Science is science, not a political debate

chloe signed ed

With the threat of the climate crisis and COVID-19 looming, science too often gets caught up in political debate.

Science may be constantly evolving, but it’s still rooted in fact, regardless of whether you believe it or not. Individuals can make personal choices to combat the climate crisis and COVID-19, but only politicians can enact reform that will make the difference.

At the end of the day, politicians can’t just believe science: they need to act on it.

For years, scientists have warned about the effects of the climate crisis on life as we know it by predicting rising sea levels, extreme heat waves, and strengthening hurricanes. One thing is clear: the planet is getting worse, not better, and the longer we ignore that fact, the less likely we are to survive the outcomes—both literally and economically.

As everyday people embrace veganism and fewer waste initiatives, politicians continue to bicker about the best way to solve the climate crisis. But scientists have already detailed a solution: cutting carbon. While that’s easier said than done, we need radical action if we’re going to reverse the damage we’ve already done.

Even leaders who claim to want to make strides in the climate crisis fail to enact substantial change. Studies show that the Harper government “muzzled” scientists. In 2018, 53 per cent of federal scientists said they still felt muzzled under Trudeau, despite his statement to CBC that he’s “[committed] to ensuring scientists can speak freely about their work.”

In 2020, the science behind COVID-19 has been widely debated and discredited. US President Donald Trump continually ignores CDC recommendations and promotes an anti-mask rhetoric. Making the COVID-19 numbers in the US seem better than they are might help his re-election campaign, but it risks the lives of the people he swore to protect when he took office.

Numbers don’t lie. States with stronger mask mandates are faring better than those which ignored them, like Florida. People can choose to follow CDC recommendations, believing the latest science about the virus, but individual actions matter little if the federal government fails to enforce strict measures.

Science operates outside party lines. The coronavirus doesn’t discriminate between parties, and neither will the climate crisis when its impact on the earth becomes devastating.

Instead of getting caught up in politics, politicians need to accept science is far more important than any one party’s triumphs. Instead of creating division, politicians must band together and give scientists the attention they deserve.

There is a place in politics for science, just not as a partisan issue. Science shouldn’t be divisive, but something politicians can band together over for the betterment of their people .

If they don’t, their legacies will be tainted by the future scientists predicted—the future politicians ignored, time and time again.

Chloe is a fourth-year English student and The Journal’s Editorials Editor.

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