Environmentalists’ new language games

In our continuing series on attempts to get people behind policies by changing the language, a secret memo from some environmentalist activists is calling for ditching terms like “global warming”. From the New York Times:

The problem with global warming, some environmentalists believe, is “global warming.”

The term turns people off, fostering images of shaggy-haired liberals, economic sacrifice and complex scientific disputes, according to extensive polling and focus group sessions conducted by ecoAmerica, a nonprofit environmental marketing and messaging firm in Washington.

Instead of grim warnings about global warming, the firm advises, talk about “our deteriorating atmosphere.” Drop discussions of carbon dioxide and bring up “moving away from the dirty fuels of the past.” Don’t confuse people with cap and trade; use terms like “cap and cash back” or “pollution reduction refund.”

EcoAmerica has been conducting research for the last several years to find new ways to frame environmental issues and so build public support for climate change legislation and other initiatives. A summary of the group’s latest findings and recommendations was accidentally sent by e-mail to a number of news organizations by someone who sat in this week on a briefing intended for government officials and environmental leaders.

About Gene Veith

Professor of Literature at Patrick Henry College, the Director of the Cranach Institute at Concordia Theological Seminary, a columnist for World Magazine and TableTalk, and the author of 18 books on different facets of Christianity & Culture.

  • EconJeff

    Language changes can work. In CA, when they wanted to get people to recycle their beverage containers, they put a tax on them. Of course, they didn't call it a tax, it's the CRV–California Redemption Value. You pay it when you buy the product, and supposedly get it back when you recycle the container. Did the language chance make a difference? Maybe, but most people just put them in the recycling bin and don't cash it out.

  • EconJeff

    Language changes can work. In CA, when they wanted to get people to recycle their beverage containers, they put a tax on them. Of course, they didn't call it a tax, it's the CRV–California Redemption Value. You pay it when you buy the product, and supposedly get it back when you recycle the container. Did the language chance make a difference? Maybe, but most people just put them in the recycling bin and don't cash it out.

  • http://www.clutchingthealtar.blogspot.com JoeS

    Eco-activists have also replaced "global warming" with "climate change" because they can't decide if the planet is going to boil or freeze.

  • http://www.clutchingthealtar.blogspot.com JoeS

    Eco-activists have also replaced "global warming" with "climate change" because they can't decide if the planet is going to boil or freeze.

  • Matt C.

    The power of suggestion on weak minds is unfortunately effective because all of us have weak minds.

    Back in high school, I sold refreshments at the local zoo. Part of our inventory was churros (sticks of cinnamon and sugar covered fried dough–sometimes with fillings). They sound good, but after sitting in warehouses and refrigerators for two weeks before making it to the cart… not so much. I had a huge number of churros returned half-eaten amidst complaints, and few would even touch the apple or coconut filled ones. One day, I decided to change the names of the different flavors. Plain, Chocolate, Cream, Strawberry, Apple, and Coconut were subsequently referred to as Original, Dutch Chocolate, Bavarian Kream, Wild Strawberry, Country Apple, and Maui Coconut. Sales more than doubled overall, I started selling out of apple and coconut on a regular basis, and I actually started getting compliments on how good they were.

    It all made me feel very smug and superior until I began catching myself falling for it when other people did the same thing.

  • Matt C.

    The power of suggestion on weak minds is unfortunately effective because all of us have weak minds.

    Back in high school, I sold refreshments at the local zoo. Part of our inventory was churros (sticks of cinnamon and sugar covered fried dough–sometimes with fillings). They sound good, but after sitting in warehouses and refrigerators for two weeks before making it to the cart… not so much. I had a huge number of churros returned half-eaten amidst complaints, and few would even touch the apple or coconut filled ones. One day, I decided to change the names of the different flavors. Plain, Chocolate, Cream, Strawberry, Apple, and Coconut were subsequently referred to as Original, Dutch Chocolate, Bavarian Kream, Wild Strawberry, Country Apple, and Maui Coconut. Sales more than doubled overall, I started selling out of apple and coconut on a regular basis, and I actually started getting compliments on how good they were.

    It all made me feel very smug and superior until I began catching myself falling for it when other people did the same thing.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/WebMonk WebMonk

    Part of this is a functional acknowledgment that science doesn't agree with global warming. "Climate change" is a half-way home (IMO) for those moving away from global warming statements. I don't doubt it will take another 10-20 years for the "global warming" phrase to mostly disappear, and maybe longer for the "climate change" phrase to go away, but they will eventually.

