June 16, 2014

This Is Why We Can't Have Nice Things

Of course, you are almost asking for this to happen when some of your biggest donors are oil companies. But that doesn't change that this is complete and utter crap (Dallas Morning News via io9).

The Dallas Morning News has learned that the Perot Museum failed to display a panel that spelled out the link between burning fossil fuels, higher concentrations of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and a warming planet.

The 4-by-2.5-foot panel had been designed to hang in its earth sciences hall but was lost in the bustle leading up to the museum’s opening in December 2012, said Steve Hinkley, vice president of programs at the Perot Museum. He did not learn of the panel’s omission until a reporter began inquiring about it earlier this month.


The missing panel, titled “Changing Climate,” states that “Volcanic eruptions and burning fossil fuels increase the amount of carbon dioxide and other heat-trapping gases in the atmosphere. This warms the Earth and can cause sea levels to rise and climates to change.”

A caption below a photo of what looks like a smokestack added: “Humans have altered Earth’s climate by burning coal and other fossil fuels that release carbon dioxide,” according to an image of the panel provided by the Perot Museum and by the panel’s designer.

The article goes on to have Hinkley state the reason the panel is missing is that it was improperly designed for the space and they need to make a new one. Of course, this problem arose a year and a half ago and I am willing to wager it doesn't take that long to make a new panel.

No, the problem is much simpler. Big Oil/Gas/Whatever donates money to these museums and then makes sure that scientific facts that would hurt their bottom line simply disappear or get crowded out by a bunch of noise.

Later in the story is a quote from Forrest Hoglund, a natural gas executive who also sits on the board of the museum. This pretty much sums up the problem.

“Climate’s always changing, and always has,” he said. “So there’s a lot of information out there and a lot of misinformation.”

See? It's so complicated. The climate is always changing. Putting up a permanent panel stating scientific fact...well, that would be difficult because of all the information out there.

The rest of the article is worth a read as well, especially on the suppression of talking about evolution in science museums. Which would be like forbidding Cooperstown from discussing the curve ball or balls and strikes. It's a fundamental part of science that cannot be mentioned because a bunch of idiots who think they know what the Bible says wants the rest of us to be as stupid as they are.

This is a serious problem. Ignoring or, in this case, suppressing science leads to an ignorant society. A controllable society. And it doesn't matter if the suppression is done for money or theology or simple spite. Science is fact, neutral fact. It holds no allegiance or ideology. It is science that created the world we have today. And ignoring or suppressing the scientific fact of climate change is what may well ruin the world.


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