Friday, September 28, 2007

The Delicate Art of Obfuscation

This is what drives you nuts when you: a) really do think climate change is going to affect your life, and certainly the life of your four-year-old son; and b) you're in the "perception" business and know B.S. when you see it.

So the leader of the United States of Carbon got up in front of the Major Economies Meeting on Energy Security and Climate Change and said the following:

"We acknowledge there is a problem, and by setting this goal, we commit ourselves to doing something about it."

This is frustrating for two reasons. One, I'm still waiting for an apology from the Climate Change Deniers who spent years ridiculing those crazy liberals and academics who've been harping about this issue for years. Funny how those "crazies" turn out to be right about so many things. The real crazies are the people who say (and this is a direct quote from someone I know): "Only God can change the weather."

The second reason is that it's complete and utter B.S. Why? Because while it sounds like the Bush Administration is suddenly serious about this issue, and CNN is covering it with the headline, "U.S. Prepared to Cut Greenhouse Emissions," the real focus is on cutting "carbon emissions intensity," which is a term made up of one part "bull" and the other part "crap."

Pay special attention to that last word: "intensity." Remember when we didn't find WMD in Iraq and Bush suddenly said Iraq was engaging in "weapons-of-mass-destruction-related activities"? This is the same obfuscation that allows you to include the term you want to stick in the minds of the public ("weapons of mass destruction" or "carbon emissions"), while actually negating its meaning.

"Emissions intensity" does not refer to a net reduction in carbon emissions, which is what we need. It refers to emissions per unit of GDP. Bottom line, you can reduce "emissions intensity" while actually raising net carbon output.

The climate doesn't give a rip about intensity; it responds to net emissions. On this issue, these bullshit-related statements do nothing but raise America's level of ignorance intensity.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

United States of Stupid, 2
Rest of the World, 0

Marc Conklin said...

What does that mean?

Scott said...

"Ignorance Intensity".
That made me happy.