    Hopefully this will be part of a move toward a more respectable stance against the pollution of the world.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/WebMonk WebMonk

    Part of this is a functional acknowledgment that science doesn't agree with global warming. "Climate change" is a half-way home (IMO) for those moving away from global warming statements. I don't doubt it will take another 10-20 years for the "global warming" phrase to mostly disappear, and maybe longer for the "climate change" phrase to go away, but they will eventually.

    Hopefully this will be part of a move toward a more respectable stance against the pollution of the world.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/stadler stadler

    What's that? People are using different terms because of market research? Well then, allow me to be the first to scream, "Orwellian! Orwellian!" Why, this is the most Orwellian change since Ford stopped selling "horseless carriages"!

    Which is to say, I really don't see the big deal here, nor do I see why this continuing series almost always focuses on liberals doing the word-changing. As if (and you knew this was coming) Bush didn't engage in all sorts of word games, and, moreover, as if this wasn't the whole raison d'être of the advertising world.

    It sounds to me like they're trying to appeal to simpler emotions, yes. But I can't say that most people have understood the term "global warming" or talk of "carbon dioxide", anyhow — they're too scientific for everyday understanding. This can be seen when, any time Al Gore speaks somewhere and it snows, several thousand yahoos post something on their blog about how a snowy March day clearly fly in the face of global warming — they clearly have no idea about the averages behind that concept (whether or not you agree with the concept).

    Same with carbon dioxide. Say what you will about the scientific theories behind the actual issue, but you still get people saying, "Why, I breathe out carbon dioxide! Are they gonna ban me, too! And anyhow, don't plants like carbon dioxide?" Same thing with cow farts and whatnot.

    I believe that talking about "dirty fuels" rather than "carbon dioxide" is an attempt, no matter how silly or successful, to get around this lack of understanding.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/stadler stadler

    What's that? People are using different terms because of market research? Well then, allow me to be the first to scream, "Orwellian! Orwellian!" Why, this is the most Orwellian change since Ford stopped selling "horseless carriages"!

    Which is to say, I really don't see the big deal here, nor do I see why this continuing series almost always focuses on liberals doing the word-changing. As if (and you knew this was coming) Bush didn't engage in all sorts of word games, and, moreover, as if this wasn't the whole raison d'être of the advertising world.

    It sounds to me like they're trying to appeal to simpler emotions, yes. But I can't say that most people have understood the term "global warming" or talk of "carbon dioxide", anyhow — they're too scientific for everyday understanding. This can be seen when, any time Al Gore speaks somewhere and it snows, several thousand yahoos post something on their blog about how a snowy March day clearly fly in the face of global warming — they clearly have no idea about the averages behind that concept (whether or not you agree with the concept).

    Same with carbon dioxide. Say what you will about the scientific theories behind the actual issue, but you still get people saying, "Why, I breathe out carbon dioxide! Are they gonna ban me, too! And anyhow, don't plants like carbon dioxide?" Same thing with cow farts and whatnot.

    I believe that talking about "dirty fuels" rather than "carbon dioxide" is an attempt, no matter how silly or successful, to get around this lack of understanding.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/DonS DonS

    tODD, I'm sure there are plenty of "yahoos" who think every hot day is evidence of global warming and every cold day is evidence that there is no warming. But the deal with Al Gore's poor scheduling habits lately, wherein he seems to always be giving his apocalyptic global warming speeches on unusually cold days is delicious irony. If you don't remember, he started this whole "global warming" craze back in 1988 by scheduling a senate hearing on global warming on the historically hottest day of the year (they actually researched that). Then, they opened the windows the night before to ensure that all of that hot air was in the room and made sure that the air conditioning wasn't working during the hearing. Made for nice "sweat" pictures on the evening news as Hansen delivered his alarmist message. Here's a link: http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/hotpoliti

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/DonS DonS

    tODD, I'm sure there are plenty of "yahoos" who think every hot day is evidence of global warming and every cold day is evidence that there is no warming. But the deal with Al Gore's poor scheduling habits lately, wherein he seems to always be giving his apocalyptic global warming speeches on unusually cold days is delicious irony. If you don't remember, he started this whole "global warming" craze back in 1988 by scheduling a senate hearing on global warming on the historically hottest day of the year (they actually researched that). Then, they opened the windows the night before to ensure that all of that hot air was in the room and made sure that the air conditioning wasn't working during the hearing. Made for nice "sweat" pictures on the evening news as Hansen delivered his alarmist message. Here's a link: http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/hotpoliti

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/DonS DonS

    And tODD, what "word games" did Bush engage in "all sorts of"?

