The rise of stupid
I remember being afraid of the world ending since I was a kid. I remember being six or seven years old and worrying about issues like pollution or the depletion of the ozone layer. Things most kids don’t even know about. But I did, so I worried. And for many years I was vocal about protecting the environment as we’re a part of it and we can’t breathe money. And then, some years ago, I stopped. Between bills to pay and the stress from work, I decided to take a break and stop worrying about the planet so much. The new generation would take over, I thought. The new kids were going to see what they have to do, I thought.
But yeah, no.
I mean, what’s with this rise of alternative “facts”? Why are people ignoring what scientists have to say about the state of our planet? Why are we letting a couple of dinosaurs who only worry about their own profits kill what’s left of the planet?
In the few days Trump has been in office, he has signed a lot of executive orders, including a gag order prohibiting scientists who work at the EPA to talk with the press. No wonder that 1984, the dystopian novel by George Orwell about public manipulation, authoritarian state and perpetual war, is right now the best selling book on Amazon.
But why? Why are people so blind to what’s right in front of them?
Apparently, we have cognitive bias and the politicians are to blame. People tend to listen only to what their party of choice has to say about scientific data. And currently, we all know what the Republicans, and Trump, think of climate change and other environmental worries — and if you needed any more proof that we are living in a dystopian future, right now China is more worried about producing clean energy and shutting down coal factories than the Trump administration. How’s that for something out of the Twilight Zone?
The other side of this problem is that people only believe facts that are similar to what they already believe, and discard everything else. So, if you believe climate change is a Chinese hoax and the damn commies (or whatever illiterate people are saying these days about everyone who’s not a Republican) are just trying to take over, then you’ll just ignore the evidence that supports the science behind climate change—even if there’s a flood at your backdoor, one that wasn’t supposed to be there, or even if California if going through their worst drought in history.
I think what I’m trying to say is that I’m torn between going to the streets and shout about the stupidity of it all and burying my head in the sand, and pretend this isn’t happening. Why would anyone who’s not an American be so worried about Trump and his policies, you ask? Why, let me tell you. Because what you do, my dear friends, has unfortunately worldwide repercussions. And it bothers me that my future is now being held hostage of a few old guys who don’t give a shit about anyone else.
I think that somewhere along these lines I lost my train of thought. I don’t want to say that I’ve given up and lost all hope, but it’s been reduced to a shimmering light about to go out. These are dark times we’re living in and we all should remain vigilant. When I was a kid, I also didn’t understand how people let the Nazis into power. Now, I do. The Nazis are around us, trying to barge in again. Don’t let them. Be like Indiana Jones. Punch a Nazi. Send them a strong message. Protest. Don’t ignore acts of violence. Don’t let them win.