Hot air

I read an inspiring article this morning. Written by Margaret Kelly and published in The Weekend Australian, it speaks of the way so many of us use language in this day and age. She invokes the memory of George Orwell to articulate the way he would feel (and think) about the level of intellectual thought airing itself in the media, social and otherwise.

Entitled ‘It’s way past 1984 but lazy habits mean George Orwell’s Newspeak is now definitely trending,’ I’m not going to try to replicate her level of expertise here, other than to say half way through the article she invokes the issue of climate change.

This has become a ‘watermelon’s delight’ of an issue over the past thirty years or so. Who can blame them? All ‘watermelon’s’ needed something to replace their fight for the revolution. But climate change began life as something altogether different, language-wise at least.

What was known from birth as “ecological balance” grew to become a toddler known to his friends (and even his foe) under a different name again. “The hole in the ozone layer” found it’s way into popular parlance and stayed with us for many years. Yet as the issue started to gain attention, traction declined as debate (and doubt) around the subject of ‘the hole’ grew.

“The hole in the ozone layer” got smarter as he got older. He realised his popularity was waning and that he had to do something to re-build his case for the need for serious action without further delay.

He changed his name to “global warming.” He told people the hole had closed in the ozone layer and all was well, but that he, “global warming,” was now having a serious impact on the ever-increasing average world temperature. More was needed, and needed now.

As the years passed, his popularity slipped. He was used to being mentioned in papers world-wide, each and every day. He loved the recognition it brought him. People and organisations were asking him to speak at their corporate and social events. He was earning an appearance fee he had never thought possible. His hands on the lectern, he felt important beyond belief. Even ‘watermelons’ love to see good money thrown their way. After all, their social conscience applies to others, not themselves. And now the revolution had failed, they needed to eat and live like the rest of us, right?

But the papers stopped writing about him. His invitations to speaking events dwindled. His name still appeared in the paper but only now and again. He felt he had to do something so people didn’t forget about him. He had a plan.

It was time to grow up, to think like an adult. And so he changed his name…again. “Climate change” sounded ‘sexier’ than “global warming.” That was too warm and fuzzy. “Climate change” sounded pro-active. The word ‘change’ meant he was urging others to action.

I, on the other hand, was more confused than ever. Of course the climate changed. It changed every day. I didn’t need him to tell me that. People were living comfortably (if feeling a little chilly) in the mid-western winter of the United States just as they were living comfortably in the warm summer of the east coast of Australia.

The English language was not meant to be used this way. Get your hands on Margaret Kelly’s article and read it for yourself. Better still, read George Orwell’s Animal Farm. You’ll learn something “climate change” cannot teach us.

Apparently I’m not allowed to speak my mind on “climate change.” I can’t criticise him, degrade him, disagree with him. There’s only one opinion, one view, and anyone who speaks against “climate change” will not be heard. Well, I live in hope, for what is life if we have no hope.

Meanwhile, I’m off to enjoy the darling buds of Spring, for where I live the climate’s changing, warming, yet an ecological balance remains.

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