Many are the ways in which the powers that be obstruct and obscure our paths to knowledge Dr Nancy Swanson
We need only look at the historical record to know that those who crave power have seized upon the belief system of the people in order to manipulate and control them. All good ideas start out well enough but, sometime after gaining wide acceptance, they inevitably become corrupted.
Those who ruled the Roman Catholic Church used it as a tool for absolute control of the masses. People who did not fall into line were threatened with excommunication, doomed to burn in hell forever. If they fell too far out of line, they were burned alive on the grounds of heresy.
One method of control was to use Latin for mass. The entire structure was formed around a language that the people did not speak, read or write. This forced people to have a go-between, a priest, to intervene with God on their behalf. Ostensibly God only understood Latin.
The great crime committed by Galileo Galilei was not so much what he said, but that he insisted on saying it in Italian, the language of his people, rather than the language of the scholars and priests . Kepler and Copernicus had already published much of what Galileo espoused. But they did it in Latin and therefore did not incur the wrath of the church. Apparently you could say pretty much anything so long as very few understood what you were saying. Not only was Galileo excommunicated, his book was banned, he was placed under house arrest for life and he was forced to recant.
Today, people have an unshakable faith in science. Newspaper articles often start with, “Scientists say...,” without ever actually naming the “scientists” as if the word is coming down from on high through the scientific priesthood. When involved in a debate, people often resort to, “The science says...,” or “What does the science say?” to support their argument. Science, it seems, is the Ultimate Authority. People believe that science can give us truth. We are told that we cannot trust ourselves, we must bow to the higher wisdom of science:  “We need to know that instinct is no substitute for the neutral evaluation of a hypothesis.” Otherwise intelligent people say this as if such things as absolute truth and “neutral evaluation” actually exist.
Somehow we have come to a place where scientific theories and data are completely ignored unless they have been published in a peer-reviewed, scientific journal. As if getting a handful of other scientific priests to agree somehow grants holiness to the idea : “...a zealous truth-seeker’s work upon hearing a new theory should be to research legitimate peer-reviewed journals to see if the theory is true.” It can then be used to beat people over the head, to sue people in a court of law and to persuade governments to enact or redact laws and rules.
It is worth mentioning here that the first paper on the laser (known at that time as an optical maser) was rejected by the editor of Physical Review Letters because it was  “just another maser paper.” It’s difficult to get an idea published that goes against the current dogma.
The system of scientific publication has been in place for a few hundred years. It makes it impossible for anyone who is not a member of the scientific priesthood to be heard. It also makes it nearly impossible for even a member of the priesthood to be heard if her ideas are considered scientific heresy.
Science was ripe for takeover by the power-hungry: the people have absolute confidence in it and the information can be tightly controlled with a system already in place. The scientific priesthood already controlled the science that was allowed to be done and the flow of information. All that was needed was to establish dominance over the scientific priesthood.
This was accomplished by controlling the research funding and the publication process. A scientist cannot work without funding, nor will he remain employed if he cannot publish his findings. Funding and publication have become the metrics of success in science. If you were to want a particular line of scientific inquiry suppressed, you could cut funding, interfere with the publication process, or discredit the scientist(s).
Instances of the takeover and manipulation of science abound. The chemical/biotechnology corporations serve as a prime example. They figured out that science is the religion of the day, and taking control of science is to take control of people. They have used every means at their disposal to suppress scientific enquiry. They hire scientists and give money to academic institutions to fund research. They install people in key government positions at every level ; actively lobby congress and use their influence to coerce other nations to accept their products. They place editors on scientific journals, controlling what does and, more importantly, what doesn’t get published ; even to the extent of having published articles retracted that they see as damaging to their agenda, expunging the results from the public record and paving the way for expansion .
Meanwhile the people, not being conversant in scientific language and largely unable to decode the scientific literature (it might as well be in Latin), are dependent on a go-between, a translator. The corporations dress up their scientific priests in white coats and have them deliver the message they want the people to hear. They repeat the dogma over and over using key phrases like “science-based” and “anti-science.”
Permit me a small digression. In a chiropractic office that I once patronized, all of the chiropractic doctors wore white coats. The only reason I, a scientist, ever wore a white coat was to avoid getting my clothing stained. But my chiropractor was hardly in danger of being blood-spattered, so one day I asked her why she wore the white coat. She informed me that it was required by the management because people listened and obeyed if she wore a white coat whereas they didn't if she did not. White Coat = Authority.