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/DonS DonS

    And tODD, what "word games" did Bush engage in "all sorts of"?

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/DonS DonS

    "global warming" — no evidence of any in the past 10 plus years. "carbon dioxide" — not a pollutant, by any reasonable definition. People understand old fashioned pollution that they can see and that they are forced to breathe. But when folks are struggling to put food on the table, and are finally recognizing that this "global warming" movement is really an attack on western civilization and will necessarily severely reduce economic productivity, they are not buying.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/DonS DonS

    "global warming" — no evidence of any in the past 10 plus years. "carbon dioxide" — not a pollutant, by any reasonable definition. People understand old fashioned pollution that they can see and that they are forced to breathe. But when folks are struggling to put food on the table, and are finally recognizing that this "global warming" movement is really an attack on western civilization and will necessarily severely reduce economic productivity, they are not buying.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/DonS DonS

    The environmental movement would do a lot better if it tried harder to constrain its own advocates, rather than worrying about wordsmithing. Obama flying 4,000 miles in a 747 to plant a tree on Earth Day is not smart. Gore is a huge energy hog. Environmental conferences held on remote islands, with the attendees all arriving by private jet. Celebrities going on "environmental tours" with entourages that would put the Queen of Sheba to shame. The message is your actions, not your words. Show by your actions that you think we are in genuine crisis and people will respond. But right now, they're laughing.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/DonS DonS

    The environmental movement would do a lot better if it tried harder to constrain its own advocates, rather than worrying about wordsmithing. Obama flying 4,000 miles in a 747 to plant a tree on Earth Day is not smart. Gore is a huge energy hog. Environmental conferences held on remote islands, with the attendees all arriving by private jet. Celebrities going on "environmental tours" with entourages that would put the Queen of Sheba to shame. The message is your actions, not your words. Show by your actions that you think we are in genuine crisis and people will respond. But right now, they're laughing.

  • Matt C.

    "I believe that talking about "dirty fuels" rather than "carbon dioxide" is an attempt, no matter how silly or successful, to get around this lack of understanding."

    To me this seems more like an attempt to get around the presence of understanding. CO2 isn't exactly dirty, after all. Moving to this kind of language is an attempt to replace substance with connotation. That's different than making the substance understandable to "laity."

  • Matt C.

    "I believe that talking about "dirty fuels" rather than "carbon dioxide" is an attempt, no matter how silly or successful, to get around this lack of understanding."

    To me this seems more like an attempt to get around the presence of understanding. CO2 isn't exactly dirty, after all. Moving to this kind of language is an attempt to replace substance with connotation. That's different than making the substance understandable to "laity."

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/stadler stadler

    "CO2 isn't exactly dirty, after all." Well, that's a pretty good example of what I was talking about. I suppose that if you heard a man had drowned, you'd exclaim with surprise, "Well, that's odd. Water isn't exactly dangerous to ingest, after all!" My point being: it's not a simplistic matter of labeling substances "dirty" or "clean", it's about how much and where and so on. But, as I said, lots of people don't seem to understand that. I'm not convinced you do. (Heck, I'm not convinced I do, but I suppose it's a sliding scale.)

    But good grief, are you trying to argue that CO2 isn't a greenhouse gas? That we could pump as much of it into the atmosphere with nary an effect? Have I missed your point, I hope? Because I don't know anybody arguing those things.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/stadler stadler

    "CO2 isn't exactly dirty, after all." Well, that's a pretty good example of what I was talking about. I suppose that if you heard a man had drowned, you'd exclaim with surprise, "Well, that's odd. Water isn't exactly dangerous to ingest, after all!" My point being: it's not a simplistic matter of labeling substances "dirty" or "clean", it's about how much and where and so on. But, as I said, lots of people don't seem to understand that. I'm not convinced you do. (Heck, I'm not convinced I do, but I suppose it's a sliding scale.)

