The fuel-burning industry and its no-nothing chorus is so powerful in the United States that it’s “controversial” for a scientist to discuss science in a science program. So let’s give credit where due to the Fox teevee network and the “reboot” of Carl Sagan’s Cosmos series, because new host Neil deGrasse Tyson went right ahead and described the burning of coal as a peril to our civilization.
In a land where imbeciles get equal time with astrophysicists, here’s the kind of ridiculous language you’ll find in a major newspaper:
Cosmos does not shy from topics that have become politically controversial in some circles, such as climate change and evolution. In the premiere, Tyson notes how forests that grew 300 million years ago became the coal that we burn “to power and imperil our civilization.”
In some circles ….
Anyway, we will refrain from nitpicking Tyson’s version of the venerable Cosmos, because we generally (and genuinely!) enjoyed it, despite the prevailing infomercial aesthetic of our era. And we do hope that Tyson’s program gets around to acknowledging the solid space science funded by the Vatican since the 20th Century—they hardly ever burn astronomers at the stake these days.
Photo courtesy of Cosmos/Fox.