There’s an old joke about the origins of the word “expert.” The story is that it is a combination of the word “ex” – meaning a has-been – and “spurt” – defined as a drip under pressure. Therefore, “expert” means a has-been drip under pressure.
Like it or not, we all rely on experts in our daily lives. But Americans are losing trust in experts, according to the Pew Research Center. Trust in scientists and medical scientists, initially supported by their role in fighting the coronavirus outbreak, is now below pre-pandemic levels.
Diminishing trust in public health experts is no doubt the result of reports that the “experts” were not being truthful with the American people. At the beginning of the outbreak, we were told that masks were not effective in reducing the spread of the virus. But that was a deliberate falsehood designed to prevent a run on masks. (One can almost imagine Dr. Anthony Fauci channeling the character played by Jack Nicholson exclaiming, “You can’t handle the truth!”)
Current events in California provide a stark example of why citizens may be skeptical of what the “experts” have told us about climate change, especially with respect to droughts. Over the last three years, media reports and studies have strongly pushed the idea that California is now in a state of perpetual drought, some even calling it a “permanent” drought. Just last October, New Science Magazine published an article with the headline, “Human-caused climate change is making droughts more severe – and could shift some regions of North America into permanent drought conditions.”
One does not have to be a full-blown climate change denier to question what we’re being told. Of course, the “experts” seem to come up with implausible answers for everything. According to them, even the record rain that has flooded large portions of California is part of climate change and proof that we are still in drought conditions. Really?
Most people don’t remember that the scientific consensus in the 1970s was that the earth was on the verge of a long, sustained Ice Age. An embarrassing video for today’s climate alarmists presented actor Leonard Nimoy (a Science Officer on the USS Enterprise, don’t you know) reviewing all the proof that most of America would soon be receiving the same winter blizzards as Buffalo, New York.
It is hard to imagine today but, at one time, journalists were also viewed as trusted experts. Walter Cronkite, who served as anchorman for the CBS Evening News for 19 years, was frequently called “the most trusted man in America.” In sharp contrast, his successor, Dan Rather, was forced to resign in disgrace for his lies in attempting to smear George W. Bush.
Even worse than “Rathergate,” the recent release of the infamous Twitter Files shows mainstream media and big tech companies colluded with federal agencies to suppress truthful information. Is it any wonder then, according to The Hill, that nearly half of the country now has serious doubts about the impartiality of the FBI or that, according to a Gallup poll last October, Americans’ trust in media was at an all time low?
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Another point about experts is that, while they may have actual expertise in one area, that shouldn’t be assumed to apply to other areas. Dr. Fauci is clearly an expert in infectious diseases, but the notion that he could competently assess the psychological damage to children of shutting down schools for two years is mistaken. He also failed to fully appreciate the malign intent of the Chinese Communist Party and accepted everything they said coming out of Wuhan as gospel.
Here’s a prediction: Within five years we will learn the truth about the origins of the COVID virus and it will establish conclusively that it was a human-engineered virus that escaped from the Wuhan lab. Moreover, the People’s Liberation Army was, more likely than not, involved in some way in the development of the virus for use as a bioweapon.
If and when the truth is finally revealed, let’s hope there will be real accountability. But what do I know? I’m no expert.
Jon Coupal is president of the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association.