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Front Page » April 17, 2007 » Opinion » Letter to the Editor: I've a Warm Spot in My Heart for th...
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Letter to the Editor: I've a Warm Spot in My Heart for the Globe

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Salt Lake City


What do the Chewbacca defense and a Straw Man argument have in common? They are both types of arguments that throw a bunch of useless, non-germane information at an audience to confuse and detract from valid facts. (The former was used by the attorney Johnnie Cochran in the O.J. Simpson case, and its reference is from whence the phrase was coined.)

To refute the scientific community's findings on global warming, Bob Haire, in his April 10 opinion, filled the county's paper with mind-dazzingly astronomical facts about precession and inclination faster than Johnnie Cochran could say, "if the glove doesn't fit, you must acquit". (Precession takes 25,800 years, by the way, but that's only halfway around the circle. Also, the Mayan civilization was aware of precession. That's why they believed that the world will end in December of 2012. Ah, the power of useless facts.) According to Haire, it's not millions of pounds of man-made CO2 pumping into our air or mountains of discarded waste causing global warming. It must be precession. Hey, if there's some other explanation (any other explanation) that we don't understand, then that's probably the real problem, but definitely not the most obvious one nor the one that holds up to scientific scrutiny. Does Mr. Haire have any scientific backing to prove that precession and the inclination of the earth are just as much a cause of global warming as man-made causes? Or is he just throwing that out there to confuse the audience?

Haire refers to the theory of Global Warming as "hysteria". But where is the hysteria? Perhaps he's referring to the alarmist solution of switching to more economical light bulbs. Maybe it's that fanatical idea of riding a bike or walking to work if possible? Recycling your plastic bottles, perhaps? Or is it the suggestion to attempt to find alternative fuel sources? Who is against that? The only people that I can think of would be the oil industry�oh wait, the current president is completely in bed with the oil industry. He's a business associate of the oil-rich Bin Laden family of Saudi Arabia. Oh, sorry, Mr. Haire. I see your point. This isn't a scientific or political argument after all. It's a monetary one. Of course, to be fair, the powerfully-backed halogen light bulb lobbyists could be behind this, and not the oil industry. It's possible. Maybe we should get that idea out to the people. Yeah, that's the reason, light bulb manufacturers, not CO2. More confusion, right, Mr. Haire?

Haire states, "I believe that God is in charge and Earth will last as long as He intends it to". Forgive me if I'm not utterly convinced by your "belief". Actually, I didn't realize this was a religious argument, but since you brought it up�

The Israelites were given a promise that their temple and Davidic royal lineage would stand "for ever" (2 Sam 7:16). But because of their poor stewardship, that promise was cut short. Currently, there is no king of Israel and there is a wall next to a Muslim shrine where there once stood a temple. Also, if you are LDS, then the story of the Nephites should ring true. They were promised the land as an eternal covenant with God, but because they were unwise stewards, they were swept off the land. God may intend the Earth to last a certain amount of time, but humans who inhabit it can definitely cut their own time short. Whether you are Jewish, Christian, or LDS, your scriptures tell you that you can be "swept off the land". Regardless of the "fact" that God is in charge, we once again have a Straw Man argument where there should be scientific debate.

Recently, someone made the point to me, "even if the theory of global warming is wrong, shouldn't we still do the right thing such as recycle, etc.? Or is that line of reasoning still too "hysterical" for Mr. Haire?

Finally, let's say that global warming is a combined result of CO2 emissions and the natural wobbling of the earth (precession). Even if that's true, which one can you do something about? Or are you going to let the earth go to pot because you can't do anything about precession? Well, I can't do anything about precession, so naturally I shouldn't do anything about CO2 emissions. Astounding logic. Johnnie Cochran would be proud.

Did Johnnie Cochran's Chewbacca defense work for O.J. Simpson? Well, O.J.'s a free man today because of the barrage of non-pertinent information confusing the minds of the jury. Will Bush's lies and Haire's faulty religious rhetoric cause people to do nothing in the case of global warming? The jury's still out on that one.

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April 17, 2007
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