Friday, March 9, 2012

True or False

A number of issues persist in public debate, despite a preponderance of evidence for a  conclusion.  That is not a Find & Learn exercise -- it is emotional.  If rather, we had a scale and could pile experts or reports or research articles on one side or the other -- with one side PRO or True and the other side CON or False.  What would we have?  Mobile devices or microwaves destroying our brain - false; mankind’s impacting climate change – true; and the U.S. President controlling gas prices – false.  

I could simply do searches across scholarly research databases to find the number of items for each cause.  Or I could find excerpts from reports showing lists of experts or institutions and their views and we would see the results. 

But the media keeps our emotions revved up.  In a recent report on “News is again blaming the Obama Administration for rising gas prices -- a claim that has been repeatedly debunked by energy analysts. But back in the summer of 2008 when the average U.S. gasoline price hit a record high of $4.11, Fox said that ‘no President has the power to increase or to lower gas prices’ and the only way to reduce our vulnerability to gas price spikes is to use less oil.  –whoops!  I think that searching for evidence- at least 3 different sources for any issue would dispel such heightened rhetoric. Challenging positions and looking for history works.  Recently, Gingrich has received a lot of press with his promise of gas at $2.50.   But is any of his reasoning clear?  What does his plan do that no other president was able to do?  Or take other examples where president’s do have more control over prices.  Mexico's government owns its national oil company Pemex – yet prices are not lower nor is the company profitable.   Think about it.  

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