Tuesday, March 22, 2005

The More I Know, The Less I Know

Two stories of late have brought to light how little I know about some things.

The first is the Schiavo case. A doctor I am not. I suppose the only time I would challenge a doctor is if I was diagnosed with some sort of terminal or major disease - then I would get a second opinion.

I know how I feel about the whole thing but as I read more and more about the case it has become increasingly evident that this situation is one of the most complex and emotional that I have ever come across. You have the two camps, the husband vs. the family fighting a PR battle to try to get their side of the facts out. Each side has hired teams of doctors and lawyers to try to settle the issue. Not to mention the stacks of medical reports that are available to read. I have heard everything from 'her brain is runny Camembert' to 'she may be able to walk someday'. As always, I have to believe that the truth lies somewhere in-between all of this huge amount of information.

This morning on the way to work a talk radio host had as the topic 'should we drill in ANWR for oil?'. Again, everyone has an opinion but nobody knows anything about the situation. Think of how complex this question is. Seems simple? Here are just a few things that raced through my over-active mind when I heard the question.
1) How big of an area will they trash when they drill?
2) How much oil will they get?
3) Is it federal land or owned by the state of Alaska?
4) Will the transportation costs to get the oil to a US market make it worth it?
5) With modern technology, will the drilling procedure be less invasive?
6) Will it be privately funded, publicly funded or a combination of both?
There are many more. Some of these questions are easy to answer, some not.

I think the point of my post is that as I get older I have learned not to make kneejerk 'up' or 'down' opinions, rather read and try to get somewhat informed before making a decision. On complex issues like oil drilling or the Schiavo case however, it seems that discretion is the better part of valor - the average Joe just doesn't have the time or grey matter to fully understand these situations.

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