Science & Society

Recently, in the New Statesman, under the headline David Attenborough: Brexiteers “probably don’t understand” facts, we read:

Admittedly, I hold a rather dismal view of my fellow human beings. The average person just isn't all that bright or informed. Google "Jay Leno Jaywalking," "Lie Witness News," or "Florida Man," and you'll see what I mean.

This will seem utterly bonkers to most of you. But while reading this please bear in mind that very young children, many as young as 14 and younger, have been driven to the edge of suicide by these prophesies. More on this later but I want to open out by showing to them how bonkers his ideas are. The rest of you may find amusement in it too. But it has a very serious side to it. Remember this chap is making people suicidal with his prophesies, and he is heavily promoted by the Daily Express. What can we do about it? It's a major societal problem.

When corporate media revealed during the 2016 U.S. Presidential election campaign that Donald Trump had expressed anti-vaccine sentiments, Democrats in "blue states breathed a sigh of relief. Finally, journalists could claim anti-vaccine sentiment was bipartisan.
With 89 guns for every 100 people, the U.S. by far has the most number of guns per capita. In total, there are about 310 million weapons in the United States.

While that sounds alarming, the number of guns isn't necessarily the problem. Indeed, according to CNN, several European countries have a high prevalence of gun ownership, as well. Switzerland (46 guns per 100 people), Finland (45 per 100), and Sweden (32 per 100) are all packing pretty serious heat.

I'm not easily alarmed. Nuclear war, climate meltdown, economic collapse, zombie apocalypse -- nothing really fazes me. I just assume that worst-case scenarios pretty much never happen, so everything will work out in the long run.

Maybe that isn't rational. Throughout all of human history, things often didn't work out. There were countless wars. Infectious disease claimed the lives of hundreds of millions. To this very day, war and starvation kill people in poor parts of the world. Perhaps the political and economic stability of the developed world is just an illusion; in reality, the world is teetering on the brink of chaos, and my blind optimism is based on naïveté and complacency.

This is a good example of a story that has morphed and changed as it gets passed from one paper to another. They all cite the same source, from the BBC but the reporters haven’t read the source. I think they just read each other. The science is actually rather interesting. But just about everything they say is the opposite of what the original story says.

This is the original story on the BBC:

This is what Fox News make of it (notorious for being somewhat unreliable)

I'm getting numerous pm's from very scared and sometimes suicidal people who think the world will end tomorrow. To those who are scared and suicidal - what do you do if you are scared like this? I've written this article to help you.

If you are feeling suicidal right now, of course contact any of us, via pm and post to the group.

In the wake of Hurricanes Harvey and Irma, many claims have been made that science denial, particularly as it relates to climate change, is primarily a problem of the political right.

But what happens when scientific conclusions challenge liberals’ attitudes on public policy issues, such as gun control, nuclear power or immigration?

Though every politician and both U.S. parties claim to be pro-science, that isn't reflected in corporate media coverage. The New York Times will publish conspiracy theories drafted by US Right To Know, a corporate front group created by Organic Consumers Association. Washington Post will host a panel on food science and refuse to invite any scientists