On the EDge: We’ve lost our truth

Stock image, St. George News

OPINION – By now, most everybody understands that the Earth is undergoing a radical environmental change.

Call it global warming, climate change, whatever you wish, but it is happening and it is very real.

At least to most people.

There are still hardliners who deny it all. Of course, there are still those who believe the Earth is flat, which is why the Flat Earth Society is growing at a sluggish but steady pace of about 200 people from the United States each year.

Late last week, a group of students and educators gathered in Salt Lake City to try to persuade Sens. Orrin Hatch and Mike Lee to vote against approval of several Donald Trump nominations, particularly Exxon CEO Rex Tillerson for secretary of state, Scott Pruitt for EPA administrator, ex-Gov. Rick Perry for secretary of energy and Rep. Ryan Zinke for secretary of the Department of Interior.

It must be noted that Hatch and Lee’s forward motion on climate change issues moves about as fast as a speeding glacier.

In fact, if you go to Hatch’s web page, you’ll see a rather third-grade level link titled “Climate Change 101” that is twisted up in political hyperbole that could have been written by Big Oil insiders.

The debate over global warming is best saved for another day and another discussion, however, as the dangers of The New Political Age settle upon us.

Those who approached Hatch and Lee come from intellectual backgrounds with a diversity of advanced students and instructors from the fields of science and politics.

They have background.

They also have almost no chance of having their combined voices heard over the din, even though they have education on their side and during normal circumstances would be considered experts – or at least credible sources – on the subject.

But none of that matters any more.

We have reverted, it seems, to the days of Galileo, Copernicus and the others who were considered heretics by the unwashed masses for their scientific discoveries; only today they are labeled instead as liars, losers and enemies.

If you share the dangers of global warming, you are branded as a liar.

Point out the hazard of nuclear proliferation, and you’re a loser.

Stand for alternative fuel sources? You’re an enemy.

What is lost in all of this is the truth, which has taken a back seat to the warped politics of the day where individuals and organizations once held in the highest esteem have been kicked to the curb for their valued, educated opinions.

It’s a result of the dumbing down of America, where intelligence has become a felony and inquisitive minds are viewed with suspicion.

The truth suffers.

The tone has been set to pursue personal ideologies rather than embrace our root problems.

Speaker of the House Paul Ryan, when discussing the incredible case of Russian influence on our last election, shrugged off the larger concern, saying, “The Russians didn’t tell Hillary Clinton not to campaign in Wisconsin.” It was more politically expedient to snap off a quick bon mot than to address the overarching problem.

And that is what we have drifted into.

There is a gross shallowness infecting our thought process. It has become acceptable to shout down opposition with ignorant catcalls and mean-spirited putdowns.

I mean, it is difficult to have a healthy discussion with somebody whose only retort is “Liar!” It is impossible to share your thoughts with somebody whose only reply is “Loser.” It is disheartening to engage with somebody who insists that your differences of opinion make you an enemy. And it is sinful to denigrate the educated for posing intellectual thoughts that just might serve us better or, in the instance of global warming, save our planet.

I remember when we turned to academia to share its accumulated knowledge to help us grow, to understand our world better, to improve our lives.

We once understood we don’t have all of the answers and turned to those studied minds.

Now we just change the channel or search the web until we find somebody who supports our flawed thinking, because heaven forbid we may just be wrong about a few things.

There is truth out there, you know.

It is, unfortunately, buried in the dung heap of populism, ignorance and fear. But the shout-down crowd has done a pretty good job at denigrating those who take up the search. They learned the lesson well that if you continue to repeat a lie, it eventually obliterates the truth. This obfuscation has served the New Right well this election cycle.

And it has placed these anointed officials in a position of self-serving authority and questionable relevance.

What other reason can you give for the CEO of Exxon to be nominated for the position of secretary of state, a climate change denialist who fought to overturn anti-smog regulations tabbed as the head of the Environmental Protection Agency and a guy who was neck-deep in the Dakota Access Pipeline project picked to serve as secretary of energy?

But that is what happens when we lose our truth, when we refuse to admit there are greater minds with something to offer beyond our meager scope.

Ed Kociela is an opinion columnist. The opinions stated in this article are his and may not be representative of St. George News.

Email: edkociela.mx@gmail.com

Twitter: @STGnews, @EdKociela

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2017, all rights reserved.

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11 Comments

  • Real Life January 10, 2017 at 8:21 am

    You remember when you “turned to academia to share its accumulated knowledge”. Well, there is a reason why many don’t trust that avenue of thought right now with many of these professors encouraging their students to go their “safe place” because they simply disagree with the incoming administration, and can’t emotionally cope with it beacause they have never escaped the toddler stage of life.

    There is such a thing as climate change, to say that there is not is indeed ignorance. That said, the climate has been changing for millions of years. What causes it, should be debated in a civilized matter.

  • NotSoFast January 10, 2017 at 8:51 am

    What do you suggest we do Ed? Demand that Al Gore be our science chief in charge and help him become the riches man in America?

  • Brian January 10, 2017 at 9:09 am

    The headline is off, it should be: We’ve lost THE truth.

    There is practically zero common sense or truth left.