    But good grief, are you trying to argue that CO2 isn't a greenhouse gas? That we could pump as much of it into the atmosphere with nary an effect? Have I missed your point, I hope? Because I don't know anybody arguing those things.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/stadler stadler

    Don, why do you, like so many other anti-global-warming types, love to insert Al Gore into every conversation on the topic? Is he your favorite straw man? Is he easily mocked, rather than making points about the actual science? Because nobody else mentioned him, you know. And I don't care about him, frankly.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/stadler stadler

    Don, why do you, like so many other anti-global-warming types, love to insert Al Gore into every conversation on the topic? Is he your favorite straw man? Is he easily mocked, rather than making points about the actual science? Because nobody else mentioned him, you know. And I don't care about him, frankly.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/stadler stadler

    If you're honestly asking that question, then your partisan blinders are still on. Come on. "Enhanced interrogation techniques" leaps first to mind. The "War on Terror" was a big one (not to mention "The Long War", whatever that was). "Mission accomplished"? What about the "Clean Air Initiative"?

    Or, just to make a conservative point, how about Bush's "comprehensive immigration reform"? I remember more than a few right-wingers howling at that one.

    I suppose, if you're being strictly technical, some of these weren't Bush's personal words, but rather those of his administration. If such synecdochic sloppiness offends you, sorry.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/stadler stadler

    If you're honestly asking that question, then your partisan blinders are still on. Come on. "Enhanced interrogation techniques" leaps first to mind. The "War on Terror" was a big one (not to mention "The Long War", whatever that was). "Mission accomplished"? What about the "Clean Air Initiative"?

    Or, just to make a conservative point, how about Bush's "comprehensive immigration reform"? I remember more than a few right-wingers howling at that one.

    I suppose, if you're being strictly technical, some of these weren't Bush's personal words, but rather those of his administration. If such synecdochic sloppiness offends you, sorry.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/stadler stadler

    I'm sure you were making the same points when Bush talked about our being "addicted to oil", right? You were saying, "Why is Bush still flying around and being driven everywhere?", naturally. Calling for him to bike or walk everywhere, right?

    And yes, let's turn every debate about environmental stewardship into an exercising one Al Gore, who is the only person that matters when it comes to environmental matters! … Honestly, you listen more to the man than I do.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/stadler stadler

    I'm sure you were making the same points when Bush talked about our being "addicted to oil", right? You were saying, "Why is Bush still flying around and being driven everywhere?", naturally. Calling for him to bike or walk everywhere, right?

    And yes, let's turn every debate about environmental stewardship into an exercising one Al Gore, who is the only person that matters when it comes to environmental matters! … Honestly, you listen more to the man than I do.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/DonS DonS

    tODD, read your own post: "This can be seen when, any time Al Gore speaks somewhere and it snows, several thousand yahoos post something on their blog about how a snowy March day clearly fly in the face of global warming". YOU MENTIONED HIM. Sheesh.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/DonS DonS

    tODD, read your own post: "This can be seen when, any time Al Gore speaks somewhere and it snows, several thousand yahoos post something on their blog about how a snowy March day clearly fly in the face of global warming". YOU MENTIONED HIM. Sheesh.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/stadler stadler

    Don, I'm an idiot. Sorry.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/stadler stadler

    Don, I'm an idiot. Sorry.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/DonS DonS

    So, tODD, do you disagree with the point? Do you think it is cool to fly a 747 4000 miles to plant a tree? Do you think that signals an impending crisis to the population? Do you think it is cool for celebrities to jet off to an environmental conference at luxury digs in the south pacific? Why should people be willing to make personal sacrifices to respond to an alleged crisis when the elites pushing the "crisis" meme are not making any apparent sacrifice whatsoever? Do you think that makes sense? Gore or no Gore, the environmental movement suffers from an elitist mentality. The message is that the peasants need to sacrifice, reducing their gasoline consumption, paying more for electricity, etc., while the elites continue their energy hog ways, purchasing the occasional indulgence (I think they call them "carbon credits") as justification. Turning it into a "but Bush was also a hypocrite" argument doesn't change anything. It just indicates that you have nothing substantive to say on the issue.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/DonS DonS

