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Steeped in Science

Ranger Steve

By Ranger Steve Mueller

Science has discovered it is the wind over wings that allows flight in nature niches, but we generally speak of “the wind beneath my wings.” The wind flowing upward over wings creates lower air pressure to provide essential lift for flight. This knowledge has been used to make airplane flight possible. If flight is taken with an improperly designed wing, the plane will likely crash at the end of the runway. 

In general people ignore scientific discoveries when they do not align with what they want to believe. Scientific process filters out erroneous conclusions like “the wind beneath wings” allows flight. Science requires time and repeated experimentation. During the process, evidence gradually refines toward a most correct analysis.

The public is anxious for a vaccine for Covid-19 to save human lives. The experimentation cannot bring results fast enough. Massive money is spent with high priority for different potential vaccines. Drugs like Hydroxychloroquine have proven to be ineffective but wishful believers refuse to accept scientific evidence regarding the ineffectiveness of the drug. I have been steeped in science for 55 years and find it difficult to understand such rejection. 

Adequate evidence supports that wearing masks prevents death by reducing the spread of Covid-19. It is thought 40,000 lives could have been saved if everyone wore masks. Over 160,000 people have died in the US and nearly one quarter could have been saved by mask wearing and social distancing. Why many people refuse to wear masks and/or social distance makes little logical or science sense. We all face such questions daily in many ways.

It is not only a constitutional and scientific question (whether to wear a mask) but a moral one. This question is a biological one impacting our human nature niche. Ask what you can do to save others’ lives or prevent illness and not what you can do for self-interest and desire.

We face the same dilemma regarding climate change and its impact on human lives for present and future generations. Evidence has accumulated for a century about how fossil fuel consumption changes Earth’s thermal retention and causes glacial melting. A small number of studies do not support that climate change is magnified by human activity. Those studies generally do not deny human caused climate change; they just lack quantitative evidence for how much. Over 95 percent of climatologists’ studies have adequate evidence that significant human generated climate change threatens flooding of coastal cities and lowlands. A few studies are getting promoted by those wanting to deny overwhelming scientific evidence for various reasons.

The current US administration has pulled out of the climate accord even though it promotes long term sustainability for human health and economic prosperity for cities, states, and nations. Science is being ignored despite overwhelming evidence regarding the importance of switching to renewable energy sources. 

Renewable energy is not a cure-all and poses different problems to be addressed. It can move us in a positive direction for jobs, economic development, and sustainable environmental health. In addition to long term benefits for economic growth and society sustainability, ecosystems support plant and animal nature niches that provide essential economic value and natural resource benefits. We are in the mist of rapid worldwide extinctions, in part, because we ignore the physical evidence provided and supported by the scientific process. Being steeped in science is good for present day families and future generations. We fear change and difference.

Ignoring science about Hydroxychloroquine might serve personal goals but is not wise. Peer reviewed scientific studies support our nation’s wealth and sustainability. Without healthy ecosystems, human wellbeing is not secure. Science is a tool to be used with social conscience for a better tomorrow. 

Natural history questions or topic suggestions can be directed to Ranger Steve (Mueller) at odybrook@chartermi.net – Ody Brook Nature Sanctuary, 13010 Northland Dr. Cedar Springs, MI 49319 or call 616-696-1753.

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