Both sides now

cloudsApril 22, 2016 – I never tried out for the debate team in high school or became a lawyer.

If I had done either, chances are I would have said to my opponent, “You make a good point,” and then begin to doubt my view because I can be swayed by a good argument. It’s not that I don’t have strong opinions or consider myself wishy-washy, but rather that I’m opened minded and willing to admit there may be more than one answer to a problem. That sounds better, right?

You can imagine how difficult that style of thinking can be when serving on a jury, and when I lived in Philadelphia, that happened often. I considered myself a professional juror back then, serving on a murder trial that had me sequestered for two weeks, a drug trafficking trial, a rape trial and a civil trial, all within the span of about six years. The last one ended in a hung jury and since then I’ve moved outside of the city limits. Both of these issues keep me on the ‘do not select’ list these days.

I wonder what it is that makes me the perfect juror. The court bailiff on the murder trial said to me one night, “I was in the room when they picked you.” He said it with such intrigue like he wanted me to ask why, but when I did he wouldn’t say.

So, why am I rambling on about this? Because it’s Earth Day—the movement that began in 1970 and focused a spotlight on environmental issues—and I’m still confused about this issue. While I’m not a tree-hugging, Green Peace member, I was affected by the commercial of the Native American male with a tear running down his cheek in the 1970s when he took in the pollution in the U.S. Also, one of my pet peeves is littering, especially when one throws something out of his or her car window.

When it comes to global warming, fracking, nuclear power and any other environmental issue argued  about today, I’m less sure. I do believe we should do our best to protect the earth because some environmental issues have to be fabricated by humans, but I’m uncertain it is as grim as the Al Gores and Michal Moore’s of the world claim.

Do I wish I held a stronger position? Perhaps, but when I research global warming, there is so much contradictory information that I don’t know what to hold onto. Therefore, logic must come into play—and it places me right in the middle, just as it does with politics and other debatable issues.

Perhaps Joni Mitchell described my dilemma best:

“I’ve looked at clouds from both sides now, from up and down and still somehow
it’s cloud illusions I recall, I really don’t know clouds at all.”

Let’s all try to respect mother earth with our actions today and in the future. A little effort on everyone’s part makes a huge difference. At the very least we’ll leave a more beautiful planet for future generations to enjoy.

Happy Earth Day.

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