Wednesday, June 08, 2005

An Possibly Unfortunate Choice of Wordsmiths

An Possibly Unfortunate Choice of Wordsmiths

We have here, courtesy of the NY Times, incontrovertible proof that the Bush administration uses spin. They apparently have hired a spin-doctor, a specialist, to shade environmental assessments so as to introduce doubt concerning the existence and extent of global warming. His main function seems to be to inject waffle words, specifically from the adjective and adverb department, into documents already approved by the appropriate officials. OK, everyone who is surprised by this, raise your hands.

My question, perhaps just as naïve to those in the know, is why? Does the administration glean some sort of legal protection from this process? Do they really think this intensity surgeon is having any impact on opinion, making the efforts of hundreds of government drudges a shade less definitive? Maybe a shade less quotable? "No, no, perhaps my esteemed colleague from the state of Wyomissing would be kind enough to go back and read the exact phrase, where it distinctly says ‘relatively unlikely’, not just ‘unlikely’."

It seems to me that failure to acknowledge the seriousness of global warming hurts us all. How could an administration with such clear vision about the dangers of fascism in the Middle East be so weaselly about this other threat? It could be argued, I suppose, that injecting a modicum of doubt into the process will prevent us from jumping prematurely to inappropriate solutions. More likely, some constituent group prefers to delay expensive action, probably a business group, such as Big Oil or builders of the Bummer, an inner-city 3-ton pickup for use in residential speed-bump events.

Isn’t it likely that there would be just as many businesses that would benefit from the effort to cut CO2? How about Westinghouse, the builder of nuclear power plants? [Ed. Yes, he’s serious.] Don’t they count anymore? If the administration took the right tack on this, there could be a feeding frenzy of emergency no-bid contracts in the green energy market. There would be enough to make everybody happy. Lobbyists could take to smoking cigars again, just [slightly, somewhat, occasionally] different lobbyists.

6/8/2005 8:58 PM

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