Guest Opinion : Fred Malo, Jr.

A certain segment of our society repeatedly rejects science and the guidance it gives us on how to conduct our lives. The existence of evolution, climate change and the coronavirus pandemic are ignored as figments of some egghead’s imagination.

When I took a beginning science class early in my high school years, the teachers taught us about the scientific method. That’s where scientists develop a postulation based on what they know about the universe.

Then begins the arduous task of proving or disproving it. Scientists attack the theory from every angle they can think of, assuming it’s incorrect. When the supposition passes all these tests, it becomes an axiom, a scientific fact.

I was impressed. Politicians and preachers can spout off about the first thing that comes into their heads and expect others to believe it, but scientists have to prove it. Absolute truth is impossible in this world, but scientists come as close as anyone can.

I didn’t go to school in Tennessee, so we were taught about Darwin’s theory of evolution. A fundamentalist Christian friend of mine was outraged that they would teach a theory that contradicted what he was taught in the Bible about Adam and Eve and we went a few rounds about it.

“Maybe you’re related to monkeys, but I’m not,” he protested, “I was created in the image of God.”

“If that’s the case,” I retorted, “then the Lord thy God looks a helluva lot like a big monkey. Go to the primate house at the zoo. See if the critters in there look a little familiar.”

The fossil evidence showing mankind’s progression from a small, shrew-like mammal in the Ice Age to modern man didn’t persuade my friend.

As soon as former Vice President Al Gore paraded a series of climatologists on screen in his 2011 climate change documentary “An Inconvenient Truth”, I was sold. They spoke of global warming that began about the time we started pumping greenhouse gasses into the atmosphere at the dawn of the Industrial Revolution and continues to this day.

The climatologists warned of a tipping point where we can no longer do anything about climate change, but are doomed to a series of climate catastrophes that could make the planet uninhabitable. That point could be reached as early as 2030 if we don’t drastically curb our greenhouse gas emissions.

Evidence abounds that Gore and his climatologists’ predictions were spot on. Heat waves, droughts, wildfires, floods, hurricanes and sea level rise are all indications that climate change isn’t just a problem to be faced in the future. It’s here now and it’ll only get worse if we do nothing about it.

In spite of the encouraging passage of the misleadingly titled federal Inflation Reduction Act, I’m not sure America can do its share to reverse the effects of climate change in a capitalist society. Old money, the fossil fuel industry, tends to overwhelm new money, renewable energy.

Getting me to follow the protocols of the coronavirus pandemic was easy. I always follow doctor’s orders and when an epidemiologist of the stature of Dr. Anthony Fauci tells me how to avoid a disease that has killed 6.5 million people, I listen.

So, I’m quadruple vaccinated and during the height of the threat I wore a mask when I was anywhere around people. I believe those who chose to do otherwise were either ignorant or selfish. If you ignored the protocols for political reasons, all I can say is I hope risking a horrible death is worth it.

I didn’t take hydroxychloroquine or ingest disinfectant, either. I’ll never forget the horrified look on Dr. Deborah Birx’s face when Trump suggested these measures.