Saturday, September 21, 2013

Ignácio Brandáo, Muzzling Scientists, And Environmental Disaster. . . .

Read this -

     "Scientists. A minimal, marginalized lot these days. It's almost prehistoric the way we've become immune to the warnings science offers us. As soon as the System realized that the prognosis was bad, and would make them perhaps look bad in turn, voila; they started an intensive propaganda campaign in the press, fostering as much sarcasm as possible with respect to anything scientific. That was when the scornful expression 'scientific paranoia' came into being.
     Anything could be labeled 'scientific paranoia,' Being an illustrious, scientist of conscience became tantamount to being a Jew in Nazi Germany. Scientists were debunked, persecuted, and not a few of them went into hiding. Some continued their studies, issuing public announcements, denouncements. Desperately trying to engage public interest. 
      So most of the scientists were hunted down and silenced. Others accepted invitations to foreign universities and institutes and left the country. Some merely retired and went on to other activities. Research institutions languished and closed, as the new order grew in numbers and power."

This quote is from the 1981 distopian novel And Still the Earth by the Brazilian author, Ignácio de Loyola Brandáo (translation by Ellen Watson). This is one of the first significant novels to deal with the impending disaster of global warming. Water is disappearing and life, particularly near the equator, is becoming unliveable. It is frightening and disturbing.

This passage is eerily reminiscent of our own government's actions as it attempts to marginalize and muzzle scientists and environmental activists in order to continue its disastrous drive toward giving free reign to multinational energy companies.

Pick up the book. It was just reissued in English translation after more than two decades of being out of print.

1 comment:

The Mound of Sound said...

That is exactly what the Right is doing now in the runup to the release of the next IPCC report. They're demonizing scientists and revisiting all of their standard denialist memes to stoke up the doubt fires.