What the Frack?

What the Frack?

Lauren PesinWednesday,18 November 2015

Listening to the news, watching debates, and eavesdropping on people talking in public has convinced me that a lot of Americans misunderstand a lot of things, including the following five current and controversial political issues of 2015.

1. Immigration – People aren’t stealing “our” jobs.

If you are included in the very, very small part of the U.S. population that would work for less than minimum wage and perform the tasks of unskilled laborers, than you might feel a little threatened. However, even then, it doesn’t quite work that way. There isn’t a finite amount of jobs. For every immigrant worker, jobs are created and the economy is positively impacted by the money they spend in the U.S. on the essentials and not-so-essentials. Money is spent on things, such as places to live, food to eat, cell phones, haircuts, and movies. Immigrants, of any status, add to the U.S. economy. There are issues of resources when it comes to providing for immigrants the U.S. infrastructure and economy isn’t currently equipped to handle, but the misunderstanding I’m pointing out is that immigrants don’t steal jobs. You may not believe me, so please, consult “De-Bunking the Myth of the Job-Stealing Immigrant” from The New York Times.

2. Planned Parenthood – It’s not an abortion clinic.

In a speech on the House floor (July 21, 2015), Rep. Bill Johnson of Ohio said that “in 2013, abortions made up 94 percent of Planned Parenthood’s so-called pregnancy services.” NOT TRUE BILL!

This fictitious number, which, by the way, Planned Parenthood doesn’t even track, wasn’t calculated by anyone who actually knows. So, I’m not sure where the “Big Johnson” or Planned Parenthood opposition got this from. The fact is Planned Parenthood provides health services to millions of women who aren’t pregnant, including those trying to avoid unwanted pregnancy. Subsequently, abortions account for a very small percentage of the breadth of services they provide.

3.  Climate Change – It’s real and it isn’t just global warming.

Here are some NASA facts to chew on:

– Carbon Dioxide is up 400.95 parts per million, highest since 650,000 years ago
– Global temperature is up 1.4 degrees Fahrenheit since 1980
– We are losing 13.3 percent of Arctic ice per decade (I’m sorry Polar Bears.)
– Land ice loss is at least 287.0 billion metric tons per year

The point is when it comes to the environment, we are fucked. All of NASA’s metrics and fun facts indicate global climate change is grave. It will impact all of us. To all you naysayers, Global Warming is not a myth. Al Gore was right about this one.

4.  Gun Control – It’s not an attack on the U.S. Constitution — specifically the Second Amendment’s Right to Bear Arms — nor should it be the solution to every violent outbreak or school shooting.

Gun Control simply means using our current legal system to define the amount and type of guns we (the general U.S. population) wants to legally allow on the streets.

5.  Fracking – Most people don’t even know what the frack “fracking” is.

Hydraulic fracturing technology (a.k.a. fracking) is a controversial method of drilling deep into the earth (using water, sand, and chemicals) to recover gas and oil from shale rock. The good: it provides the U.S. energy.  The bad: the impact on the environment. Widespread fracking and poor practices are suspected of causing carcinogenic chemicals in groundwater (resulting in cancer and other health risks) and inducing earthquakes.

This list includes only five of the many issues most Americans know very little about. My suggestion is if you don’t want to look or actually be stupid, think or at least do a little research before you debate an issue, especially if you plan to run for President or appear on T.V. You know who I’m talking to.

Take Action!

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Image Credit: Véronique Debord-Lazaro on Flickr

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