The world is a better place when it is simple, black and white. That is why campaigning NGOs and many journalists share a not-so-attractive sensibility: they are often uncomfortable with complexity, writes Jon Entine at Forbes. Dividing the world, and prickly science policy issues, into black and white makes for exciting narratives.
Unfortunately it’s invariably wrong, authoritarian and, as Freud would say, crazy (“neurosis is the inability to tolerate ambiguity”).
Ignoring the science on phthalates is just easier, and it gives desperate editors the chance to breathlessly claim in headlines that a backpack is going to hurt children.
Progressive anti-science flack Senator Charles Schumer (D-NY) is being invoked most recently - the anti-science community loves to fawn over "elites", especially if they know nothing about the topic - by the Center for Health, Environment and Justice, but they are not alone. CBS is also predictably alternating its Miracle Vegetable Of The Week fare with some Scare Journalism.
Read Entine for the takedown: Anti-Chemical Alarmism Spreads to Your School -- Dora the Explorer Will Kill Your Kid! at Forbes.com
NGOs And Journalists: Uncomfortable With Complexity