July 29th, 2009
06:00 PM ET

More or less concerned about global warming than 1 year ago?


Icebergs float off the coast of Greenland. Scientists believe Greenland - with its melting ice caps and disappearing glaciers - is an accurate thermometer of global warming. (PHOTO CREDIT: URIAL SINAI/GETTY IMAGES)

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

Global warming has become a religion among the "First World urban elites."

That's just one of the explosive charges made by Australian geologist Ian Plimer, who says man-made global warming is little more than a con on the public perpetrated by environmentalists and politicians.

According to the Vancouver Sun - the controversial geologist says that global warming is not caused by human behavior, rather it's an entirely natural phenomenon.

By looking at a time frame going back thousands of millions of years - he says the changes in the Earth's climate are cyclical and random. For example - polar ice has only been present on Earth for less than 20-percent of geological time; and animal extinction is a national part of evolution.

Plimer shoots down the current logic that global warming can be reversed. He gets especially worked up about carbon dioxide, saying it's actually at the lowest levels it's been for 500-million years.

Critics have slammed Plimer's book - saying he makes a lot of basic errors and manipulates data.

Here in the U.S., it depends on who you ask about global warming. The city of Chicago is seeing its coldest July in 67-years. The average temperature has been 68.9 degrees.

On the other hand, ask the people in parts of Texas, melting under a blazing sun and suffering through one of the worst droughts in many years if they think global warming is real.

Here’s my question to you: Are you more or less concerned about global warming than you were a year ago?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?


Filed under: Global Warming
July 29th, 2009
05:00 PM ET

What's behind steep drop in Obama approval rating?

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

President Obama has taken a hit in the polls. Gallup finds that the president's average job approval rating was at 56-percent last week; that was down from 59-percent the previous week.

This three-point drop is the largest week-to-week decline that Gallup has seen in the president's job approval rating since he took office in January.

And it's not just Gallup. The president has been under 60-percent approval in every single poll released so far in July. He was above 60-percent in most polls taken in June.

It's not clear why the president isn't as popular these days; but a couple of possible reasons stick out. Headlines in recent weeks have mostly been dominated by the debate over health care reform.

The president and Democrats are losing steam on this issue - a centerpiece of his agenda - now that it looks like neither house will pass a bill before their August recess.

Mr. Obama continues to pressure Congress to get it done this year - although polls show most Americans aren't in a rush to pass reform that quickly.

Also, President Obama waded into a firestorm last week by saying the Cambridge police acted "stupidly" in the arrest of Harvard Professor Henry Gates. That story still hasn't gone away - as the president, the professor and arresting officer James Crowley are set to have a beer at the White House tomorrow.

For a man with shrewd political instincts, it was not the president's finest moment.

Here’s my question to you: What's behind the steep drop in Pres. Obama's approval rating in the past several weeks?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?


Filed under: President Barack Obama
July 29th, 2009
04:00 PM ET

Should fattening foods be taxed?

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

Slapping a tax on fattening foods could help pay for health care reform while also combating the nation's growing obesity epidemic. A new study by the non-partisan Urban Institute says a 10-percent tax on fatty foods could raise more than $500-billion over the next 10-years.

They liken it to the steep taxes on tobacco, which helped dramatically reduce the number of smokers in this country.

However, taxes alone won't do the job when it comes to battling obesity. The study also recommends banning advertising of fattening foods to children and better labeling these products.

Restaurants and beverage groups have already waged a multimillion-dollar media campaign against any new taxes on food or drinks. They say it's no time to add taxes on "the simple pleasures we all enjoy" and argue this tax would be unfair since it soaks the poor.

But the authors of the study say that as much as $180 billion of revenue raised could be used to subsidize poor families' purchase of fruits and vegetables; and to help make healthier foods available to them.

There's no question something has to be done. At the rate we're going, this study says 40-percent of adults will be obese by 2015. And it's costing us a fortune. Obesity-related issues like diabetes and high blood pressure cost more than $200 billion a year - half of which is paid by taxpayers, whether they're fat or not.

Here’s my question to you: Should fattening foods be taxed like tobacco?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?


Filed under: Obesity • Taxes