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Climate change remains just as important

January 27, 2010
Just mark my words, it's gonna be a zoo. And if it wasn't so serious, it's be almost funny.

I'm talking about all the climate change battles coming down the road in the months to come. It's going to be entertaining, to say the least, to watch all the Indiana politicians squirm and try to avoid doing anything or take a stand, even though this state is one of the worst polluters in the country. This is going to be a hot potato politically, and Indiana politicians tend to shy away from even warm issues.

But there's also some public outcry taking place whenever anyone mentions global warming. It seems that, all of a sudden, everyone is an expert on it. We shouldn't even consider the Republicans' stand on the issue. They're against everything the Obama administration tries to accomplish, regardless of what it is. They've heard Rush Limbaugh; they have all the facts. Everyone else is just plain stupid. Rush is much more informed about climate change than thousands of scientists, so we should definitely let him call all the shots.

But often now, when you talk to certain people who oppose the theory of man-made climate change — the conspiracy group — who claims it's all a hoax, and ask them why, they usually explain that all the scientists are corrupt, they've sold out to someone and are putting out false information. But let's consider what we really know, not what we want to believe.

Most of us know that the majority of people are good human beings. And sure enough, if, for instance, you consider police officers, every once in a while, we hear about a corrupt officer or two. But there are thousands and thousands of officers who are good, dependable and honest people. So, let's say, at most, 10 percent of officers are dishonest; that leaves 90 percent who are not.

Now, let's consider people who work in grocery stores. If there are 20 people working in a store, you may be able to influence one of them to sell you a key to the back door, but the other 19 will probably be honest and turn you in or kick your butt if you try.

So, let's talk about lawyers. If there ever was a group of professionals who have a worse reputation or gets slammed more than attorneys, I haven't heard about them — well, maybe politicians — but some are probably the scumbags we believe them to be because they defend those we don't like, charge too much for their services or push the law to the point of being almost laughable. But if you think about it, most attorneys are honest, hard-working people just like the rest of us. Some get in trouble and go to jail or are disbarred, but most don't and would never consider breaking the law. So, again, let's say that 10 percent are corrupt. That means 90 percent are honest.

And that goes with almost every profession or trade: Only a small percentage of people are corrupt. Only a small portion are for sale. Most of us have more pride than to sell out to anyone. Scientists are no exception.

We know that thousands of scientists — not just here, but all over the world — are now warning us about climate changes and how those changes are linked to man-made pollution. So, let's be fair and apply the same percentages to scientists as other people. Let's say that maybe 10 percent are corrupt and have sold out to some brilliant scheme by some nut who wants to get rich by planting false information about the climate. That means 90 percent have not. And that means that thousands of scientists, minus a small handful, are saying we have a climate problem we should work toward solving. Now, who are we going to believe?

I heard a truck driver at Pilot the other day ranting to another truck driver about how he knew it was all a hoax, and THEY are just trying to shut down the trucking industry and power plants and there won't be any jobs left because THEY are just a bunch of tree-hugging nuts. It was never really cleared up who THEY were.

And one of my neighbors insists that the planet is warming naturally and we should just leave it alone. But how does he know that? Has he done the research? Has he monitored the melting ice in the arctic, the glaciers all over the world that are melting? Has he seen the data from satellites that have been monitoring the ozone levels in our atmosphere or the amount of pollution and chemicals being released by factories and power companies all over the world? Probably not. So, who should I believe on this issue? My neighbor? A truck driver from Tennessee? Rush Limbaugh? Or thousands of scientists from almost every country on the planet? Duh!

And let's take it a step further. Let's put the climate issue aside. We all know for sure that our water has become grossly polluted. Here in Indiana, almost every body of water is polluted with mercury so bad that we shouldn't eat the fish. The Ohio River is considered the third most polluted river in the country and it supplies water to several major cities along its path, including Louisville. The Kentucky River, just a few miles upstream, is so polluted that swimming is no longer advised. The air in this area is polluted to the point that many of our school-aged children are suffering from respiratory problems like asthma, which I never even heard about when I was in school.

In cities like Indianapolis, ozone alerts are issued on a regular basis during the summer months and even mowing of lawns is prohibited because of high levels of pollution. We all know about acid rain and, now, we're advised not to spend time in the sun because the ozone increases the intensity of the sun's rays enough to cause skin cancer. In New Zealand and some other countries, children are not allowed to play outdoors unless they wear a hat and sun protection.

These are things we already know, and shouldn't we clean it up? At home, if you have a sink full of dirty dishes, you can only put off washing them for so long before you run out of clean dishes. It's no different with our air and water supply. Eventually, we'll run out of clean water and air to breathe. Shouldn't we pass a cleaner planet along to our children and grandchildren? We polluted it, we should clean it up. And if, at the same time, we have an impact on global warming, so much the better. But to do nothing shows our stupidity, selfishness and greed and shows that we're not much better than the 10 percent of corrupt police officers, store workers and lawyers who sell out to the highest bidder.

We only have one planet, and it shouldn't be for sale at any price.

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    Since when are you an expert?
    January 29, 2010 | 08:38 PM

    I read your article and I wondered if you really know what your talking about. The scenarios that you used for examples were purely hypathetical and I doubt if you could produce the evidence from reputable sources to substantiate your claims.
    Have you made your hut in the out of doors and walked as your only means of transportation so that you can make a greater impact on cleaning up the planet? Impose your ideals fully upon your lifestyle then let us know how it works for you in a year or so.
    When it comes to attacking Rush isn't he as entitled to his opinion as you? Who made you the opinion police? I would suggest you think about what you write the next time you prepare an editorial.
    I have no problem with you having an opinion but I do object to those who want to impose those viewpoints upon others through regulations. It's people like you that are causing our jobs to be relocated overseas. Eventually the only people left employed in this area will be service workers and when the money is gone so will those jobs.

    Tired of those who preach and don't do
Barbara Shaw
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