment to me. The Republicans have worked for decades now to destroy our public education system and make everyone suspicious of the government.
“If you want to lean in a political way because that’s your politics, you should do that based on an objective truth rather than cherry-picking science before you even land at an objective truth,” Tyson said, speaking about the partisan reporting of global warming. “You can’t just cherry-pick data and choose what is true about the world and what isn’t.”
The biggest culprit is this misguided idea of “neutrality” — which Tyson hammered.
[I]f I say the world is round, are you obligated to say the world is flat, lest someone think you are being biased in your reporting? Well, that’s absurd. You wouldn’t do that, you’re educated. You know that there are certain points of view that have no foundation at all in objective truth.
If you allocated column inches in proportion to the scientific consensus of experiments. there would be one sentence talking about people who deny climate change and the rest of the ten columns talking about research that supports it.
Tyson also noted that he doesn’t like to publicly debate climate change deniers, because “that implies that we each have opinions and ‘oh let’s see who can give the best argument for this audience so they can believe my opinion instead of yours.’ But if you’re more charismatic than I am or have better word use, or are more articulate, then you’ll win the debate, and that means you’ll be right and I’ll be wrong. This is not how it works.”
The end of this road is not a positive one. He concluded by saying, “the moment the politicians start saying they are in denial of what the scientists are telling them, of what the consensus of scientific experiments demonstrates, that is the beginning of the end of an informed democracy.”
If this is our metric, then our informed democracy ended back fourteen years ago.