Wednesday, 21 August 2013

Reality - Learn English with Anthony Watts

Oh dear. 
Education standards must be slipping, especially in English, especially in the good ol' US of A.

Or as someone educated might say: Ego eam propter me excludunt et substituunt res.

Al Gore has been interviewed in the Washington Post. Predictably, Anthony Watts and the crew take umbrage at some of the words used.  Specifically:
I think you can guess the rest.  Except, of course, it's not what Al Gore actually says.
Al Gore fails to suppress a yawn at the latest WUWT drivel
Here are the offending passages which I've picked out in blue so you don't have to look too hard:
"EK: Give me the optimistic scenario on what happens next. If all goes well, what do the next few years look like on this issue?
AG: Well, I think the most important part of it is winning the conversation. I remember as a boy when the conversation on civil rights was won in the South. I remember a time when one of my friends made a racist joke and another said, hey man, we don’t go for that anymore. The same thing happened on apartheid. The same thing happened on the nuclear arms race with the freeze movement. The same thing happened in an earlier era with abolition. A few months ago, I saw an article about two gay men standing in line for pizza and some homophobe made an ugly comment about them holding hands and everyone else in line told them to shut up. We’re winning that conversation.
The conversation on global warming has been stalled because a shrinking group of denialists fly into a rage when it’s mentioned. It’s like a family with an alcoholic father who flies into a rage every time a subject is mentioned and so everybody avoids the elephant in the room to keep the peace. But the political climate is changing. Something like Chris Hayes’s excellent documentary on climate change wouldn’t have made it on TV a few years ago. And as I said, many Republicans who’re still timid on the issue are now openly embarrassed about the extreme deniers. The deniers are being hit politically. They’re being subjected to ridicule, which stings. The polling is going back up in favor of doing something on this issue. The ability of the raging deniers to stop progress is waning every single day."
So what is Al Gore actually saying.  He's saying that attitudes change.  In his lifetime he has seen attitudes change on civil rights, apartheid, homosexuality.  He isn't saying that climate change skeptics or deniers are racist or homophobic or support nuclear weapons or anything of the kind. He's pointing out that times change and people change with them.  Our ever so sensitive friends at WattsWrongWithThat will get offended because, in a strange kind of way, it seems to be a hobby.  How dare you tell us we are wrong?  How dare you talk in that way?  It's a means to control the argument which, as you recall, is scientifically dead for them because it's been sorted and measured and modelled to the satisfaction of 97% of the world's relevant scientists.
Ah, you say, what about the alcoholic father? You haven't mentioned him. The preceding sentence is important: "The conversation ... has stalled because a shrinking group of denialists fly into a rage when it's mentioned." Then Gore uses a simile to explain talk about their behaviour.  Deniers are not like alcoholics.  The media are like the family with the alcoholic father.  The media doesn't mention the subject of climate change because they know that there's going to be a kurfuffle.  The deniers will crawl out of the woodwork and turn any sensible discussion into an insult fest - insulting in words and intelligence.  The deniers behave like the alcoholic father.
Typically, Willard doesn't see it that way and doesn't like his version questioned:
Margaret Hardman says:
Once again the headline and the story don’t match.
REPLY: once again, your perception and reality don’t match – Anthony

But never let reality get in the way of a chance to be offended. Reality check over


  1. Willard is so lacking in self awareness that he can't even see that he just proved Gore's point.

    1. That, as far as I can tell, is quite a common theme. I may be starting to sound a lot like a stuck record, but it seems that the words "ironic" and "hypocritical" are words the meanings of which many who comment on WUWT do not understand. In the past I would have put a smiley face after such a comment, but I no longer find it particularly funny.

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