The Union of Concerned Scientists
From time to time, it's appropriate to recognize organizations that strive to improve our way of life and well-being, even though the contribution they may be a little outside of the norm. That characterization would apply to the Union of Concerned Scientists.
The organization exists because, in their words: "Science cannot defend itself." This is true. It's the role of science to provide facts. It's not the role of science to defend the facts it provides. That role falls to people.
People do this badly, and there's no better example than climate change denial. Climate change denial is advocated by organizations and people who do not want you to know the facts -- essentially, fossil fuel companies and the politicians they purchase.
The truth about climate change requires hard-charging, stubborn advocacy even when the odds are stacked against the truth prevailing.
Other issues in which the UCS is involved include:
- Work to reduce vehicle emissions 50 percent by 2025.
- Advocacy that won protection for rain forests, averting 300 million tons of emissions per year.
- Analysis that supports the closing of 353 coal-fired power plants, potentially averting 100 million tons of emissions.
- Publishing a plan that would cut U.S. oil usage by 50 percent in 20 years.
- Establishing the Center for Science & Democracy -- a critical communication channel.
... and there are many more.
So check them out, and let's give a hero's cheer to science, and the organization that defends it. We wouldn't have a civilization without them.