Rage Against Science and Reason: Fear Continues as a Tool of Distraction

09/08/2009 02:23 pm ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Colleague Peter Gleick pens sage words on water, policy and science, and few have similarly sharp eyes that spot anomalies in data, mal- or misfeasance in reporting or the ability to see through the muck and call out things that are just plain wrong.

Gleick, whose commentary we feature at Circle of Blue, rolls up his sleeves in his latest post about science, fact and rationality. A "New McCarthyism."

As more and more of the world looks to knowledge, education and science as the routes out of poverty and conflict, parts of America seems to be slipping back toward the Dark Ages, when fear of knowledge and science led to an impoverishment of civilization that had lasting effects for centuries.

I've recently returned from two weeks in northern Europe, and a series of scientific water meetings and discussions with people from over 130 countries. They read the news from the United States with incredulity. America is still seen as the place to come for aspiring students and scientists around the world. Our public universities, despite assaults on budgets, independence and knowledge, still struggle to maintain their excellence. But my friends and colleagues from overseas are increasingly shocked, as are many of us in the U.S., by the expanding efforts of home-grown extremists to undermine rational discourse, eliminate the use of fact and science in policymaking, and shut down public debate over the vital issues of our times through hate, vitriol, and ad hominem attacks.


-- Dr. Peter Gleick

Read the rest here.