If the people hear voices dissenting from the scientific priesthood, the corporations immediately send out their scientists to harass and discredit the other scientists. Their methods, results, and even their credentials are called into question. Many have been denied tenure, lost their funding and even their jobs after publishing results casting doubt on the wisdom of genetic engineering. This has created a climate of fear within the scientific community and confusion without. The vast majority of scientists who are willing to speak out are either retired or of retirement age. They have nothing to lose. This is all too reminiscent of the historical relationship between the Pope, the kings & queens, the bishops & priesthood and the people.
If people intuitively reject the idea of eating genetically engineered food, liberally sprayed with poison, they are damned as irrational, unscientific and ignorant. Many people still believe that Roundup is safe enough to drink, as claimed by the company.
Based on a 1947 video , drinking and eating pesticides seems to be one of Monsanto’s favorite marketing tools. In the video, an entomologist is sent to an African village to try to convince the people to spray dichloro-diphenyl-trichloroethane (DDT) all over the village to kill the mosquitoes and prevent the spread of malaria. But the Africans aren’t buying it. The entomologist calls for a bowl of porridge, proceeds to spray DDT all over it and then eats a few bites. The Africans are still not buying it. Why? Because they haven’t been indoctrinated into the dogma that scientists are the high priests with sole access to the truth. The truth is obvious to them: if DDT kills the mosquitoes, it can kill them too. And they were right.
Dichloro-diphenyl-trichloroethane was developed as a synthetic insecticide in the 1940s. Rachel Carson highlighted the dangers of DDT in her 1962 book Silent Spring. Carson used DDT to tell the broader story of the disastrous consequences of the overuse of pesticides. Not surprisingly, her work attracted outrage from the pesticide industry. Her credibility as a scientist was attacked, and she was derided as  “hysterical.” It took ten more years before the Environmental Protection Agency issued a ‘cancellation order’ for DDT in 1972.
One would think the issue had been resolved, but just this year the banning of DDT was hailed as a  “frenzy of misguided environmental zeal” and “Carson’s book is riddled with fallacies and deceit.” Another editorial states , “The 1972 U.S. ban on DDT ... is also responsible for a menticide [the systematic effort to undermine and destroy a person's values and beliefs] which has already condemned one entire generation to a dark age of anti-science ignorance, and is now infecting a new one. The lies and hysteria spread to defend the DDT ban are typical of the irrationalist, anti-science wave which has virtually destroyed rational forms of discourse in our society. If you want to save science—and human lives—the fight to bring back DDT...” The author also accuses Carson of scientific fraud, lies and deceit. Both authors invoke their scientific priest, J. Gordon Edwards, as the Voice of Authority.
This is a typical example of the tactics employed: accuse the opposition of fraud, lies, deceit, ignorance, irrationality, anti-science heresy and insinuate that science (the current system of values and beliefs, i.e. religion) must be preserved at all costs or we will all be thrown into the dark ages where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
In the same year that DDT was banned, its maker presented us with glyphosate, the weed-killer so safe we can drink it. A pattern emerges. Who knows how long it will take to ban glyphosate and genetically engineered crops? If we do manage it, what will they give us next? We need a sea-change.
Whenever concern for the health and well-being of the beings on this planet, or the planet herself, come into conflict with corporate interests, scientific debate devolves into imbecility. Scientific data are sorted, interpreted and re-interpreted to fit any argument in much the same way as words taken from the Bible. Each side in the debate quotes from their pet scientist as the Authority and accuses the other of anti-science heresy.
Scientific data were never meant to be used in this way. Philosophers of science have carefully laid out the limitations of knowledge that can be gained through the scientific method [11, 12] (Philosophy and Science, SiS 61). Unfortunately most people, including scientists, are blissfully unaware of this. There is nothing in science that can be proven true. Nothing.
I am not saying we should do away with science. I am quite a fan of the carefully applied scientific method and the information that can be gleaned, so long as no harm is done in the process. I am also a fan of electronic gadgets. But science needs to be taken down from this pedestal, this religious fervor as The Final Authority. As a religion, science is quite deficient.
It is past time to recognize and accept the limits of science and scientific knowing. It is past time to stop relying on external authority of any kind. We are our own authority. There are other ways of knowing. When I focus inward in contemplation, it is clear to me that our planet is a vast, interwoven web of cooperation at all levels. We are ignorant enough to think that we can control and disrupt this web without limit or consequence. I can only hope that, should we continue this course of feeble-mindedness, we destroy ourselves before we succeed in destroying all beings on this planet.
