Once again, I find myself drawn like a moth to the Global Warming alarmists’ flame.
I have always been a firm believer that words mean things. I try to use precise language to convey my thoughts whenever I am writing or speaking (though I do not always succeed). It frustrates me whenever I say something and the person I am speaking to misses my meaning. How we choose to use the English language to express ideas is important, that is why whenever I see someone absconding with it or warping it for their personal gain, I become offended.
Such has been the track record of the environmentalists in the Global Warming movement. They take ideas and words and shape them in strange ways in order to blur arguments and lines of thought. For example, ‘Global Warming’ itself is out as a catch phrase. Why would this be? It would be like Kleenex or Coke deciding to change it brand name. The reason is strategy. Environmentalists are now attempting to substitute the phrase ‘Climate Change’ for ‘Global Warming” when they speak or write, and it’s pretty obvious why.
The proponents of Global Warming have long been accused of playing both sides of the fence. For a while, when the temperature was going up, it was ‘global warming.’ Then, when the temperature went down, it was ‘snowball earth’ or “ice age.’ The temperature went back up, and we were back to ‘global warming.’ For the past decade, if the temperature went up, it was because of global warming, but if the temperature went down, that was also because of global warming. Finally, some people began to question the legitimacy of these ideas. And, now that the temperature has steadily gone down over the past few years, rather than switch back to the ‘ice age’ theory, environmentalists have chosen to abscond with all possible theories and incorporate all possible data into their theories of doom.
They have replaced the term ‘Global Warming’ with ‘Climate Change.” Now, if the temperature goes up, it’s a result of Climate Change, and is obviously the result of mankind’s abuses of the planet. However, if the the temperature goes down, this would also be caused by climate change, and the cause this time would also be man. It’s a win-win for them. How could they lose? With logic like this mankind can be blamed for everything whether there is an actual problem or not. Unless…the Earth were to throw them a real curve ball and suddenly stabilize itself in a constant state of Eden like uniformity. But since that has never, ever happened, it not likely to begin now.
I saw a second equally egregious example of this linguistic modification this weekend. I began watching the first five minutes of a program on the Science Channel (I don’t remember the name of it because I did not hang around long). It was soon apparent that this would be another program preaching the gospel of Global Warming. However, just before I turned the channel, I heard the host make this statement (and I paraphrase the beginning of it), “We have to do more to combat the problems of Climate Change while avoiding nuclear proliferation.” I went ahead and changed the channel to something better but the phrase ‘nuclear proliferation’ kept echoing in my mind. Of course no one wants nuclear proliferation. Surely we need to keep the bomb out of the hands of the Iranians.
Then it hit me. He was talking about nuclear energy.
For the past few years nuclear energy have been the elephant in the room. Traditionally, environmentalists have viewed nuclear energy as some sort of bogey man. But, contrary to their efforts, nuclear energy has proven itself to be the safest, cleanest and cheapest form of energy in the world. However, while the world has embraced nuclear energy as the panacea that it is, the United States has labored under strict laws that make it almost impossible financially to construct new plants.
This worked as long as fossil fuels were cheap. Now that the price of oil has gone through the roof, everyone- environmentalists, conservatives, and liberals- is trying to find alternative sources of energy. And now, we see the nuclear elephant looming in the room- not that environmentalists are not trying their hardest to ignore it. Some programs that stress Global Warming issues and possible solutions simply ignore nuclear energy while others tend to tack it on to the end of the show as an afterthought. In either case it is egregious.
I have stated in another post that I will not take these people and their arguments seriously until they make nuclear energy a primary possible solution to current energy issues, and I still stand by that. However, referring to to ‘nuclear energy’ as ‘nuclear proliferation’ is sly at best disingenuous at worst. Sure, we cannot allow certain irresponsible countries, such as Iran, to build reactors of their own, but we do not include ourselves in this list. Even if we do not allow Iran to have a reactor, that does not mean that we will not work out a deal with them in which reactors are still built to supply their energy needs, but are maintained by someone else. The point is that much of the world is using safe, efficient nuclear energy. The french produce 100% of their domestic electricity through nuclear plants, and so should the U.S.
But, I digress, the point is that the term ‘nuclear proliferation’ has a military connotation. The proponents of Global Warming theories are attempting to saddle nuclear energy with the negative connotations revolving around nuclear warfare. The point of this is easy to see. These proponents are using their favorite weapon, fear, to avoid dealing with the issue of nuclear energy. It should come as no surprise. Fear drives the whole Global Warming debate. The unfortunate thing is that they will use this fear to prevent the U.S. from benefiting from the one possible positive impact of Global Warming- that we might actually reduce our dependence on foreign sources of energy by implementing the broad use of clean, efficient nuclear energy.