Language and the Looming Disaster

by Duane Poncy

Why, in the face of looming disaster, do scientists equivocate their language to the point that it becomes a falsehood by omission? Case in point: in an otherwise very informative article on Common Dreams, Brenda Ekwurzel, PhD., a climate scientist with the Union of Concerned Scientists concludes as follows:

A warmer planet means more droughts and extreme heat events, which threaten air quality and human health. Rising sea levels are already affecting citizens living on the coasts.

If the federal government continues to ignore global warming, hurricane damage likely will escalate. (italics are mine)

The truth, which Dr. Ekwurzel, and other scientists know full well, is that their is absolutely nothing that we, or our governments can do to ease the growing intensity of the weather in the short term. It is going to get worse. In the best case scenario, it will take decades to turn this monster around. In the worst case, we will simply have to let self-feeding cycles run their course.

In any case, we should be thinking about survival, and how to minimize the damage which is going to continue to escalate from altered ecosystems, drought, flooding, and extreme weather events, in addition to reducing greenhouse gases.

Pretending that this is something that can just be taken care of by the government, through, say, adhering to the Kyoto protocols, is to send a false message. Wake up climate scientists, you can be more honest than this. Start ringing the alarm bells. It’s the right thing to do!

Source: Global Warming Strengthens Hurricanes