Election day is past. Whether our votes were determined by taxes, the stock market, availability of jobs, the Supreme Court, healthcare, immigration, racism, social programs, influence of news or social meda, , or future of the planet, there is one thing we can and must agree on. We need to pressure our government representatives and talk with our friends and neighbors about respect for Science.
No form of government is perfect. To function well, a Democracy depends on an informed electorate. Unfortunately, we live in a world of conflicting information overload. Truth is difficult to discern with social media. (Fortunately, there are fact-checking sites online.) A more serious flaw in our particular Democracy is a structure that discourages long-term planning. Our elections are funded by donations, and the elected must spend an inordinate amount of time raising campaign funds. House representatives are up for election every two years effectively meaning they are always running for office. Presidential campaigns grow longer and more expensive. Imagine the good that could be done with the billions spent.
The upshot is that our government officials have less time to be concerned with long term planning. As an example, excellence in education is not uniform across the country because it is expensive. Yet investment in quality education more than pays for itself by providing a competent workforce, more people paying taxes on higher incomes, less need for programs for the poor, and an overall better quality of life. Just as families who plan ahead fare better, so do countries by properly maintaining and improving our infrastructure, providing affordable healthcare, clean air, energy and water supplies, and more. Population increase further elevates the need for long term planning.
It is the scientific community whose goals are intended for the long-term betterment of human society. Scientists prepare for years before embarking on a lifetime of research. The federal government supports a host of agencies involved with the science required for a better future, but it is unclear that those we elect pay them sufficient heed. The most serious threat to our future is climate change. The scientists have the answers, and as a community say the biggest obstacle to protecting our world is the lack of political will to implement solutions. Our role as citizens is to pressure those in power to trust science. Our lives depend on it.
Check out this beautifully done video imagining a world where essential workers go on strike to make a better world. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2m8YACFJlMg