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Wednesday, June 02, 2010

Chicken Little Alert!

There are so many issues that we face every day that it is hard to know what to believe. Every issue is presented as if our very existence on planet earth depended on this one thing being addressed. Chicken Little running around screaming, “The sky is falling!” is part of our daily news fare.

There are certain ways I have developed over the years to determine whether or not what I’m hearing is, first, worth my time, and second, a more serious matter worthy of investigation. That being said, because I write this weekly column, I sometimes address topics even when they do not meet the above criteria. I research them because they have become a major news story which often leaves people wondering what is going on.

What I wish to address today focuses on credibility. When my daughters were small they would often hear me caution them to always tell me the truth. I used to hear the same thing from my parents. Seems obvious why this is necessary, but it is also obvious that an awful lot of folks have forgotten why it’s important to tell the truth. I would explain to Laura and Jenny for instance, that if they lied to me just one time and I discovered their lie, how would I be able to trust them the next time, or the time after that?

So, here’s my criterion for determining whether or not I accept information as being credible. This is particularly true when evaluating what politicians say, or what passes for the press today.

First – Are you, as an individual, credible? What is your track record in being truthful? Are you a Joe Friday type with a “Just the facts, Ma’am” approach? Or do you play fast and loose with your information?

Second – Do you work for, or represent an organization or agency that is credible? If you are in the hip pocket of some well-heeled entity that pays your salary, yet has a dubious track record of being believable, you are going to come up short on the credibility scale.

Third – Is there a money trail? Who stands to profit from what is being presented as truth, or for what passes as news? One of Rush Limbaugh’s maxims is “Follow the money!”

Fourth – What are your personal beliefs? Your philosophy of life? This may be a bit difficult to discern right away, but it will reveal itself soon enough in what a person says or writes.

So let’s put my theory of credibility to the test. Last evening I was talking with a young man who off-handedly said that it didn’t really matter what a person believed about global warming. I commented that it very much mattered. Here’s why I believe it does.

When this whole business about global warming first became a news story, I had an immediate negative reaction to it. Why? Considering the criteria I use, here is why I do not accept the global warming theorists.

First – credibility. The guru of global warming is Al Gore, former vice president in the eight years of the Clinton administration, and very nearly our 43rd president! Is he credible? No. He is Chicken Little personified!

Second – organization. Gore is tied in with, or runs several organizations that all stand to profit from global warming.

Third – money trail. This part is scary. In 2007 science was dealt a blow when the Supreme Court of the United States declared that carbon dioxide was a pollutant. Thus was ushered in the Federal Clean Air Act. Do you have any idea what sort of industry this generates, and the enormous amount of money there is to be made?

Fourth – personal beliefs/philosophy. Gore and the global warming cadre believe that mankind is the cause of all the problems in the world, and that we humans are interlopers on planet earth.

This is only a thumbnail sketch of my reasons for dismissing the global warming hysteria. You may be thinking right now, “But, Chuck, carbon dioxide (CO2) is bad for us!” I ask, “Are you sure?” The reply goes something like this – “Well, the experts say CO2 is increasing in our atmosphere!” No, it isn’t. Earth is a contained system. Whatever amount of CO2 is here is all that there is. God knew exactly what we needed to sustain life. Remember your biology class in high school? Plants create oxygen – we humans and other animal forms, breathe oxygen. Humans breathe out CO2 – plants “breathe” CO2 to create oxygen. Plants need CO2 the way we need oxygen. You start messing with CO2 and the whole system of life on earth is endangered.

An excellent book on the global warming issue has been written by meteorologist/radio talk show host, Brian Sussman. It is entitled, “Climategate.” I highly recommend it.

I’ll leave you with this from Sussman’s book. “Carbon dioxide comprises 38/1000ths of the earth’s atmosphere, and of that amount, a mere 3% is generated by mankind.”

Beware of the Chicken Little’s in life!

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