    So, tODD, do you disagree with the point? Do you think it is cool to fly a 747 4000 miles to plant a tree? Do you think that signals an impending crisis to the population? Do you think it is cool for celebrities to jet off to an environmental conference at luxury digs in the south pacific? Why should people be willing to make personal sacrifices to respond to an alleged crisis when the elites pushing the "crisis" meme are not making any apparent sacrifice whatsoever? Do you think that makes sense? Gore or no Gore, the environmental movement suffers from an elitist mentality. The message is that the peasants need to sacrifice, reducing their gasoline consumption, paying more for electricity, etc., while the elites continue their energy hog ways, purchasing the occasional indulgence (I think they call them "carbon credits") as justification. Turning it into a "but Bush was also a hypocrite" argument doesn't change anything. It just indicates that you have nothing substantive to say on the issue.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/DonS DonS

    And, by the way, I noticed you didn't have anything to say about the 1988 senate hearing. The environmental movement has a long history of attempting to manipulate the public. Which explains why it is given so little credibility today.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/DonS DonS

    And, by the way, I noticed you didn't have anything to say about the 1988 senate hearing. The environmental movement has a long history of attempting to manipulate the public. Which explains why it is given so little credibility today.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/DonS DonS

    The lone exception to the above point, of course, is Ed Begley, Jr. He actually practices what he preaches, and I greatly respect him for it.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/DonS DonS

    The lone exception to the above point, of course, is Ed Begley, Jr. He actually practices what he preaches, and I greatly respect him for it.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/stadler stadler

    Don, in what world do or should you or I care one whit what celebrities think or do? Why do you keep lending them so much credence, only to smack them down? I'm not lauding the celebrities, so why are you asking me to account for their actions?

    Let me be as clear as I can: I don't care about celebrities. I don't care about them when they date or get married. And I don't care about them when they talk politics. If you do, that's your problem.

    Celebrity ignorance does not affect in any way the actual issue being debated here. You seem to think it does, but I don't know why. And if celebrity hypocrisy does matter, why didn't you say anything about Bush with respect to the oil "addition" thing?

    Play it consistently, please.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/stadler stadler

    Don, in what world do or should you or I care one whit what celebrities think or do? Why do you keep lending them so much credence, only to smack them down? I'm not lauding the celebrities, so why are you asking me to account for their actions?

    Let me be as clear as I can: I don't care about celebrities. I don't care about them when they date or get married. And I don't care about them when they talk politics. If you do, that's your problem.

    Celebrity ignorance does not affect in any way the actual issue being debated here. You seem to think it does, but I don't know why. And if celebrity hypocrisy does matter, why didn't you say anything about Bush with respect to the oil "addition" thing?

    Play it consistently, please.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/stadler stadler

    Honestly, you listen to Ed Begley, Jr.? Why? Why do you consider him an authority on … whatever it is you apparently do?

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/stadler stadler

    Honestly, you listen to Ed Begley, Jr.? Why? Why do you consider him an authority on … whatever it is you apparently do?

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/stadler stadler

    Don, if you can't see it …

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/stadler stadler

    Don, if you can't see it …

  • Bruce Gee

    Hmmm. I'd like to try that Dutch Chocolate. And gimme a Bavarian Kream. Kream sounds good.

  • Bruce Gee

    Hmmm. I'd like to try that Dutch Chocolate. And gimme a Bavarian Kream. Kream sounds good.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/DonS DonS

    Nope, can't see it … Guess I'm just thick-headed, but it seems to me that an administration has the right to identify its policies using language. And "War on Terror" is a lot more descriptive than "Overseas Contingency Operations".

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/DonS DonS

    Nope, can't see it … Guess I'm just thick-headed, but it seems to me that an administration has the right to identify its policies using language. And "War on Terror" is a lot more descriptive than "Overseas Contingency Operations".

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/stadler stadler

    See, the thing is, I'm not claiming Obama's label is any better. I'm just claiming this manipulative use of language isn't limited to the liberal side of things, where you seem only to see it.

    And yeah, War on Terror, huh? Who's winning, us or Terror? Do you think Terror will ultimately surrender? Are we also waging war on Fear and related synonyms, or would that be unnecessarily widening the conflict?

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/stadler stadler

    See, the thing is, I'm not claiming Obama's label is any better. I'm just claiming this manipulative use of language isn't limited to the liberal side of things, where you seem only to see it.

    And yeah, War on Terror, huh? Who's winning, us or Terror? Do you think Terror will ultimately surrender? Are we also waging war on Fear and related synonyms, or would that be unnecessarily widening the conflict?