    Liberals now pretend that gender is fluid to the point that you can “identify” as a particular gender ~that day~ (just long enough for an middle aged male to “identify” as a teenage girl so he can hang out in Target dressing rooms for the day). Ever hear of these little things called “chromosomes”? You know, XX and XY? Talk about science deniers!

    Liberals also pretend that race is fluid, to the point that Rachel Dolezal can “identify” as black (by “identify” I mean “pretend”, “lie”, “deceive”, “commit fraud” and be completely supported in that delusion by the left and the media). Again, actual science deniers.

    Liberals pretend that somehow Russia magically stole the election from Clinton (when in fact it’s the Obama administration that has really has interfered with elections the world over, including Israel, Syria, Egypt, Iraq…) while completely ignoring Clinton’s corruption, law breaking, horrible health, and impressive ability to alienate anyone less than 70. She was a HORRIBLE, utterly corrupt candidate. They also completely ignore actual hacking revelations showing collusion between the DNC and the media, pre-arranging debate questions with Clinton, systemic DNC collusion against Sanders, etc. Zero truth to be found anywhere.

    Unfortunately this trend isn’t limited to the liberals / democrats. Much of the same thing has happened with Trump and the right. I was a very vocal opponent of Trump during the campaign, and while I’m giving him a clean slate as POTUS, in many ways he’s already starting off on the wrong foot with me.

    As for climate change. Yes, it’s real. Yes, humans have some influence. No, it isn’t new. No, it isn’t all related to just CO2 and methane. No, taxing an invisible gas and selling “offsets” won’t fix the problem. But it will make a lot of people like Al Gore billions of dollars, and THAT is what it’s all about. No, the science isn’t settled. And no, conservatives don’t eat oil-dipped baby seals for breakfast.

  • vickbill January 10, 2017 at 9:49 am

    Since liberalism can’t compete in the open arena of ideas they always revert to their three pillars. Racist, homophobic and anti-women. For Ed to accuse conservatives of his three words is mind boggling. From one end of the country to the other conservatives speakers on college campus are boycotted, harassed and protested. So much for an open dialogue. It is the climate warmist who are the world is flat group. Why does money only go to groups that support the warming theory. The old saying “follow the money” is so appropriate for this group. Very few things in science are settled. That’s why we have the scientific method. Last year the Wall Street Jounal destroyed the myth of 99% of scientists believe in man made global warming. Why do warmist have to change teamperatures to match their theories? The fact is people are getting tired of the lefts derangement syndrome.

  • r2d2 January 10, 2017 at 2:27 pm

    This whole thing, as do all Ed’s comments sounds like ignorant catcalls and mean-spirited putdowns. The moon is moving away from the earth at a slow pace but it seems the global warming or ice age crowd do not take that into account. It does come into the equation on the way things on earth play out. Maybe when it comes right down to it Ed, we should not worry about it and enjoy what we have. Peace and God bless.

  • comments January 10, 2017 at 2:30 pm

    Obongo’s neo-liberal, big bank, wallstreet, corporatist, elitist globalist, open borders, failed obongocare, extreme LGBTQ-whatever, pro-muslim, policies have done an extreme amount of damage to the democratic party and any type of liberalism in general. Hillary was so unlikable and blatantly corrupt even most dems were disgusted with her as a choice (a lot of folks actually liked Sanders). I used to buy into the global warmage thing hook-line-and-sinker, but learning more about the neo-lib’s lie machine I’m not sure what to believe about it. I think the planet is headed for disaster from the disastrous effects of overpopulation, and whether climate warming will be the nail in the coffin I don’t know. Seeing the corrupt political creatures that trump is using to ‘fill the swamp’ is just reinforcing my original thought about trump that he’s just another globalist puppet. And when will Ed learn that all this stuff about Russian hacking etc etc is just a bunch of nonsense from the globalist neo-liberal lie machine? I have no idea why the neo-libs and our corrupt-to-the-core intelligence agencies are so dead set on a new conflict with Russia?

    • .... January 10, 2017 at 11:16 pm

      One thing about Bob he has no problem coming here to show just how much of a bigot he truly is. and he didn’t blame the Mormons for anything this time !

  • Don January 10, 2017 at 3:36 pm

    This article sure excited the religious among us. It’s a liberal conspiracy, they believe. What other things do they believe?

    • Henry January 11, 2017 at 11:14 am

      I reread all the comments and saw no one that mentioned religion or their personal spiritual beliefs. It appears the conspiracist here is YOU.

  • commonsense January 10, 2017 at 11:39 pm

    You lost me at “intellectual and diversity”. Those are code words for non-productive and weird.
    It’s a new age Ed and productivity and accomplishment rule the day. The earth has been going through dramatic changes for eons and will continue to do so, populated or not.

  • ladybugavenger January 11, 2017 at 5:38 pm

    Let me tell you something about the waste water from fracking that is being disposed of in Oklahoma, it’s causing earthquakes. Oh and other states bring their waste water here to add to the damage. Waste water being inserted in to the earth is causing plate shifts (in my unscientific opinion) It can’t be good for the earth. While you all fear global warming, I’ll be here waiting for the next man made earthquake.

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