• Casey Roberts

Science Literacy

If more people knew what science was, what it does, and the questions it can answer, we would have less confusion in our politics and culture. Arguably the most critical issue facing us today is the impact of human-induced climate change. Science shows that human activity is absolutely a direct cause of climate change, reputable scientists all over the world agree. Why then do so many deny this fact, or attempt to minimize its validity? Politicians, specifically conservatives, deny climate change due to humanity because they are either ignorant of the science supporting it, they are towing the party line, or they are unwilling to sacrifice the money they receive from corporations who pollute heavily.

Trying to play politics is a long, arduous, and generally exhausting endeavor, but to educate people about scientific evidence is something that can be as easy as saying, "Look, here it is." Corroborated data and statistics speak louder than shouting one's personal convictions in an attempt to be convincing. Scientific evidence is not something to be used to reinforce one's opinions, rather it should be used to shape thought processes. If the evidence is contrary to what was previously believed, that belief must then be dismissed and replaced with the known facts. The right wing of the political spectrum, along with the religious, have waged a war on scientific facts that has, oddly enough, been moderately successful. It has become common place to hear about a person or group of people who are simply residing in denial of the importance of science, yet cherrypicking the "good stuff" that science provides. We all want our cars, smartphones, and technology that is provided by science, but some still refuse to accept what the totality of science shows.

Science is not a thing to be ignored, it is a process of discovering how the world and the universe works. Genuine science is not partial to one ideal or one perspective, it is truly objective, influenced by nothing beyond the experiment and study of its findings. What the country needs is a scientifically literate electorate who will make decisions based on the facts instead of being swayed by emotional outbursts and simple-minded observations. If people will embrace science, there will no longer be a debate on climate change, bigotry and hatred will fade, the economy will improve, and perhaps most importantly, children will be properly educated. The way to progress as a nation and as individual people is to trust what science shows us, the floor will rise, otherwise we are spinning our wheels or moving backwards.