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/DonS DonS

    tODD, the point of the post was messaging and image of the environmental movement, not the science. Whether you like it or not, the environmental movement trades on celebrity publicity as a way of reaching the public. You may not care, but the enviros do. They threw the science out the window a long time ago, anyway. I completely agree with you. I don't care about celebrities, and I oppose the current environemental movement because the science is unproven, and it is really a political power play. So, all I am saying is that if you are going to use celebrities to promote your causes, including Al Gore, you had better keep them on message, and impress upon them the importance of consistency

    As for Bush, last I checked he isn't president, so how is he relevant? No one seriously took him for an environmentalist, and his "addiction to oil" statement was clearly a political sop, and more of a statement about addiction to foreign oil than anything else.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/DonS DonS

    tODD, the point of the post was messaging and image of the environmental movement, not the science. Whether you like it or not, the environmental movement trades on celebrity publicity as a way of reaching the public. You may not care, but the enviros do. They threw the science out the window a long time ago, anyway. I completely agree with you. I don't care about celebrities, and I oppose the current environemental movement because the science is unproven, and it is really a political power play. So, all I am saying is that if you are going to use celebrities to promote your causes, including Al Gore, you had better keep them on message, and impress upon them the importance of consistency

    As for Bush, last I checked he isn't president, so how is he relevant? No one seriously took him for an environmentalist, and his "addiction to oil" statement was clearly a political sop, and more of a statement about addiction to foreign oil than anything else.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/DonS DonS

    I believe I said I respect him. I didn't say I listened to him. At least he appears to actually believe the environmental tripe he espouses.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/DonS DonS

    I believe I said I respect him. I didn't say I listened to him. At least he appears to actually believe the environmental tripe he espouses.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/stadler stadler

    Ah, so you "respect" him, but don't "listen" to him. And you respect him, though he "espouses" "tripe". What respect! I don't think I need respect like that, though, for what it's worth. And, tell me again, how you know what he believes if you don't listen to him?

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/stadler stadler

    Ah, so you "respect" him, but don't "listen" to him. And you respect him, though he "espouses" "tripe". What respect! I don't think I need respect like that, though, for what it's worth. And, tell me again, how you know what he believes if you don't listen to him?

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/stadler stadler

    Your claim that all global-warming talk is wholly unscientific (science being, you know, thrown "out the window a long time ago") will likely come as a surprise to those scientists who claim otherwise, the existence of whom you seem to consistently ignore. They are the people I prefer to listen to while you go on and on about Al Gore and Ed Begley, Jr. But you don't seem to think they exist, because you think the "environmental movement", singular monolith that it apparently is, has no scientific basis to speak of. So easily dismissed with a few keystrokes!

    And please, you don't care about celebrities. They're the only people espousing global warming that I can even remember you talking about! I think you care a lot about them, and they certainly are a lot easier to rebut than the aforementioned scientists, aren't they?

    And last time I checked, you were commenting here when Bush WAS President, and yet you said nothing about his glaring hypocrisy in re: "oil addiction". Why is that? Was he not famous enough as President for you to care about his words/deeds?

    And really, is your stance here that any movement that has as its adherents celebrities that are hypocritical is completely bereft of correctness? So all I have to do to rebut you in the future is find a celebrity who agrees with you (and yet is a hypocrite) to prove you wrong? They didn't teach me that method on debate team!

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/stadler stadler

    Your claim that all global-warming talk is wholly unscientific (science being, you know, thrown "out the window a long time ago") will likely come as a surprise to those scientists who claim otherwise, the existence of whom you seem to consistently ignore. They are the people I prefer to listen to while you go on and on about Al Gore and Ed Begley, Jr. But you don't seem to think they exist, because you think the "environmental movement", singular monolith that it apparently is, has no scientific basis to speak of. So easily dismissed with a few keystrokes!

    And please, you don't care about celebrities. They're the only people espousing global warming that I can even remember you talking about! I think you care a lot about them, and they certainly are a lot easier to rebut than the aforementioned scientists, aren't they?

    And last time I checked, you were commenting here when Bush WAS President, and yet you said nothing about his glaring hypocrisy in re: "oil addiction". Why is that? Was he not famous enough as President for you to care about his words/deeds?

