Immediately after the election, there was an uptick in science-backing sentiment from both sides. People recognized that a man who defies all evidence had just been elected to a position which should use evidence-based facts to support the public which he serves (let’s not forget that Trump is officially our servant now). The recent stories of ‘alternative facts’ and refusal of simple truths by our President has given more steam to this movement. All over social media we’ve seen stories of people marching for truth. Scientists Marched on Washington (and around the globe – literally) in solidarity for facts and evidence-based policies.
I have, personally, seen a lot more social media posts from non-scientists since the election, and especially since the inauguration, sticking up for science – well, sticking up for climate change. This is where my major frustration comes in. Many of these people who tout the need for facts and science in policy are the same ones who post day after day that your liver needs help detoxing, that GMOs are unhealthy, that GM mosquitoes will wreak havoc on human and environmental health – and many more ‘alternative facts’.
Climate change is a convenient topic for anti-science liberals to covertly insert themselves into a group they have demonized for years. It is a way for people who do not truly love or follow science to feel included in yet another tribe. It may sound harsh but it’s true. It is the best of both worlds. People get to cherry pick the science they like – the science that fits in with a narrow world view of health and safety (oddly enough it’s the one that’s the most fear-based) – while ignoring anything else that challenges their incorrect view of agriculture and health fields. Well, I hate to break it to everyone, but that’s just not how science works. Science works by challenging what you thought you knew. Cherry picking results to fit in with what you want is the kind of thing that anti-science folks THINK happens in labs across the globe – it’s also the kind of thing that everyone uses to hate on science. People are doing exactly what they condemn scientists for doing – and then using it as a justification to hate on science.
The same scientists who agree on climate change agree on the health of ingesting GM foods. They are the same scientists who call out pseudo-science for what it is – fear-mongering marketing schemes. They are the same scientists who have been desperately trying to combat harmful “health products” while being called shills.
So, if you want to claim climate change, you better claim the rest. You don’t get to tout yourself as an intellectual who loves the environment while calling on folks to plant invasive species to save “the chicken” of bees. You don’t get to call yourself health conscious because your Subaru has a low carbon footprint while buying pink salt that was stripped from India and then shipped across the world on huge CO2 bellowing ships.
So, believe me, I’ll be glad to have you on board the science express – I’ve been trying to get you all as science-backers for years. It’s a pretty fun ride that lets you be curious, ask questions, and play pretty much all the time. But if you want to call yourself a science lover and a representative of evidence-based facts, you should buy in for real. That doesn’t mean stop questioning. That doesn’t mean lose your natural skepticism and curiosity. That doesn’t mean accept everything at face value. If anything, it means the opposite. That’s what science is based on – questioning everything. It means that the marketing guru with zero credentials and no research background definitely doesn’t know as much as the PhD with 25 years of experience. It means learn who to trust. It means that you can’t know everything about everything – and that’s fine – but when you bump into a topic you’re unfamiliar with, maybe trust the person with the background, not the person trying to sell you coffee enemas.