Wednesday, December 2, 2009

The Meaning of Words

Thanks to The Tarquin for this link, which provides thoughtful and much-needed clarification for some of the language being slung about in the public discourse these days.


Sue said...

Thanks, Jane (and Tarquin). I believe anything that adds to our understanding helps us to have rational discussion/debate and avoid diatribe.

Idna said...

Here's a word I'd like defined and clarified ..."Truth." What is truth?

Is it in the eye (ear) of the beholder? Is it something that fits neatly with one's philosophy of life or one's politics? What doesn't fit must be silenced?

The article to which you linked, Jane, had the requisite Sarah Palin bashing right off the bat and the mocking of terms used by "conservatives". One of those terms is MSM. The author defines that as "Main-stream media. Abbreviated by some as the MSM, this is a way of discounting the reporting and commentary of anyone whose ideas do not reflect the party line."

So it got me thinking about reporting and party lines. Last week there came to light a great number of e-mails purporting to show that scientists at the University of East Anglia Climatic Research Unit systematically falsified data to document the appearance of global warming in recent years. This group is relied upon by organizations like the UN's IPCC in setting their climate policy.

The MSM totally ignored this story. It is all so "inconvenient" to the party line. (I guess they were just too busy with the earth-shaking Tiger Woods and White House Crashers stories.) As we move closer to the economic disaster of Cap & Trade, isn't it at least a jounalistic responsibility to look at the possibility that the whole global warming hysteria is built on falsified environmental data to support global warming beliefs and theories?

And how does Barbara Boxer, our esteemed chairwoman of the United States Senate Committee on the Environment, respond to this information? She wants to investigate who hacked or leaked the emails not the fraud and deception that the emails show! Talk about having your head in the sand! (Feel free to substitute a body part for the word "sand".)

For those who ONLY consume MSM, you may not be aware of this story at all. The lead scientists in both the UK and USA from this group have stepped down. Important past research has been thrown out that their "findings" were based on. The emails show that they used a "trick" (their word) to hide the inconvenient fact that the earth was NOT warming.

The head scientist also asked his colleagues to delete certain emails because the Freedom of Information Act request might show what they were up to.

The emails show the systematic attempt to silence those scientists and publications who did not agree with them.

So I go back to my original question. What is truth?

The high priest of Global Warming (I mean Climate Change -- notice how the terminology changed when the Earth stopped warming?)... Al Gore, has cancelled a $1200-a-head get together in Copenhagen next week at the Climate Summit. Hmmmm ... interesting. Does he not want to be asked about those pesky emails?

What is Truth? Do the emails not contain truths? Fox News has reported on them, but the MSM has not? Why not? Is the MSM discounting ideas that do not reflect the party line? I have a tagline for them ... If it doesn't FIT, you must OMIT!

Citizen Jane said...

Hi, Idna!

I beg to differ. I've heard and read a lot about the flap regarding the emails at UEA--none of it flattering to those involved. And I don't watch Fox. I heard and read about it in the "MSM" (i.e., "everything but Fox").

However, this incident does not suggest to anyone familiar with scientific fact that global climate change (GCC)is anything but real and dangerous to the well-being of all organisms on the planet. (Incidentally, it has always been "climate change," not "global warming" to those with knowledge of the subject.)

There are those convinced that GCC is a conspiracy drummed up by the dastardly "liberals," just as there are those who believe the earth is flat, we never went to the moon, and the world will end in 2011. When it comes to irrational beliefs such as these, there's no point in discussing them.

All the scientific evidence in the world won't sway the opinions of those who choose to believe in the anti-scientific alternate universe of the extreme right.

Idna said...

Jane, I cannot let this one go without comment.

Are you actually saying that the term "global warming" was not used for years? I realize that our memories start getting questionable after a certain age, so I won't link to the thousands of articles that talked about global warming in the last last couple of decades. Or the images of drowning polar bears from the twenty extra feet of ocean water caused by ... GLOBAL WARMING. But I will quote a few lines from a NASA article from one year ago: What's in a Name? Global Warming vs. Climate Change

To a scientist, global warming describes the average global surface temperature increase from human emissions of greenhouse gases. Its first use was in a 1975 Science article by geochemist Wallace Broecker of Columbia University's Lamont-Doherty Geological Observatory.

It goes on: Earlier studies of human impact on climate had called it "inadvertent climate modification." This clumsy term was abandoned for "global warming" in 1979. warming became the dominant popular term in June 1988, when NASA scientist James E. Hansen had testified to Congress about climate, specifically referring to global warming ... Hansen's testimony was very widely reported in popular and business media, and after that popular use of the term global warming exploded. Global change never gained traction in either the scientific literature or the popular media.

As far as the current term in favor - "global climate change" ... can you give me one example in the history of the Earth when climate did not change? That's what climate has done forever? So now, we are asked to:

1: believe that THIS time in history is the PERFECT temperature (climate, whatever you want to call it)

2: and that we can actually CONTROL it and freeze frame
this climate for the future.

What nonsense. Common sense will tell you that there are (and have been all through history) the forces of the universe and the planet that control these things. Number one among them ... the SUN.

I, too, have followed this subject for years. I've read articles and books by many reputable scientists who disagree with the hysteria and lay out how the forces of nature affect climate. I also believe it's important to "following the money trail" ... who stands to make money by pushing this theory.

Why is debate between scientists not ecncouraged (or even allowed) when we are looking at an unprecedented upheaval of our lifestyle? Or the hardship that will be placed on poorer countries?

I want us to keep our planet clean and use our resources wisely. But I don't support destroying our economy based on questionable "science" ... we have seen the rampant fraud, not only in the recent emails, but also in many previous examples.

I resent being called a flat earther, or the other derogatory associations. You call people who don't buy into the hysteria irrational. With all due respect, I see following this GCC theory blindly as pretty irrational.

Common sense makes me question this theory. I've always liked the following quote when we are asked to believe something preposterous. Who are you going to believe, me or your own lying eyes?

Citizen Jane said...

Hi, Idna,

I'm not saying that the term "global warming" isn't used, but it can be misleading. It's the climate change caused by overall temperature increases that really create havoc in the environment, including extreme weather events, changes in ecosystems that are killing off species, desertification, and so on.

GCC is a "theory" like evolution is a theory--not.

Kindly refer me to a recent book by one of the "reputable scientists" you mention who disputes the devastating evidence of GCC. I already read the pathetically misguided fictional essay by Michael Crighton, "State of Fear." (It's a shame he didn't live to eat those words. Eventually, he would have.)