    And really, is your stance here that any movement that has as its adherents celebrities that are hypocritical is completely bereft of correctness? So all I have to do to rebut you in the future is find a celebrity who agrees with you (and yet is a hypocrite) to prove you wrong? They didn't teach me that method on debate team!

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/stadler stadler

    Why does my apology here keep disappearing? Don was right, I brought Gore up. Mea culpa. Sorry.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/stadler stadler

    Why does my apology here keep disappearing? Don was right, I brought Gore up. Mea culpa. Sorry.

  • Matt C.

    "My point being: it's not a simplistic matter of labeling substances "dirty" or "clean", it's about how much and where and so on. But, as I said, lots of people don't seem to understand that. I'm not convinced you do. (Heck, I'm not convinced I do, but I suppose it's a sliding scale.) "

    And yet the rhetoric you seem to be defending is simplistically labeling it dirty. Like yourself, I'm also not convinced that you understand the complexity of the issue. Hmm.

    Environmentalists have consistantly ignored the fact that it's the dose that makes the poison for decades. You can't really blame people for catching on and maintaining a healthy skepticism when they start hearing that the sky is falling or the earth is warming.

  • Matt C.

    "My point being: it's not a simplistic matter of labeling substances "dirty" or "clean", it's about how much and where and so on. But, as I said, lots of people don't seem to understand that. I'm not convinced you do. (Heck, I'm not convinced I do, but I suppose it's a sliding scale.) "

    And yet the rhetoric you seem to be defending is simplistically labeling it dirty. Like yourself, I'm also not convinced that you understand the complexity of the issue. Hmm.

    Environmentalists have consistantly ignored the fact that it's the dose that makes the poison for decades. You can't really blame people for catching on and maintaining a healthy skepticism when they start hearing that the sky is falling or the earth is warming.

  • Matt C.

    K's taste better than C's :)

  • Matt C.

    K's taste better than C's :)

  • DonS

    OK, let's recap: This is your original post: "Which is to say, I really don't see the big deal here, nor do I see why this continuing series almost always focuses on liberals doing the word-changing. As if (and you knew this was coming) Bush didn't engage in all sorts of word games, and, moreover, as if this wasn't the whole raison d'être of the advertising world".

    Now, in view of your language "word-changing", what word games did Bush engage in again? All you have been able to come up with is some policy labels you don't like. But it was Obama that came in and did the "word-changing" on Bush's labels. You didn't cite one single example of Bush's "word-changing" to back up your original point.

  • DonS

    OK, let's recap: This is your original post: "Which is to say, I really don't see the big deal here, nor do I see why this continuing series almost always focuses on liberals doing the word-changing. As if (and you knew this was coming) Bush didn't engage in all sorts of word games, and, moreover, as if this wasn't the whole raison d'être of the advertising world".

    Now, in view of your language "word-changing", what word games did Bush engage in again? All you have been able to come up with is some policy labels you don't like. But it was Obama that came in and did the "word-changing" on Bush's labels. You didn't cite one single example of Bush's "word-changing" to back up your original point.

  • DonS

    So which scientists do you follow on this issue, tODD? And why aren't the environmentalists who are sending secret memos about marketing changes putting them out front and center? Why do they hide behind guys like Al Gore? I mentioned James Hansen in my own post, who is an alleged scientist who started this whole "global warming" mess. But, if you want to talk science, I will happily oblige.

  • DonS

    So which scientists do you follow on this issue, tODD? And why aren't the environmentalists who are sending secret memos about marketing changes putting them out front and center? Why do they hide behind guys like Al Gore? I mentioned James Hansen in my own post, who is an alleged scientist who started this whole "global warming" mess. But, if you want to talk science, I will happily oblige.

  • DonS

    "Listen" implies follow. I know what his position is on the environment, but I don't follow him or agree with his viewpoints. However, I respect the fact that his lifestyle matches his world view. Is that clear enough?

  • DonS

    "Listen" implies follow. I know what his position is on the environment, but I don't follow him or agree with his viewpoints. However, I respect the fact that his lifestyle matches his world view. Is that clear enough?

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/stadler stadler

    I don't know, Don, it sounds like you're engaging in some word redefining here. You don't "listen to" him, but you know what his position is. But that's because, while you listen to what he says, you don't "follow" him. Hmm.

