John Andrist: Something New, Anything New


A Reuters news story circulating through daily newspapers last week announced that the Environmental Protection Agency now believes fracking for oil and natural gas can contaminate drinking water under “some circumstances”.

It peaked my interest, because the EPA had previously reported that after exhaustive study fracking does not cause “widespread systemic” effects on drinking water supply.

So as a nosey wanna-be journalist I was curious about a number of things. Where was this study done? What are the “some circumstances” they talk about?” No such supporting information was provided.

There was this gem: “EPA science adviser Thomas Burke said there were significant gaps in data that limited the agency’s ability to examine effects on drinking water both locally and nationally.”

Read that a couple of times and there is an inescapable conclusion it is saying we really have no supporting data.

So finally, my cynicism asked, did they even do a study and have new evidence? Or is it just the desire of the outgoing EPA administration to throw some mud on the floor before the next administration arrives?

The Reuters reporter apparently doesn’t know, didn’t ask, or decided not to say.

Could it be it was all a part of the vogue taking over our news — the planting of totally false stories?

After all, if the EPA really wanted to be responsible, ought they not have reported some basis for their conclusion before trying to scare the heck out of us?

It’s hard to find any holy motivation in this release.

Obviously, they either lied or decided not to tell us any details about their research for a reason.

In a nutshell this is the biggest single reason I am relieved to see the Obama administration ending. I’m just plain sick of them placing their agenda above the rule of law and basic honesty.

It seems pretty clear that they still have no data supporting a danger in fracking. We certainly know that they could find nothing in North Dakota where fracking is all done about two miles below the surface.

A couple years ago the EPA decided carbon dioxide is a contaminant. Webster’s definition of a pollutant is this: “a substance that makes land, water, air, etc., dirty and not safe or suitable to use.”

It is one thing to be concerned about the effects of global warming. It’s quite another to say the air we exhale and whch feeds all of our plant life is poisonous.

Mind you, I’m not suggesting the Trump administration will be any more honest and reliable. But it does explain, at least partly, why so many of us, when we cast our votes, are inclined to say, “give me something new — anything.”

At least “in some circumstances”, to borrow the EPAs own terminology.

Love came down at Christmas

Of all the Christmas music most of us love, there is one song with which I was not familiar: “Love Came Down at Christmas”.

So I looked it up on You Tube to have a listen. It turns out there are a number of them by lthat name.

None of them musically rang my bell, but the message still intrigues me.

Whether or not Jesus is a part of your belief system, you cannot dislike the sentiment. Because the word Jesus personifies love.

One man I know says he doesn’t like the term Christian because it means so many things to different people. Like Muslim, or Islam if you prefer.

We know most Islamic people love very deeply. We know other Islamic people who want to kill or control everyone else.

So my friend prefers “follower of Jesus” to define his faith.

Indeed, Jesus personifies love. And the ethic of that word is crystal clear to everyone of every faith, even most of those with no faith.

Who doesn’t like the soliloquy on love in I Corinthians chapter 13?

Love has so many dimensions, but almost all of them are pleasing, uplifting and worthy of an “Impossible Dream” quest.

Even animals have this desire to love, and we certainly fall in love with our pets.

In a Christmas letter to friends I said my personal goal is to perfect my ability to love.

That’s been pretty easy, as far as the people I know. It’s more difficult to love a Hitler, or a Stalin. How about an Obama and a Trump?

And yet that is what this Jesus guy calls us to do — or at least to keep trying.

My wish for you is that this Christmas will help you find more of it.