By: John Harris
Scientific evidence, as a way of proving or disproving certain phenomena, doesn’t really carry very much weight in this country. In fact, for many millions of Americans, hard science backed by mountains of empirical data isn’t as good at convincing them that something is factual as is, for example, the often confusing but oddly unquestioned information printed on the inside of Snapple caps.
Sadly speaking to this point is the continued denial by a staggering 23-percent of Americans of the human impact on climate change and, equally insidious, the adherence to the now not-so-fringe belief that vaccinating children causes autism. Amazingly, as reams of studies and research papers pile up refuting both these views, they somehow remain as tenacious as the false claim that humans use only 10-percent of their brains, which continues to be the basis for many blockbuster films.
But here’s the thing: CLIMATE CHANGE IS REAL AND VACCINATING YOUR KIDS DOESN’T CAUSE AUTISM AND IT SAVES LIVES. To continue to hold either ‘or probably in some fucking infuriating cases, both ‘of these beliefs is up among the most socially irresponsible things one can do. In essence, it makes you a very slow and very inefficient serial killer; an overweight, unfocused Jeffrey Dahmer on methadone, if you will.
So, now I am going to waste everyone’s time outlining the facts in regard to climate change and vaccinations, which will result in my convincing not one single person of anything, and then I’ll unsuccessfully try to steer all the delusional numbnuts out there on the wrong sides of these debates toward instead channelling their destructive, unfounded skepticism into believing in ghosts (otherwise known as g-g-g-g-g-ghosts?!).
So, again, just time really well-spent, all around.
We’ll start with climate change: as we’ve established, the evidence not only overwhelmingly supports its existence, as well as the notion that it is being caused by humans, but the vast majority of scientists also believe that without incredibly drastic changes in the way human society (read: the United States) behaves, we will soon pass the point of no return, meaning our planet’s surface temperature will increase by an average 3.6 degrees Fahrenheit. Now, I know what you’re thinking: ‘3.6 degrees? That doesn’t sound like a whole lot.” But the main thing you have to keep in mind is that you’re a dumb fucking idiot who doesn’t understand science.
Reaching this temperature threshold will cause unpredictable, deadly weather patterns and crippling drought, the latter of which can be hard to grasp by Americans, who, even though California is now experiencing the worst drought in 500 years, naturally feel entitled to the hot tubs promised to them in the preamble of the Constitution.
So, with about 97 (let’s just say 100)-percent of the scientific community on board, what could the other side of the argument possibly be? Well, if you’re a particular type of politician in the pocket of lobbyists for mega-polluting corporations and oil companies, the overwhelming pressure stemming from facts and reason may have actually pushed you from the ‘I do not believe climate change exists” stance to the very controversial ‘I’m not a scientist” position. In other words, the argument often blocking effective climate change legislation is THE EXACT REASON NO ONE SHOULD LISTEN TO YOU ABOUT CLIMATE CHANGE.
AT ALL. OR ABOUT WOMEN’S REPRODUCTION, FOR THAT MATTER. SORRY, THAT’S NOT RELEVANT TO THIS DISCUSSION. BUT STILL.
Besides stalling legislation that could make strides in slowing greenhouse gas emissions, this type of stonewalling at the behest of giant, sociopathic corporations poisons the thinking of feebleminded, barely-literate, conspiracy-mongering YouTube commenters across the country. Again, to whom I will in a moment suggest turn all that loud, stupid, destructive energy into something much more harmless, namely believing in the existence of ghosts and other supernatural bullshit. Sorry: ‘legitimate phenomena.”
To be very, very clear, the entire ‘vaccines cause autism” theory is based on one scientific paper that was retracted by the journal that published it after it was discovered the now-disgraced author, Andrew Wakefield, falsified the data. To be even more clear, this one research paper, no doubt submitted for publication on the back of a Bennigan’s napkin, has since been refuted many, MANY times by many, MANY scientific and medical authorities. And yet the belief persists, to the point that it has become necessary to run sad commercials featuring people’s children have died because they did not get them vaccinated.
And that’s it. It’s unclear what to even say about this debate, at this point. It’s almost impossible to imagine what compels people to persist in thinking that this is true; ironically, clinging to this completely false belief that vaccinations cause autism seems to require a singleminded, Asperger’s-level myopia.
So, what is the main sustaining argument for anti-vaccination? A famous, very loud person with fake breasts said vaccines are bad, and that scientists who say otherwise are fucking nerds. And if you’re saying ‘shouldn’t this woman die? Shouldn’t the people of this nation collectively agree that this woman should be no longer be alive, because her irresponsible rhetoric is causing and has caused numerous children’s deaths?” Well, I would have to say no, I am not allowed to suggest such things, and that is a very bad thing to say, and again, no, absolutely not. For you reference, here is a photo of the woman that you should NOT throw sharp things or burning feces at:
And using not-murder as an incredibly smooth segue, let us now enter the realm of ghosts, in its capacity as an alternative stupid belief system for supplanting a stupid and dangerous belief system.
For those of us who do not want to die from massive tidal waves filled with displaced polar bears or once-antiquated diseases with names like ‘Whooping Knee” and ‘Lung Rumblins,” it’s hard to imagine why someone would so ferociously cling to ideas that have been disproven time and time again, and moreover, that have deadly consequences. Logically, one can only conclude that these people need to believe in something that has no basis in reality; they need to retreat to the refuge of fantasy, to protect them from the harsh realities of life.
So, why not replace those regressive views with something that is far less detrimental to the continued existence of humanity, such as an abiding belief in ghosts?
For you climate change deniers out there worried that environmental legislation will hurt the economy ‘or whatever the fuck it is you’re worried about, I really don’t care ‘keep in mind that ghosts are BIG business. I mean, look at 85% of the programming on some of your shittier cable television networks!
With your support, whether it be by retaining the services of a paranormal ‘expert” (still, more qualified than Mitch McConnell or Jenny McCarthy) or by buying as much ghost insurance (I call trademark on ‘Ghost Insurance,” by the way) as possible, you can do your part to help shore up whatever you think the effects to the national economy will be in regard to battling climate change.
And what about the anti-vaxxers? It’s even simpler and more direct: return to a pre-Columbian belief in how disease is caused (stopping short of drilling holes in your children’s heads to release evil spirits), and blame autism directly on ghosts! There is just as much science supporting this theory as there is for vaccines causing autism, and it won’t kill kids (again, no skull-drilling) or possibly cause a pandemic that wipes out the human race. I’ll personally even write up some bullshit scientific paper about ghosts causing autism that immediately gets discredited, if it helps you take on this new way of thinking. Plus, it offers a nice euphemism for autistic children: ‘Poor Tyler. Got them ghosts real bad.”
And now that you believe in ghosts, you would logically have to assume that all the kids who could die from your own child not having been vaccinated would naturally come and haunt the ever-loving shit out of you, because why wouldn’t they?
And everyone knows, being haunted by ghost kids is THE WORST.
So, if you are a big dummy who believes either that climate change is not being influenced by human behavior or that vaccines cause autism, just dump all of that aversion to common sense into ghosts. Trust me, when you make ghosts your entire universe, you won’t even care or have the energy left over to influence policy that will murder everyone on the planet.