President Obama’s White House has been hard at work trying to discover another term for global warming. The old phrase was deemed staid and passé, so much so that its repetition was judged unlikely to motivate political forces any more than it already has.
The term climate change has, our sources have guessed, similarly outworn its usefulness. Something entirely new was needed. And not just new, but zippy, memorable; a phrase likely to instill a burning desire for ordinary folk to vote Democrat in this November’s election.
According to Fox News, NASA responded to Mr Obama’s plea with the offering inadvertent climate modification. This was rejected as quaint and because it smacked of “accidentalism.”
That is, NASA’s phrase made it sound like global warming was caused by somebody tripping over something “inadvertently”, and thus any change in the climate could be righted easily. And if making things right were easy, new votes, money, laws, and bureaucracy wouldn’t be needed. NASA was told to return to its primary duty of “outreaching” to Muslims.
Mr Obama thought his team could do better. This was, after all, the very administration, Fox reminds, that brought us “man-caused disaster” and “overseas contingency operation.” Mr Obama pushed for new ideas.
Our sources were not privy to the insider discussion that surely occurred, but what must have happened was that Mr Obama dispatched John Holdren—the White House’s “science” advisor—to England, and there Mr Holdren surely visited the grave of Eric Arthur Blair (d. 1950) for inspiration.
As is well known, Blair was the master at manipulating words so that politicians could engage in friendly, benign motivation. It is not known how long “science” advisor Holdren lingered in England, but we do know that he was next spotted in Oslo displaying PowerPoint slides to random Norwegians, slides which told of his new and improved phrase.
That phrase is global climate disruption™ Holdren did not whether his (possible) visit to Blair allowed him to think up this new slogan, but he did say that global warming was a “(dangerous) misnomer” (the parentheses are Mr Holdren’s). Holdren also provides the first acknowledgement from an administration official that phrase global warming is “mainly about temperature” and implies any climate change is “quite possibly benign.”
Mr Holdren, because he is a “science” advisor, built the case for the new phrase meticulously. For example, in his PowerPoint slides, he told the Norwegians (via bullet point) that “Without climate there is no environment”, a statement which is surely true.
He built on this rock of truth with “Without economy and environment there is no material wellâ€being, no civil society, no personal or national security”, which is as sound a chain of reasoning as found since Aristotle. Figuring that Norwegians might not understand what climate meant, Holdren went on to say that climate is the thing that affects the “prevalence of oppressive heat & humidity,” the “productivity of farms forests & fisheries,” and so forth.
With the basic facts laid out before him, Holdren reminded his audience that “All science is contingent; there are always uncertainties & needs for refinement. And there’s always a chance that new observations & analyses will not just refine but overturn previous conclusions.” He then warned of impending doom, said that the science guaranteed this doom, and that it was “highly unlikely that new data or insights will alter these findings in a fundamental way.”
But do not despair, he chided. The glorious Seas-Beginning-To-Recede Obama Administration has a strategy, whose first priority is to “Put climate-change leaders in key positions”. Doubtless assuming he will be one of these keystones, Holdren again put forth his nomenclature: Global climate disruption™ It is clear Holdren reveled in his creation; he must expect that it will be sewn onto environmentalist flags everywhere. Time will tell.
Still, one has to wonder why he rejected the more clearly obvious climate calamity. This slogan has the benefit of being euphonious and alliterative. It is therefore easily remembered. One could look forward to the day, for example, of the creation of the Climate Calamity Civil Patrol, the CCCP, a group which will ticket citizens for anti-environmental activities. And it is just more fun to say “Climate Calamity cops” than “Global climate disruption™ police.”
However, I am a mere scientist and Holdren is a “science” advisor, so it is likely his insight into this topic is more valuable.