    I still don't know why you care one way or another. To me, Begley's greatest achievement is and always will be his cameo as an early Spinal Tap drummer. I honestly don't care about his environmental stance, and, had you not reminded me of it, I probably wouldn't have remembered it (I last read something on the topic years ago).

    I think you're likely a member of the Ed Begley, Jr. Fan Club, out trying to rekindle an awareness of your hero.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/stadler stadler

    I don't know, Don, it sounds like you're engaging in some word redefining here. You don't "listen to" him, but you know what his position is. But that's because, while you listen to what he says, you don't "follow" him. Hmm.

    I still don't know why you care one way or another. To me, Begley's greatest achievement is and always will be his cameo as an early Spinal Tap drummer. I honestly don't care about his environmental stance, and, had you not reminded me of it, I probably wouldn't have remembered it (I last read something on the topic years ago).

    I think you're likely a member of the Ed Begley, Jr. Fan Club, out trying to rekindle an awareness of your hero.

  • DonS

    Yeah, that's it. You got me.

  • DonS

    Yeah, that's it. You got me.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/stadler stadler

    I'm not sure how you use the word "follow" any more, of course, but I find this Wikipedia article mentions groups of scientists, all of whose opinions I consider more important than those of Ed Begley, Jr. or Al Gore: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scientific_opinion_o

    And Don, if you don't understand why people who want to put a message out don't use scientists instead of celebrities, I'm not sure I'll be able to explain it to you. But you might ask yourself: why are there so many more celebrities on commercials than there are product engineers explaining the scientific benefits of their work? Is it really that hard to figure out, Don?

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/stadler stadler

    I'm not sure how you use the word "follow" any more, of course, but I find this Wikipedia article mentions groups of scientists, all of whose opinions I consider more important than those of Ed Begley, Jr. or Al Gore: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scientific_opinion_o

    And Don, if you don't understand why people who want to put a message out don't use scientists instead of celebrities, I'm not sure I'll be able to explain it to you. But you might ask yourself: why are there so many more celebrities on commercials than there are product engineers explaining the scientific benefits of their work? Is it really that hard to figure out, Don?

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/stadler stadler

    Many of my comments aren't showing up, and that frustrates me. Sorry Don, but I'm not going to try to comment here anymore until some of my old comments show up. Until then, it's a waste of time to try.

    For what it's worth, I've emailed Veith and the person who may or may not do his tech work for him about all this.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/stadler stadler

    Many of my comments aren't showing up, and that frustrates me. Sorry Don, but I'm not going to try to comment here anymore until some of my old comments show up. Until then, it's a waste of time to try.

    For what it's worth, I've emailed Veith and the person who may or may not do his tech work for him about all this.

  • DonS

    Yes, I'm having the same problem. I had to log out and post that way to make it work. I kept getting a "session expired" message.

  • DonS

    Yes, I'm having the same problem. I had to log out and post that way to make it work. I kept getting a "session expired" message.

  • http://www.intensedebate.com/people/DonS DonS

    These are "word games"? You are really reaching today, tODD. So, the Bush administration wasn't allowed to use language to describe their policies? What I thought you meant by "word games" was the cynical "marketing" approach being used by the environmental movement, changing language mid-argument in an attempt to appeal to emotional response and to change the dialogue.

  • http://www.intensedebate.com/people/DonS DonS

    These are "word games"? You are really reaching today, tODD. So, the Bush administration wasn't allowed to use language to describe their policies? What I thought you meant by "word games" was the cynical "marketing" approach being used by the environmental movement, changing language mid-argument in an attempt to appeal to emotional response and to change the dialogue.

  • DonS

    And I will add just one more point. It is the environmental movement which does not wish to discuss the science, not those skeptical of the global warming theory. Many, many highly credentialed scientists dispute the computer modeling and conclusions posited by the theorists, and they are ignored/dismissed/ridiculed. We would be very, very happy to have a real scientific debate on the issue, in contrast to its current treatment as a kind of secular earth-religion.

  • DonS

    And I will add just one more point. It is the environmental movement which does not wish to discuss the science, not those skeptical of the global warming theory. Many, many highly credentialed scientists dispute the computer modeling and conclusions posited by the theorists, and they are ignored/dismissed/ridiculed. We would be very, very happy to have a real scientific debate on the issue, in contrast to its current treatment as a kind of secular earth-religion.


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