Neil deGrasse Tyson: Global Warming Skeptic Lawmakers Are Unraveling ‘Informed Democracy’

Sunday on CNN’s “Fareed Zakaria GPS,” astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson said Lawmakers who question global warming are engaged in an “unraveling of an informed democracy.”

Partial transcript as follows:

ZAKARIA: So when we look at something like global warming how should we think about it? There are people who say, ‘Look, of course, it’s just a theory, all of science is a theory. These are hypotheses, and you know, we should be looking at the evidence.’ Then there are the scientists who say no, no, no, it is at this point a fact.

DEGRASSE TYSON: If anyone utters the words, ‘It’s just a theory,’ it means they’re missing a piece of their education where they do not fully understand what science is and how and why it works. So I try not to beat folks over the head in power because they are duly elected by a population that wants their leadership to serve them. I recognize that. That is the system we have all bought into. So as an educator, I look at the electorate and I say, if you’re going to make an informed decision, not only about the country’s future but especially about your own future, it would be greatly enhanced by just learning how knowledge is acquired and how it is affirmed in the scientific arena. And today you have people who — who will just accept what anyone tells them, or think that they can deny and objectively establish scientific truth. I don’t mind that. In a free country, think what you want. But if you now rise to power and have jurisdiction over legislation and you pivot that on what you don’t know about how the world works, that’s a recipe for disaster. I would say it’s the beginning of the unraveling of an informed democracy.

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