Thursday, January 21, 2010

Kill the Messenger Syndrome

There is ever-mounting evidence of the deleterious impact of the by-products of modern living on the natural environment and on human health. The clear and unambiguous association of increasing levels of CO2 in the atmosphere with climate change and the disruption of the chemistry of the oceans, the relationship between asbestos and nicotine on life threatening respiratory diseases, the established causal connection between Agent Orange (dioxin) and chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) and the growing evidence of the insidious impact of Bisphenol A (BPA), a constituent of polycarbonate – a ubiquitous plastic, on human health are but a few examples of the collective price we are paying for what we have come to regard as human progress.

Despite these kinds of disturbing data, there still exists a strong and irrational response to this pervasive reality. Underlying this behavior is a fear of the change in our collective behavior that would be required to protect the future health and safety of the human species. As a result, true human progress is constantly stymied by this fear, for fear impairs reasoned analysis and fruitful discussion. It is this fear that holds science suspect in a feeble and misguided attempt to kill the messenger.

No comments: