In a 1946 essay, George Orwell wrote that “to see what is in front of one’s nose needs a constant struggle.” It’s not just that we’re easily misled. It’s that, by “impudently twisting the facts,” we can convince ourselves of “things which we know to be untrue.” A whole society, he wrote, can deceive itself “for an indefinite time,” and the only check on that mass delusion is that “sooner or later a false belief bumps up against solid reality.” Science is one source of that solid reality. The Trump Administration seems determined to keep it at bay, and the consequences for society and the environment will be profound.
I’ve been purposely avoiding posting too many Trump-as-Armageddon articles. Contrary to the belief of some, I think those of us who are skeptical of what he plans to do as President should wait until a. he’s actually the President and; b. he starts to do some of these horrible things. Pitching a fit beforehand runs the risk of Chicken Little syndrome setting in.
That being said, this piece scared the shit out of me. And it should scare the shit out of you, too. And it passes the sniff test—these are the people he really has tapped, and these are the things they really have done and claim to believe.