In the United States of America we treasure free speech in an odd way...We allow people and corporations the freedom to lie. This gets us in all sorts of trouble. We started a war in the Middle East on the grounds that weapons of mass destruction were moments from being fired at us, we have museums that show humans riding dinosaurs, a sacred book says that evil was introduced into the world by a talking snake, and a massive ad campaign that claims there is no such thing as human caused global warming. All of these statements have no basis in fact, though they do have a basis in belief created by the marketing department. Why do we, not only allow people to lie to us, but protect their ability to do so even with the obvious destructive consequences smashing us in the face every single day?
(Before some of you go off on me for that talking snake quip I ask two things...One: Open your bible and read the appropriate text word for word. Two: The mainstream church that I was raised in taught that many of the passages in the Bible were parables and metaphors, not necessarily hard fact.)
We have health insurance companies paying politicians (why do we allow this?) to sanctimoniously lie about a "government takeover of medicine" which no one in Congress has proposed. There are proposals for government takeover of insurance but that's different and I personally approve. Since the early 1990's the private insurance industry has quadrupled its financial burden on the American GDP and yet the average life expectancy of Americans has actually dropped when the effects of anti smoking campaigns are factored out. We're paying four times as much and it is not doing a damned bit of good on the whole left to the private insurance sector. Maybe you believe that the "Government can't do anything right" but I'll contend that the private sector has done far worse and is headed worser. If our system did not allow corporations to pay politicians to lie with impunity we would have a completely different medical system already.
My vote for greatest injustice to America is the systematic attack on the Scientific Method's most beautiful child, Critical Thinking. Science makes no moral judgement because it can't. Darwinian Theory is accepted by every rational scientist on the planet, not because it is a beautiful and elegant work, but because it has withstood every single critical attack ever launched by reputable scientists, who know that should they succeed they would be instantly elevated to the highest annals of human achievement and history. The H1N1 virus was not created 6000 years ago by magic. It evolved from its predecessors as predicted by scientists, warning us to get ready, well before it actually showed up in human populations. H1N1 is one of those successful mutations that Darwin told us about. The Scientific Method is giving us the means to combat it. This is fact.
Another thing that the overwhelming majority of scientists have predicted is Global Warming. This has been predicted and warned about since the middle of the last century as scientists noticed that industrially produced greenhouse emissions began to make up an increasing percentage of our atmosphere. They also noticed that free Oxygen, the one element in our atmosphere that we require for our immediate survival, is being reduced. No sane scientist wanted the greenhouse effect to be real. It was with hope against hope that the phenomena were scientifically evaluated with the awful truth emerging from every direction...We are killing our planetary ecosystem's ability to support human civilization in any form that currently exists. Scientists have also told us what we need to do in order to save our planet and ourselves. We have the vaccine under development at this very moment. The vaccine to protect us from unthinkable world Armageddon is so simple that we don't seem to be able to accept its reality. We can stop creating greenhouse gases.
Continuing on our current path will leave to our grand children and great grandchildren a vastly different planet Earth, upon which they may not be able to survive. This is what the scientists tell us. Currently the primary greenhouse gas, carbon dioxide (CO2) makes up 390 parts per million in our air. This is too high for our planet to remain at its current average temperature and predictions are that it will go much higher under our current industrial path. In order to stabilize our planet we need to stop the increase in CO2 emissions and reduce them so that the ppm returns to a safe level of around 350 ppm. Anybody who tells you different is lying to you. The liars consist of mostly the energy cartels and their hired lackeys. Their hired lackeys consist of certain news organizations and certain politicians.
The question must be asked, "Why do these people want to wish Armageddon upon their blood descendants?" I think it is because not only are they lying to you and me...They are lying to themselves. It is because when normally rational human beings come together in the group think of a corporation they leave their souls and consciences outside the door. They sit around the Big Coal corporate table looking at each other and say, "Stopping this Global Warming thing will make us go bankrupt so let's pretend it isn't happening." No one sitting at that table whose country club membership and floor level basketball tickets are at stake will state the obvious..."But we'll destroy our planetary ecosystem!" They can't because they have abrogated their humanity and turned their soul over to a corporation which has none of either.
So look to see who tells you the truth about this. We can save ourselves and our children but we can't save the corporations who lie to us. Worse than that...It is us or them. The solutions are easy.
We will eventually run out of coal if we survive long enough to burn it all, but that is suicidal. The Stone Age did not end because we ran out of rocks. Humanity found a better way to make its tools. It is an ugly metaphor but fact that in America the people who relied on stone were over run by people who had moved on to iron. There are technologies, efficiencies, and conservation methods that could immediately cut our energy use in half. Solar energy has arrived and is actually now cheaper than coal if all of coal's externalized costs are added back in. Batteries need some work but are extremely promising. It is time to move away from coal and we can. We will have to choose this path. A a consequence this will destroy coal companies and energy companies who choose coal as their power source. It will greatly diminish the fossil based fuel and energy sector. Some very rich people will lose some money. It will save the Earth and its peoples.
Pick your side and let's fight. As for me...I choose fact and the side that reveres fact and rejects lies. I choose science and the side that studies science over ignorance. I choose Life for my children!