The rain fell like sheets on the front yard. Portia and her friend Whitney sat on the porch, musing.
“I hate rain,” grumbled Portia.
“At least it’s not snow,” replied Whitney.
“That’ll come soon enough.”
Whitney swung her feet from the chair. “Maybe not. Global warming you know.”
Portia scoffed. “It didn’t stop the blizzards last year. I hate it when eco-scientists blame people for everything.”
“I heard that the biggest problem is with cows. They’re producing more methane than cars.”
“What, like, through cow farts?”
“And burps. It’s making the hole in the ozone layer bigger,” explained Whitney.
Portia shook her head. “My dad says we’re being manipulated. He says that we’re not being told the truth.”
“The truth about what?”
“He said back in the eighties he was taught that the hole in the ozone layer was getting bigger and that by the year 2000 the Brazilian rain forest would be cut down,” said Portia.
“Seriously? That was fifteen years ago, like, before we were born.”
“Yeah. He says that after a while scientists stopped talking about those things because they didn’t happen. They started talking about other stuff instead.”
Whitney frowned. “That doesn’t make sense. Why would they do that?”
“Dad says people have short attention spans, so they just wait for the next generation and spew the same old crap hoping nobody remembers the eighties.”
“Brings new meaning to recycling,” said Whitney.
“Dad says it’s all about power and control. He thinks people need to be a lot more critical about what they’re told. People aren’t altruists,” said Portia.
“What’s an altruist?”
“I’m not sure. Something about being good and not being selfish at the same time,” said Portia.
“I don’t get it.”
“I don’t get it either. You know the craziest part? Dad tells me not to believe him. That I should figure it out for myself.”
Whitney tilted her head and sighed. “Portia, no offense, but I’m not sure if your dad is really smart or just senile.”