Why We Need More Skepticism in Environmental and Health News

Skepticism is the act of refusing to believe a claim without proof (unlike climate-change ‘skeptics’, who refuse to believe claims with very credible proof). Environmental news is filled with extremism or conspiracy theories, with people unscientifically predicting the end of world. Health news is similar, with snake oil salesmen and miracle cures being sold by almost every site that claims to provide health news.

The biggest problem in environmental news by far the amount of conspiracy theorists, with sites like ENEnews telling of a world-wide cover-up of the Fukushima “disaster” despite the lack of a realistic disaster scenario. The second largest problem is both the Global Warming and Climate Change deniers and extremists. The deniers help to spread the lies that Climate Change or Global Warming isn’t real, using non-arguments like “global cooling” (which never had any following among the scientific community) or that a few degrees in temperature change isn’t really that bad. Extremists are unscientific as well, promoting conspiracy theories that predict the end of the earth, and while I agree pollution and global warming are both awful, and they should be one of our priorities, they aren’t the most important thing.

The field of health news is by far worse, with hugely popular sites promoting pseudoscience of the miracle cures of homeopathy, faith healing, or chiropractic medicine. People who go against their manufactured grain in this area are beaten down by the promoters of quackery, mainly because emotions are far easier and faster to use as a source than actual data. These promoters of quackery will call anyone who doesn’t believe in alternative medicine a paid shill, someone who promotes the pharmaceutical industry in their writing, despite big business’ being behind much of alternative medicine as well, especially homeopathy. Another problem in this field is the co-opting of issues like organic food, which is now an awful industry that exists solely to make a profit on people who think they’re actually eating good foods, the local food movement is far better if you want to have a healthy meal. Modern day organic is simply a re-branding done by big-business, with a few changes in how they operate, yet it is still the same corporations doing all the farming.