Article first published 19/05/14
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norman albon Comment left 20th May 2014 02:02:35
I visited Russia just after Chernobyl and Gorbachov organised a 'peace cruise' to the Ukraine. We saw some rehoused families. When I questioned how this had come about,a Russian said 'We were told that Nuclear power was so safe that they could site a reactor in the Kremlin.' But it is a complicated and dangerous way of boiling water.
Aquifer Comment left 20th May 2014 02:02:12
Excellent! Thank you so much for this! I have been saying much of the same for some time now - it's good to see it "in print" ...
Rory Short Comment left 20th May 2014 02:02:56
I like the parallel drawn between the Medieval Church and what is happening to science in the current era, and it so absolutely right. For power hungry individuals, or groups, there is no ideal higher than self-service so they will corrupt absolutely anything in their pursuit of the self-service goal.
Gene Sperling Comment left 20th May 2014 17:05:49
I want to add a simple...amen. The Billions being thrown at the corruption of real scientific research in order to project corporate views is VAST. But, It is the scientists that take this money and work for these carpetbaggers that perpetuate these practices. Will they wake up.
Carol Sterritt-Frost Comment left 20th May 2014 14:02:02
I wrote this article as it transformed some four years of pursuing the truth regarding an issue, MTBE, the gas additive, into a demonstration of how the headlines we read and the stories we read are total gibberish. Read to the part where John Froines comments on "his words." And my experience with MTBE shows how the Mainstream Press is totally corrupted and totally owned. Red it through and weep. And if this is what was done regarding MTBE, then it is also what was done with vaccine issue, and Gm issue and every issue out there. http://www.dailykos.com/story/2008/06/22/540267/-The-TRUTH-Versus-the-Mainstream-Media
John Newton Comment left 20th May 2014 14:02:15
A thought-provoking piece, with one perhaps sinister sidelight. This excellent argument could be used against the science of anthropogenic climate change by the very corporate science deniers that the author is writing about
Ken Conrad Comment left 20th May 2014 14:02:54
Well said. So it can be said about the so-called science that governs modern medicine. One has to marvel at the prevalence of human credulity and the willingness to accept at face value the doctor’s/scientist’s advice. Indeed, the doctor’s/scientist’s status rose to that of a priest and medicine became the new religion with its corresponding rituals, i.e. vaccination, chemotherapy, antibiotics and pasteurization of milk. People acquired an almost unshakable belief in these rituals and many still do. The same can be said about the origin of our universe. Consider this argument by Chandra Wickramasinghe, professor of applied mathematics and astronomy. The Sri Lankan-born astronomer explained: “From my earliest training as a scientist I was very strongly brainwashed to believe that science cannot be consistent with any kind of deliberate creation. That notion has had to be very painfully shed. I am quite uncomfortable in the situation, the state of mind I now find myself in. But there is no logical way out of it. Once we see . . . that the probability of life, originating at random is so utterly minuscule as to make it absurd, it becomes sensible to think that the favorable properties of physics on which life depends are in every respect ‘deliberate,’ or created.” Professor Wickramasinghe also said: “I now find myself driven to this position by logic. There is no other way in which we can understand the precise ordering of the chemicals of life except to invoke the creations on a cosmic scale. . . . We were hoping as scientists that there would be a way round our conclusion, but there isn't.” In an interview with Nobel Prize winning author Solzhenitsyn for his book, A Soul in Exile, Joseph Pearce asks the question: “Do you feel that many of the problems in the modern world are due to an inadequate grasp of spiritual and philosophical truth by the population as a whole?” In his reply Solzhenitsyn states: “This is certainly true. Man has set for himself the goal of conquering the world but in the processes loses his soul. That which is called humanism, but what would be more correctly called irreligious anthropocentrism, cannot yield answers to the most essential questions of our life. We have arrived at an intellectual chaos.” Ken
Maria O'Hare Comment left 20th May 2014 14:02:23
This article is an oasis in the midst of the 'corporate takeover of science'pumped out to the masses. Thank you for all your work, research & outreach. http://diggingupthefuture.com
David Llewellyn Foster Comment left 20th May 2014 21:09:10
Timely article! Let's hear it for the gifted amateur, for grass roots empiricism, vernacular knowledge, for cultural inclusivity, informed introspection and enlightened reflexivity! The white-coat ploy was devised by the PR gremlin Edward Bernays as I recall. As for peer review, this is clearly an admirable principle that in practice is clearly abused. The exponentially damaging crimes of omission from conflicts of interest speak volumes. My own view is that the unholiest of trinities that buttress pseudo "authority" operates as an interlocking tyranny that comprises the notional dominance of the corporate practice of "extraction" (by all known means;) "moral" enforcement through the universal power exercised by pushers of "munitions;" and political complicity by engineering consent through "publicity." The world may be one big argument as the extravagant artists Gilbert and George once declared; but if we are to achieve even a semblance of coherent global civility, full-rein should be accorded to the spiritual ethos of self-determination, governed by the mutual rubrics of voluntary cooperation and reciprocal consultation. Else, what's society for? What's the point?
