Tuesday, May 23, 2006

An Inconvenient Truth

Okay. I hope this is my last pseudo-political post for a while. I say pseudo-political post because I believe this issue extends beyond politics and into our role as caretakers of God's earth. The environment is one of my key, touchtone issues. It is the first real issue that I fervently sided with Democrats on. Actually, I feel more aligned with the Green Party on the environment than even Democrats. We have done a terrible job of caring for the Earth over the last 150 years or so. We are beginning to see the effects, and the global scientific consensus clearly indicates that human activities are a primary cause of global warming. Yet, many oil companies and their political allies continue to deny the impact that human activities have had on the environment.

That's where Al Gore's film, An Inconvenient Truth, comes in. It chronicles Al Gore's global campaign to get politicians and companies to recognize the problem and take action. The problem is that too many people are enslaved to oil and the companies that refine it. Some of those companies, under the guise of the Competitive Enterprise Institute, have realeased a couple of ads that make the ridiculous claim that Carbon Dioxide is not a pollutant. "It's not pollution. We breath it out." Anyone whose ever taken a science class knows that global warming is caused by TOO MUCH CO². Yes, it's necessary for life, but like all things, it should be in moderation.

As a Christian, I believe it is irresponsible and immoral to ignore this problem anymore. I hope everyone will find a way to see this film. More importantly, I hope more people will get to action on this. Politicians and oil companies need to do something about this, but consumers can too. Find a way to get to work without your car. Use mass transit, if possible. Carpool. Ride your bike or walk. Conserve the energy in your home by turning off lights and using fewer electronics (that's a hard one for me). Find activities that do not require using natural resources for energy. Recycle. All of these things alone will not do the trick, but it's a start.

Monday, May 15, 2006

Finally, I agree with Dubya!

It's taken over 5 years, but I finally agree with Dubya on an issue. It seems that a German weekly publication was conducting an interview of current and former US Presidents about their experiences in the highest office. One of the standard questions they asked was about each presidents' best moment in office. Jimmy Carter said that it was the Camp David Accords peace agreement. President Clinton mentioned ending the war in Kosovo. Dubya?

"I would say the best moment of all was when I caught a 7.5 pound perch in my lake."

I completely agree! Honestly, can anyone think of anything that tops that monumentous catch? I can't. It seems that he finally got one right, and I could not agree with him more.

Friday, May 05, 2006


Well, tonight's the night. At sometime around 7 PM EDT, I will be hooded by my major professor, walk across the stage at the Breslin Student Event Center, shake hands with a couple of people, and receive something presumably resembling a diploma. It will appear that I have graduated and hold a Ph.D. in Family and Child Ecology with a specialization in Marriage and Family Therapy from Michigan State University. But wait, there's more.

You see, here at good ol' MSU, there is no summer graduation ceremony. Given the various delays of my dissertation, I am not able to submit my approved dissertation to the graduate school in time to officially graduate in May. But because this is the only ceremony offered to me, I am proceeding with the ceremony nonetheless. The problem is that I still have quite a lot of work to do. I essentially have 3 months to finish collecting and analyzing data, write up said analysis and conclusions, and submit it to my committee for review. I will defend my dissertation before the committee at 9 AM on August 18, and assuming they don't want me to rewrite the thing, I'll turn it into the graduate school about a week later. At that point, and not a moment sooner, will I officially have my Ph.D. and be able to begin my post-student life.

So, while tonight's graduation is fun, symbolic, and good to remember, I still have an underlying sense of uneasiness about it. Despite the encouraging words from my mom, my dad, my grandparents, my in-laws, my wife, my friends, and many other people, I still can't shake the feeling that the ceremony, while symbolic, is simply a fraud. I'm not done. That reality is still foremost in my mind. I may be proud of my accomplishments to this point, and I might recognize that the reality of completion is eminent, but it's not here yet, and it won't be here tonight. I really hope I enjoy the ceremony tonight, because I'll still have three months before I can honestly say I've graduated.