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Henican: Our real climate issue? Hot air

A science debate based on science - is that too much to ask?

Globe watchers from everywhere have gathered this weekend in Copenhagen to predict the future of the Earth. Is everything going wonderfully? Are we all about to burn up and die?

You can't call these questions minor. You can't say the difference is insignificant. So it would be nice if the expert discussion began with some actual factual expertise.

Don't hold your breath.

More and more, science and ideology are mashed up together, neither reflecting well on the other. Is global warming serious? What causes it? Can it be reversed? How those questions are answered now has less to do with experiment and analysis, the bedrock of factual inquiry. It has more to do with what political side the debater is on.

Is this any way to save a planet?

JUSTICE DELAYED: Mastic's Rodney Morrison won't be sentenced 'til January, while U.S. District Judge Denis Hurley adds up all the tax restitution the convicted racketeer and Poospatuck Indian smoke-shop kingpin may owe. Every time authorities think they've tallied the bootleg reservation cigarettes, someone else steps up with what about these? State, county and city tax officials have spoken up already. Forgetting anyone?

WE NEED THIS? We've spent the week so proud of ourselves, condescending to those over-gelled lowlifes on MTV's "Jersey Shore." LI's summer-sharers, we've been saying, are infinitely classier than the preening wannabes in Seaside Heights! And then Bradley Ferro, a 23-year-old knucklehead from our own Deer Park, gets himself arrested for slugging cast member Nicole Polizzi. In the face! The law may be the least of our boy's problems, once the oiled-up housemates extract some boardwalk justice.

ASKED AND UNANSWERED: With Madonna buying on Mitchells Lane, did the Bridgehampton horse scene just get buzzier - or one gallop too celebri-tized? . . . Thank godMario Flores is OK. But after four hours trapped in an East Hills cesspool, does the lucky installer now have to endure four years of bad-aroma jokes? . . . What's the problem, Gilante Lombardi? Were you absent from insurance school the day "fiduciary obligation" was discussed? . . . Does Shaun McKay still want to be president of Suffolk County Community College? The search committee isn't making the popular SCCC VP feel very appreciated . . . Is Monday's Jimmy tribute over yet? Where does Breslin hide his short-winded friends? . . . Now that Tom Prendergast has taken over as president of the massive NYC Transit, is he getting all misty about his LIRR days? Just a little commuter line! . . . What's the longest jury deliberation in Long Island history? I mean, not counting the Oddone case? Weren't you half-expecting these 12 to ask: "Please, Judge Hinrichs, can you explain what 'jury' means?"

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