David Croxton Comment left 20th May 2014 17:05:30
Although technology and science have advanced, sadly morality and ethics have not. Power truly corrupts and there is no doubt that those who rise to the top of global corporations, are corrupted and with few exceptions, caring about the wider populace or the environment becomes insignificant relative to the addictive greed of securing ever more power and control. Look forward to the day when philanthropy becomes more satisfying than absolute power as some have found.
Abe Comment left 21st May 2014 01:01:09
The comments are as good as the article!!
Lincoln Phipps Comment left 21st May 2014 05:05:11
Trying to use the rejection of Maiman's paper is a bizarre example. He already had a paper on exciting of ruby published and they thought this was a continuation. He though it was because they had said before that they were not publishing any more papers on masers because they had too many. He then submitted it to the Journal of Applied Physics and they said they would publish it. But a unauthorized copy was published in a different journal, the British Communications and Electronics (now defunct but ran from '54 to '65). So then Journal of Applied Physics said they couldn't publish it (as it is already published !) so Maiman re-wrote it and Nature published it. That's not anything like " difficult to get an idea published that goes against the current dogma" !. On the contrary a journal published it without permission.
Joseph Johnson Comment left 21st May 2014 05:05:25
Re: Abuse of Science: (Where to find guidance?) Beyond Science and Religion, there is a larger pattern in Nature, discovered back in 1929, the true depth and meaning of which is still not appreciated. I call it Natural Order, underlying what we are all familiar with as Natural Law. Reductionism implies that the biological processes are sustained by chemical laws sustained in turn by laws of physics. What is missed is the significance of what was found under the floor of "classical physics;" the fact that there is a most unique subjective quality guiding the expression of all the four forces of nature: symmetry (Noether's Theorem). What is very special about symmetry is that it "reduces" still further, i.e. is a major particular of the very broad, deeper, and most meaningful subjective quality of "Aesthetics". Why else has natural selection so enhanced our aesthetic senses if not to enhance survival through choices guided by aesthetic feelings and values? And what more explicit meaning for Symmetry than "The Golden Rule"? What deeper theology can the world need -- or, indeed, t o l e r a t e ? Surely, the evolved neural faculties that support science, together with access to our world history of lessons learned, should be no less facile in the analysis of the Golden Rule to guide specification of its psychological as well as sociological implications for sustainable Civil Order and a boundlessly creative civilization it would tend to foster. We already have our sciences of Psychology and Sociology, and lessons of history to assist. When will our "Science of Sustainable Civilization" start? The whole world needs it. Where is the flaw in The Golden Rule? The GR is very special in that it would seem to rule out all the prejudices of special interests that divide up our world, so much the source of religious wars; prejudices for greed that, on the commercial end, have been filling our environment with abuse, and would now fill our world with potentially deadly GMOs. In other words, our God-given Golden Rule was abandoned for all these very special interests. The GR has exactly what every human being needs. Get With It, Science, or whatever civilized brains are left out there!
Nancy Swanson Comment left 21st May 2014 14:02:18
To Lincoln Phipps: You are right, the laser paper was not the best example of this. My former colleague (and very good friend) once tried to publish a paper on a novel semi-conductor crystal and it was rejected by Physical Review because "it is impossible!" We laughed it off and said, "Oh well, they rejected the first laser paper too so who cares what they think." Two years later that same crystal was published by someone else (probably one of the reviewers) and hailed as a breakthrough. I'm sure there are many, many examples. And we only hear about the famous ones. As I'm sure you will agree. That's just the first one I thought of. I hope you didn't get stuck on a minor detail and miss the message. Right now it is the case that people are having great difficulty publishing anything that sheds a bad light on GMOs or glyphosate. So they submit to more obscure journals, or non-US journals. Then they get slammed by the relentless PR machine because the journal is not well-known or not referenced in PubMed etc. Then they attack the credentials of the scientist, the methods used.
