OK. I’m sick of politicians too wussy to come out and discuss climate change in real, reasonable, normal-person terms proclaiming “I’m not a scientist” as though this is some kind of rationale for stupidity. (Gail Collins has a fab column on this very subject righty here.)
This gambit gives the rest of us who aren’t scientists a bad name. And there are A LOT OF PEOPLE who aren’t scientists. In fact, MOST OF US AREN’T. The number of non-scientists in the world far outnumber the scientists, and here’s the thing: We are not all asshats. Most of us who aren’t scientists are actually pro-scientist and even (gasp) pro-science, and by “science” I mean such fun topics as: the planet; the cosmos; medicine; technology; all forces of nature, including the weather and plate tectonics; all life on earth, including plants, insects and animals; and human evolution.
Evolution is another one of those things that prompt certain people in the public eye to firmly state they aren’t scientists. I’m setting aside, for a moment, that specific demographic of biblical literalists who truly and devoutly believe homo sapiens sapiens was created in less time than it took me to download iOS 8, because A) I will never, ever convince them that evolution itself might have been God’s own brilliant and miraculous handiwork, a slow-cook process that bubbled with divine mutation; and B) THEY aren’t walking around saying “I’m not a scientist.” Because THEY DON’T CARE. They are so far removed from the conversation that we should ignore them entirely.
Politicians, on the other hand. They’re reachable, at least in theory. They’re motivated by what they THINK will get them elected, and if they think a significant number of non-scientists are, in fact, anti-science, then they will ape (yes! pun intended!) the anti-science stance until the rising oceans reach up and carry them away.
So this is would I would like to do. I would like to reclaim the phrase “I’m not a scientist” in the name of all who aren’t.
As in: I’m not a scientist, and I’m pro-science! Or: I’m not a scientist, and I believe the ice caps are melting! And: I’m not a scientist, and I believe we should invest in alternative energies (go, windmills!). Or maybe: I’m not a scientist, and I believe Neanderthals had sex with early humans, probably at a rave!
And while we’re at it: I’m not a scientist, and I believe only selfish, shortsighted boobs don’t want to preserve and heal the environment!
Also: I’m not a scientist, and I want there to be a planet for my grandchildren!
And finally: I’m not a scientist, and I’M NOT STUPID!