In today’s media landscape, where unfounded opinions, hype, and rumors are rife, the scientific method – the means by which we determine, based on empirical and measurable evidence, what is true – should serve as a touchstone of reality.
Science encompasses a vast body of knowledge—the boring stuff we memorize in tenth-grade chemistry class, for example–but more important, it defines the methods by which this body of information continuously grows and is refined and organized.
As electronic highway signs implore Californians to “Save Water” and municipalities impose increasingly draconian conservation measures, we are seeing a phenomenon known as “drought-shaming”–the humiliation of water-wasters among both the rich and famous and more ordinary residents.
On the heels of a Johns Hopkins University School of Public Health news release about how the messaging on organic food can confuse consumers, Consumer Reports has provided a sterling example: exaggerating the risks of pesticides in conventional produce and recommending an exclusively organic diet. But for consumers who cannot afford to purchase overpriced organic food exclusively, CR released a handy shopping guide with information about when buying organic is only optional and when it “is a must.”
The fear of pesticides that began a half century ago has degenerated into full-blown chemophobia today. Although “Every Day Is Earth Day” is etched into the American psyche as a benevolent mantra, it is useful to examine some of the motivations, actions and outcomes found under the banner of environmentalism.
Surgeon–turned–television doctor Mehmet Oz opened his show on March 10 with a “Dr. Oz Investigation” on the newly U.S. Department of Agriculture–approved “Arctic” apple, which doesn’t undergo the unappetizing browning that other apples do when it’s bitten, bumped, or cut.
Radical environmental activists, aka the Green Blob, are more of a threat to the planet and its inhabitants than the technologies they oppose, according to Owen Paterson, the former U.K. environment minister.