Marie-Paule Nougaret Comment left 21st May 2014 18:06:34
you might also quote homeopathy as a closed to inquiries field today (even from Nobel prize Luc Montagner) though medicine is an art (not an exact science) and homeopathy practice was funded on abundant experimentation in 19th century. But I beg to differ a bit on the Latin issue. Latin is a very descriptive though very synthetic language, which is why Newton (and others) published in latin and botany and entomology description are still in latin. Latin is historically the basis of written law which applies the same to everyone thus is much more protective, it may be argued, than English changing common law rulings. Also more precise. For instance French droit au travail in our constitution would have been abandoned if the UE constitutional treaty had been applied (France voted no). It was translated by "right to work" (one may work, not much of a right, really), when it actually means that one is entitled to have work - a notion that ambiguous English cannot exactly confer. And so forth. While it is true that Gospels were burned int he 12th and 13 th centuries because they were translated into occitan (romance), id est-, burned with their owners thus deemed heretics (cathars as they are called since 19th century), and that Luther's big advance was translating the Bible (from Greek or Latin I don't know, having been raised as a catholic), Italian only was written from Dante's (14th century) and Kepler and Copernic had no other choice but to publish in Latin in order to be read. Latin was not so rare as you may think, who could read, then could read Latin. In my father's time afterWW 2, it was common enough that the first European congress of students ( he went to), in Prague, took place in latin. Even the 1960's in France and may be other countries, Latin was mandatory (as preparation for math, in reasoning and science in vocabulary) for two years, in 5th and 6th grade, then you could give up. The question is, it seems, that Galileo would speak his theory in every day language, not only print it. Or am I wrong ?
Nancy Swanson Comment left 23rd May 2014 01:01:07
A better example of the difficulty in publishing anything that goes against the current dogma is the case of Halton Arp. He found evidence that the red shift is not caused by velocity alone and is therefore not a measure of distance (but rather the age of the star). This discovery negates everything we think we know about the universe, including the Big Bang. All of our assumptions are based on the metric of the red shift as a measure of distance. Not only were his papers rejected, when he persisted in his heretical notions, he was thrown off the telescope at the observatory where he worked. We can't have anyone challenging the sacredness of the meaning of the red shift. The house of cards known as cosmology is built upon this foundation. All of cosmology would have to be revisited in this new light. Instead we prefer to continue making up stories for the inconsistencies in our theories (Dark Matter and Dark Energy for example). It isn't my field, but I'll bet you can't get anything published that goes against Darwin either.
Lidia Gibson Comment left 23rd May 2014 13:01:04
But now we have the internet.
JAMES MALEFAKIS Comment left 23rd May 2014 13:01:47
Nice post Ms Swanson.
Claire Bleakley Comment left 23rd May 2014 21:09:29
Thank you for such a conscise explanation of where we are today. If they don't listen to people in white coats they re at least free. Who is the most indoctrinated? To beleive that if you wear a white coat your words will become scientific and people will listen does not give much credit for learning and intelligence. Good to read.
Theresa Comment left 24th May 2014 19:07:43
One of the links, in this weekend's "The Weekend Conversation" http://theconversation.com/restoring-sciences-place-in-society-will-help-us-resolve-the-big-debates-26410.
Ken Conrad Comment left 26th May 2014 15:03:36
In 2008, Dr. Marcia Angell of Harvard Medical School, after serving as editor of the New England Journal of Medicine for two decades, announced: "It is simply no longer possible to believe much of the clinical research that is published, or to rely on the judgment of trusted physicians or authoritative medical guidelines."
