The War on Reality: News From the Front Lines

FILE - In this Wednesday, Aug. 8, 2012 file photo, a dry corn field receives some rain from a passing thunderstorm near Blair
FILE - In this Wednesday, Aug. 8, 2012 file photo, a dry corn field receives some rain from a passing thunderstorm near Blair, Neb. Nearly 4 out of 5 Americans now think temperatures are rising and that global warming will be a serious problem for the United States if nothing is done about it, a new Associated Press-GfK poll finds. Belief and worry about climate change are inching up among Americans in general, but concern is growing faster among people who don't often trust scientists on the environment. In follow-up interviews, some of those doubters said they believe their own eyes as they've watched thermometers rise, New York City subway tunnels flood, polar ice melt and Midwestern farm fields dry up. (AP Photo/Nati Harnik, File)

We're now officially a post-reality society.

Far too many Americans seem to have become persuaded that what's true is what you say is true -- not what exists in actual reality. Facts are seen as fluid, flexible and adjustable according to one's personal beliefs, political inclinations or business interests.

Maybe growing up on tens of thousands of commercials that lie, lie, lie about everything and anything has finally warped our collective minds beyond repair.

The latest evidence of this truth-challenged condition (therapists might call it pathological lying) is the news that the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) -- its very name a prevarication since ALEC is considered a "corporate bill mill" by many -- is pushing legislation in Oklahoma, Colorado and Arizona mandating the teaching of climate change denial in public schools to "balance" the scientific facts of climate degradation.

And oh, the name of their bill is the "Environmental Literacy Improvement Act." Yes, right.

I thought that the 2012 election season had brought us to a new low as a reality-challenged society, but this caps all. In spite of the fact that 80 percent of the U.S. population now understands that we need to deal with actual, real-life, post-Sandy climate disruption before it's too late, enough people seem eager to repudiate the facts as revealed by science and replace them with wishful thinking to serve their own selfish ends.

If only it were true that climate change is no problem! I'd be the first to cheer. But when the facts are otherwise and the consequences of continued inaction are so severe not only for our generation but future generations to come -- the lies are, literally, earth-destroying.

This twisting of the truth and degrading of legitimate science becomes especially pernicious when it's foisted on taxpayer-supported schools and innocent kids who are the next generation of American voters.

Apparently ALEC's strategy is to follow up on the equally reality-challenged idea that evolutionary science, like climate science, must not be allowed to be taught as truth in public schools without a parallel dose of "balanced" Biblical creationism that, like climate denial, has no scientific foundation.

It's one thing to lie to kids about Santa Claus and quite another to tell them that the planet is 6,000 years old and in great shape -- and call it "education."

I'd love to hear from other Huff Post readers: do you have a favorite example of how America is now officially a "post-reality" society?