Raising unsettling questions and providing disturbing explanations seldom meet with accolades. For example, Guy McPherson is a University of Arizona scientist who has been studying human disruption of the environment and climate for 30 years. Many human caused disruptions have developed into local or regional disasters, but now the question is whether the planet itself is endangered. Is human activity bringing about human extinction?
This is not a welcome question, and those who explore it are branded as “controversial.”
Dahr Jamail interviewed Professor McPherson and asked him: “What do you say to people who call you extreme for talking about this?”
Professor McPherson answers: “I’m just reporting the results from other scientists. Nearly all of these results are published in established literature. I don’t think anybody is taking issue with NASA or Nature, or Science, or the Proceedings of National Sciences . . . the others I report are reasonably well-known and come from legitimate sources like NOAA [National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration], other NASA sources etc. . . . I’m not making this information up. I’m just connecting a couple of dots, and it’s something many people have difficulty with.”
In the West truth is dying, because anyone who departs from the official line is branded “controversial.” In other words, truth or the search for it is controversial. People who persist in chasing after truth or alternative explanations to the official line are discredited by those who are not served by the truth or alternative explanations. Whistleblowers, once protected by federal law, have been turned into traitors.
I have no position on the causes of climate change or Professor McPherson’s prognosis.
My point isn’t that he or the experts he cites are correct. The point is that talking about what is possibly a serious problem is stymied by name-calling and shooting the messenger.
I experience it all the time. For example, on December 3 in the London Telegraph, a reporter, Hamish MacDonald said that I am “controversial” for raising questions about “the US government’s reaction to the spread of the [ebola] virus” and for “questioning the official story of the September 11 terrorist attacks.” In other words, believe the official line because independent thinking is “controversial.”
It seems odd that a British reporter would settle on his own on me and on University of Illinois law professor Francis Boyle as examples of controversial bloggers. Perhaps he was handed the story by the CIA, as German journalist Udo Ulfkotte confesses he often was. …