The best thing about doing a talk radio show is that I get to decide what you need to hear. But with so much information coming at us from all directions, what is most important? The Wall Street Journal has a favorite feature on the front page, called “What’s News”. Daily stories are summarized in no more than a sentence, in no particular order. Among the blurbs are digests of business, politics, health, lawsuits. Which will have been more important to have paid attention to, ten years from now? Will it be “Dangerous climate change will be essentially irreversible by 2017, the International Energy Agency warned.” Could it be “A drug that kills fat cells caused significant weight loss in obese monkeys. Human trials could start next year.” Maybe the most important headline will have been “The US and Europe sought to present a unified stance against Iran following a UN nuclear report. Russian vowed to block new sanctions.”
I ponder the ranking of headlines a lot. I think about sifting among the news debris for the stories to which we all need to pay attention. Obviously, I cannot answer the question I pose. If all of us understood the consequences of irreversible climate change, would it really make a difference? Human nature being what it is (rotten), our lust for creature comforts rather insatiable, I highly doubt that we would change our habits even were we to know the exact date on which all the living creatures on this planet would perish. On the contrary, I can just imagine people taking the opposite tack- living for today in a hedonistic, devil-may-care fashion.
With the human population surging toward record- breaking levels of diabetes, could it be that a hardly noticed study on obese monkeys will have been the pivotal moment in the fight against obesity? How should I know? I’m still upset about experimentation on monkeys. Why do they deserve to have been force fed to obesity, just so we could find a drug to help us do what we all know we ought to do- shut our mouths and not fill them with sugar every single day? I ask this as a rhetorical question only. Leave the monkeys alone. If you must, experiment on people; we deserve it. Only tell us about it first.
Then there is Iran. Simple, yet complicated Iran. A President who denies the Holocaust and lives to speak at Columbia University and the United Nations. A saber-rattling , Jew-hating, America- hating, rascist homophobe who threatens the world with nuclear destruction. Are we to believe his threats? If so, how dare we not act preemptively to stop him and his army? If we do not believe the threats, what is the best response? Do we ignore the bully or stand him down? President Obama chooses to watch and wait. Watching and waiting can be dangerous. They can mislead an enemy into thinking he has the upper hand. Perhaps our friends will conclude the same; perhaps they too believe that Iran has the upper hand. As I said, watching and waiting can be dangerous business.
Join me Monday through Friday on the Lisa Wexler Show as we ponder, sift, explore and discover. I promise not to tell you what to think, at least most of the time. I do, however, promise to make you think.