Today we celebrate the Enlightenment values upon which our nation is founded: reason, empiricism, tolerance, liberty, and progress.
Our future depends on stopping and reversing global climate change, unsustainable energy and material exploitation, deforestation, plastic pollution, toxic industrial effluents, and other assaults on the environment. Our freedoms can’t exist in a world riven by resource wars and destabilized by refugees from climate chaos and other environmental disasters generated by humanity.
Through science — as a way of thinking, and not just its fruits — the human condition can be improved. Through respect for the rights of the few, the many are protected and gain new insights. Through freedom of expression and assembly we hear ideas and information that jar our prejudices and assumptions.
Facts matter. The individual matters. We must resist false promises and comforting lies. We must resist the siren call of scapegoating minorities, be they defined by ethnicity, faith, belief, sexuality, or gender. We need all minds to be free to contribute to solutions. Through free thought that is bound only by truth to facts, humanity can socially innovate and technologically invent our way out of the environmental traps that threaten our freedoms. That sounds a lot like the mission of America.
Happy Independence Day.