Despathy: science a double-edged sword

Thalidomide, eugenics, Tuskegee experiment, shock therapy lead long list of errors and abuses

by Alison Despathy

Science and technology have offered so much to the world. They are often associated with progress and life saving products and developments. However, it is absolutely essential that we acknowledge and remember that science and technology are double edged swords and they have also brought destruction, damage, despair and abuse as well. Ethics must be the driving force with science and technology because advances can help or harm depending on how they are implemented and incorporated into use and the world.

There is so much historically that science has gotten wrong and has misunderstood and so much technology that has left pain, death and damage in its wake. The list is endless but here is a start.
-DDT, lead and arsenic pesticides
-Diethylstilbestrol (DES)
-atomic bombs
-nuclear bombs
-Dr. Semmelweis and hygiene
-Tuskegee experiment
-arsenic, lead and mercury treatments
-blood letting
-shock therapy
-genetically modified organisms
-hydrogenated oils/trans fats
-geocentric versus heliocentric worldview
-radium used in industry (watches)
-experimentation on people especially in Africa and Asia with medication and vaccines ie-trovafloxacin experimentation on Nigerian children in Africa by Pfizer,
-experimental dengue fever vaccines on children in the Philippines.
-butylated hydroxytoluene (BHT)

Science is driven by peer reviewed research and this takes time. We have to ensure that we do not have blind faith in science and technology. We must hold caution and a healthy dose of skepticism based on historical track records and the reality of abuses and corruption in the industry and academia. We must hold respect for the process of seeking truth and knowledge.

The precautionary principle developed due to the historical track record of error in science and the fully warranted demand for the role of ethics to be considered and respected at all phases of the scientific process- research, development, trials, effects, approval and use. Erring on the side of caution has repeatedly shown to be a worthy and wise path in the realms of scientific and technological concepts and innovations. Understanding is a work in progress and the science is evolving , always unsettled and typically complex.

Add to this, the fact that we have hungry corporate beasts and markets that want to gobble up innovations and ideas to drive an industry and ultimately profit. Advertising, narratives and propaganda are all part of this game and it is up to the people to be aware and keep an eye to ensure truth. It is also so important that the scientific process of debate and dispute be allowed to happen in order to reach as clear an understanding as possible.

But industry and corporations are powerful and money can drive a path and as we have seen in the past with the Robber Barrons and Oil Barrons- monopolies, consolidation of power and control over a market is the ultimate goal by global corporations. Securing their industry and product is a dream come true- and this is yet another reason that legislation related to an industry, based on science must be scrutinized and cannot be impulsive, ideological or destructive in its means to reach the desired outcome. There are multiple paths to reach resolution- assessing the paths must happen. The clean heat standard did not assess the paths and the majority of legislators did not seem to even understand the details. This is evident in the committee meetings and testimonies. Vermont can develop a better plan- a comprehensive plan- that offers real results and serves the environment and the people without playing the corporate carbon emissions game that has been offered as the answer through the Clean Heat Standard and the Global warming Solutions Act. This is the problem with these they are corporate driven solutions that serve industry not the environment or people. No doubt Vermont can and will do better than this.

Creating positive change for the environment and people must come in many forms. There is usually not a simple answer to complex problems. Real Solutions will encompass multiple avenues including diversification of energy sources, grid upgrades, weatherization, incentives, incorporating technologies such as solar panels and EVs, regulating toxins and chemicals that also heavily damage the land, air and water and influence climate, researching and regulating geoengineering and stratospheric aerosols as they are also unleashed into the environment and impact climate. It must be comprehensive and well- rounded.

Legislation does not have to cause damage, yes compromises must be made but attacking people and businesses to force a system is not the answer. Locking into the market of carbon doesn’t serve the environment or the land – it simply plays the corporate game.

The author is a clinical nutritionist running for the Danville seat in the Vermont House of Representatives.

Categories: Commentary

4 replies »

  1. Lets not forget the PFAS chemical group. And a Vermont Governor, Howard Dean MD, who told the air quality people to look the other way when Cemfab/Saint Gobain was emitting toxic chemicals into the air in North Bennington. This was confirmed from recovered emails during the initial investigation into polluted wells.

  2. Despathy nails it with her perfect description of the intersection of science, technology, public policy, politics, and ethics. This perception of “science” is something that all people should appreciate. Science is a human enterprise that should always be seen as such and be open to serious critique at all times. This is not to say that REAL science, employed ethically and toward genuinely just ends, can’t be helpful to humanity and the world. It’s the corruption of science by human greed and power that has created “scientism” and anti-life outcomes, which is what needs to be guarded against.

  3. How about being being ‘electrohypersensitive’ and being SOL for being able to access MOST public buildings, businesses, and even housing options as a result?

    Olle Johansson
    Sweden recognizes “Electromagnetic intolerance” as an imparement

    The Invisible Rainbow
    A History of Electricity and Life

    Arthur Firstenberg

    5g is being rolled out across the country, despite growing evidence that it is disruptive to our health, our safety, and the environment. The Invisible Rainbow is the groundbreaking story of electricity as it’s never been told before—exposing its very real impact on the biosphere and human health.

    I’ve done extensive research on this as I am EMF sensitive, or EHS, and am reduced to living in a camper for the winter off grid but still excessively dirty electricity oozing from the walls and outlets that impacts my health, and thus have to limit using the electricity at all (for heat and lights) to 2-3 hours a day, and even then suffer memory loss, fatigue, and other bodily hypersensitivities from this disease.

    But lets push more electrical outlets shall we?

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