Scientia Potentia Est: "Anti-Science" and political discourse in the 2016 presidential election
Environmentalism is frequently characterized as a la-di-da bourgeois rejection of science, reason and progress. At the same time, science is often distorted and instrumentalized by the state and by private interests ("this bus is run on clean natural gas"; EPA investigations concluded that the water in Dimock hadn't been poisoned, the whole West Virginia DEP, communities of color being directed to the results of an insufficient risk assessment process and told they're "misinformed" when they take a stand against environmental racism, FERC's process for rubber stamping national fossil fuel infrastructure projects, the doctor formally employed by Johns Hopkins and the coal industry who made a career out of denying black lung compensation to sick and destitute miners). And as gaffe-prone as she is, Stein deserves credit for being the only candidate to support #NoDAPL and to demand for native sovereignty.
Tensions are at an all-time high at this point, just days away from the election. But what we say and how we think about who is and isn't anti-science says a lot more about our own priorities as individuals than it does about the candidates themselves. And if left-leaning citizens still aren't at the point where we collectively decide that saying "climate change is a thing" isn't enough, that pro-fracking is anti-science and indigenous protectors have a more realistic reaction, not just in terms of traditional ecological knowledge but also as a response to the scientific consensus on climate change, we have a grim future ahead of us.