April 4, 2011
I repeat: to be a skeptic is to ask questions; seek answers from reputable sources; and make decisions based on that accumulated, verifiable evidence while still being open to new information.
To be a skeptic is not to be a naysayer, a denier, or a knee-jerk reactionary. It is not to accept without thought or question, nor is it to ignore evidence.
Once again / George Monbiot / addresses failings in critical thinking that severely damage credibility of people who, as recognized spokespeople, must be held to a higher accountability. If you are going to talk in public about an issue, you *must* be well-informed. (his two previous posts address his repeated and unsuccessful attempts to get Helen Caldicott to provide references for her so dramatic statements.)
People trust their chosen leaders. This is an unfortunate but absolute fact of human nature. And if leaders lie, as almost all seem to do, in pursuit of their chosen agenda, people make foolish choices. Global warming will not go away because people trust greedy, manipulative leaders. And nuclear power must be considered intelligently, not in the obscuring cloud of fact manipulations.
We must teach people how to question intelligently and how to recognize reliable sources.
We are running out of options in too many areas. Humanity may survive the coming crises and the wars and devastation that will accompany them, but wouldn’t it be better if we found ways to prevent the worst disasters? We won’t, not without cooperation and reason.
Where are the leaders and the people who seek reason, not power and emotion?