The morning papers tell a nifty tale about American science and ingenuity which, though it fails to impress the Tea Party Republicans, continues to set a standard for the world.
A year ago, NASA sent a rocket crashing into the moon. Right behind it was a second spacecraft, collecting data as it passed through the plume of debris. The results have now been analyzed and made public. They show that Earth’s lovely satellite has plentiful stores of water and ice: the elements needed to use the moon as a base for planetary exploration.
Many Americans no doubt feel pride at what NASA accomplished. Technical accomplishment and scientific progress are longstanding American values.
But others prefer to live in a world of superstition, suspicion, and resentment. They want to believe in biblical fables, and not evolutionary science. They scorn scientists and doctors and other well-educated folks as “elites.”
And in their ignorance, many are manipulated by greedy industrialists and energy companies, and their lackeys in the media, to obstruct proposed solutions to global warming.
Well, those smart guys and gals that devised and executed that clever rocket probe to the moon, and their peers in U.S. science, are the very same ones who tell us that our climate is being changed by human behavior. We depend on them every day for high-tech advances that grow our economy, the sophisticated weapons that equip our troops, cures for disease, and the research that boosts yields on our farms.
But by all means, feel free not to believe them. Heck, there are lots of folks who still think that the Apollo moon landings were staged on a Hollywood back lot, or that dinosaurs and humans roamed the earth together. Thinking is hard; it’s so much easier just to feel.