A Post-Truth Saint’s Tale

“(Terry) Root has spent the past two decades unraveling the thread between climate change and the eventual mass extinctions of countless species of plants, animals — and, yes, humans. (but) There’s more. When the gray-haired bird watcher shares her findings, she’s often met with personal attacks; naysayers hurl their disagreement and disdain, complete with name-calling and threats from politicians.

“I’d always thought that facts and the truth would win out; then I realized that wasn’t the case,” …—Terry Root senior fellow at Stanford’s Woods Institute for the Environment

a child coming up in the US today

should not be thought of badly for thinking
truth and facts
are fungible— like spice in soup,
aromatic, pungent, suited to taste
which everyone knows is not absolute

the child should not be critiqued
for using words 
wrung dry of truth
words are tools, after all,
and may be used in any way

(as hammers may: to drive nails,
bash beams, or loosen teeth if pliers fail)

forget fact, Confusion’s the only port
into which word wreckers sail

at mooring they make every argument moot
and lies become post-truth hero tales

it’s in the wind
it’s taken root

Jim Culleny