Diane Comment left 26th May 2014 22:10:28
I recently bought your book "The Religion of Science" Dr Swanson, an absolute essential read in my opinion, particularly for a non scientist such as I. One point you made in this article set me wondering: with many baby boomers set to retire over the next few years perhaps we will see a resurgence of radical activity led by the over 70's :-)
Douglas Hinds Comment left 27th May 2014 06:06:01
The Institute of Science in Society is dedicated to Science in the Public Interest. The Corruption of Science occurs when corporate interests take precedence over those of society. Science has become corrupted to the degree that the public interest has been betrayed by the public institutions created to defend it. If Science becomes a Religion rather than a Method, excluding those who do not subscribe to the corporate line (the bottom line), aided and abetted by corrupt governmental agencies, how do we return to a state of sanity? Enter the Institute of Science in Society and the defense of the Scientific Method. From Wikipedia: "The scientific method is a body of techniques for investigating phenomena, acquiring new knowledge, or correcting and integrating previous knowledge. To be termed scientific, a method of inquiry must be based on empirical and measurable evidence subject to specific principles of reasoning. The Oxford English Dictionary defines the scientific method as "a method or procedure that has characterized natural science since the 17th century, consisting in systematic observation, measurement, and experiment, and the formulation, testing, and modification of hypotheses." The chief characteristic which distinguishes the scientific method from other methods of acquiring knowledge is that scientists seek to let reality speak for itself, supporting a theory when a theory's predictions are confirmed and challenging a theory when its predictions prove false... Scientific researchers propose hypotheses as explanations of phenomena and design experimental studies to test these hypotheses via predictions which can be derived from them. These steps must be repeatable to guard against mistake or confusion in any particular experimenter. Scientific inquiry is intended to be as objective as possible in order to minimize bias. Another basic expectation is the documentation, archiving and sharing of all data collected or produced and of the methodologies used so they may be available for careful scrutiny and attempts by other scientists to reproduce and verify them. This practice, known as full disclosure, also means that statistical measures of their reliability may be made." Science in the Corporate Interest has put an end to full disclosure, in the name of competitive advantage.
Eric Smith Comment left 13th February 2015 19:07:19
This is a very important, insightful, and well-written article, Dr Swanson. Thank you very much for taking the time to write and disseminate this message. I’d like to respond to the comment by John Newton above. He states: “This excellent argument could be used against the science of anthropogenic climate change by the very corporate science deniers that the author is writing about”… The very concept of “climate change” seems intentionally created to cause conflicts and disagreements among groups of people – namely its supporters and its detractors. We know that one of the chief strategies of power mongers and crowd manipulators is that of “divide and conquer”…In other words, intentionally set up situations and frame issues in such a manner that the common people become strongly divided amongst each other, and at odds with each other. The most effective way to do this is to get them divided into two opposing camps. This phenomenon is seen clearly in contemporary American politics: e.g., “Left vs Right”, “Liberals vs Conservatives”, “Democrats vs Republicans”, etc. (Unlike France, for example, where there are numerous leading political parties, with a variety of differing viewpoints, which the public can choose from, and whose candidates have reasonable chances of winning elections). Here in our culture, we see the public often divided into two opposing camps on issues. In such a state, they are occupied antagonizing and opposing each other…while the power mongers remain quietly behind the scene and ultimately in charge of the major affairs of the state. The end result is that the interests of the corporate powers (e.g., profits and power) are served while the interests of the general public (e.g., health, well-being, clean air, clean water, etc) are neglected, sublimated, and subverted. Back to the topic of “climate change”. From the point of view of the powerful petroleum industry, this is a great way for the public to conceptualize the topic. For starters, it’s something that the average person cannot easily verify himself/herself with their own senses and their personal experience. Rather, it’s a phenomenon that we need to rely on the scientists and “experts” to tell us either does, or does not, exist. This is the perfect setting for the public to become divided on an issue. One side of the public sides with the group of scientists that’s telling us “climate change” is true and is being caused by man. Another side of the public sides with the group of scientists that’s telling us “climate change” is not true, or is true but is not being caused by man. Here’s what I propose. Whenever you’re tempted to use the phrase “climate change”, instead, replace it with the term “global pollution” or “global toxification”. Environmental pollution and toxification are often phenomena that we can see and experience directly, ourselves. We don’t need the experts/scientists to confirm this for us. I can look out my window in LA, Tokyo, Beijing, etc and actually see the pollution filling the sky myself. This is a direct effect of our “dirty energy” sources, that I can verify exists with my own senses. Other forms of global toxicification that I can verify with my own senses include the chemical run-off that I can taste in my tap water, the pesticide residue that I can taste in my store-bought produce, the plastic shopping bags that I can see blowing around the countryside, etc. The producers of “dirty energy” (the petroleum industry) do not want you to think of the environmental problems that they/we are creating as “toxification” (which is what it actually is, and which you can verify with your own senses, and therefore which is much harder to deny); rather, they would prefer you to think of the problem as “climate change” (a pleasant sounding term, which is an easy topic for people to become divided over and to argue about, depending upon which group of scientists whose data you trust the most).