Margaret Thatcher is dead »« A subtle warning

Relax, everyone. It’s only a metaphor.

The Telegraph’s environment denier James Delingpole wants us to know he really doesn’t think environmental scientists and journalists should be executed:

Should Michael Mann be given the electric chair for having concocted arguably the most risibly inept, misleading, cherry-picking, worthless and mendacious graph – the Hockey Stick – in the history of junk science?

Should George Monbiot be hanged by the neck for his decade or so’s hysterical promulgation of the great climate change scam and other idiocies too numerous to mention?

Should Tim Flannery be fed to the crocodiles for the role he has played in the fleecing of the Australian taxpayer and the diversion of scarce resources into pointless projects like all the eyewateringly expensive desalination plants built as a result of his doomy prognostications about water shortages caused by catastrophic anthropogenic global warming?

It ought to go without saying that my answer to all these questions is – *regretful sigh* – no. First, as anyone remotely familiar with the zillion words I write every year on this blog and elsewhere, extreme authoritarianism and capital penalties just aren’t my bag. Second, and perhaps more importantly, it would be counterproductive, ugly, excessive and deeply unsatisfying.

So why does he bring it up?

Indeed, it would be nice to think one day that there would be a Climate Nuremberg. But please note, all you slower trolls beneath the bridge, that when I say Climate Nuremberg I use the phrase metaphorically.

A metaphor, let me explain – I can because I read English at Oxford, dontcha know – is like a simile but stronger.

There’s something that tickles the back of my brain about him using a simile to explain a metaphor by comparison to a simile. Why not go the whole way, and say something like “a metaphor is like a simile because each is analogous to an allegory”?

Anyway, Delingpole was engaging in hyperbole in response to criticism of a paywalled piece of his in The Australian, in which he said:

The climate alarmist industry has some very tough questions to answer: preferably in the defendant’s dock in a court of law, before a judge wearing a black cap.

For those of you not well familiar with the intersection of fashion and British jurisprudence, the black cap is a black square of fabric worn by a judge when ordering an execution. (Which hasn’t happened since 1973.)

I almost certainly need not explain what’s completely criminal about Delingpole’s disingenuous hate speech, whether or not he appends the condescending Oxford grad equivalent of a winking emoticon at the end. Technically speaking, Hutu “journalists” referring to Tutsi people as “cockroaches” was also just a metaphor.

It’s hate speech, plain and simple, uttered with the express intent of riling those who agree with Delingpole to suppress science.

Delingpole should be careful what he pretends he isn’t really wishing for. Life on this planet is likely to get very nasty for a large number of people in the next decades. At some point, as Britain suffers the third or fourth or fifth triple digit summer in as many years, and crops fail and people go hungry and the urban aged drop dead when the power goes out, there may well be calls for a “Climate Nuremberg” — and it’s doubtful that prominent denialist writers who call metaphorically for executing scientists and climate change activists will go unsummoned.

Comments

  1. Rich Woods says

    James Delingpole is an arse. I don’t feel compelled to provide proof that he is an arse, because his public utterances over a number of years speak for themselves. To anyone who doesn’t think he’s an arse, do some fucking research.

  2. Randomfactor says

    I’m fairly sure the defendants at Nuremberg once thought THEY’d be doing the judging after the war, too. Those who used their positions to delay action on AGW until it was too late don’t have to fear hanging. But they’ll be the ones we’ll eat first.

    (Relax…it’s just a metaphor.)

  3. says

    But they’ll be the ones we’ll eat first.

    Naw, I don’t think so. Their metaphorically bullet-ridden bodies will be too full of metaphorical lead from when we put them up against the metaphorical wall to permit of good eating.

  4. The Mellow Monkey says

    What the fuck does he think “execute environmentalists” is a metaphor for? It’s not a metaphor unless you’re drawing upon a resemblance between two ideas or situations by using language that is not literally true.

    If he’s trying to say that environmental scientists are criminal and should “be brought to account for the vast damage they have done”–which appears to be his point–it’s not a metaphor to say they should be executed as criminals. That’s just plain old hyperbole, you hateful sack of shit.

  5. says

    Their metaphorically bullet-ridden bodies will be too full of metaphorical lead from when we put them up against the metaphorical wall to permit of good eating.

    Please don’t do that.

  6. says

    So if I understand you correctly, when you say “there may well be calls for a “Climate Nuremberg” — and it’s doubtful that prominent denialist writers who call metaphorically for executing scientists and climate change activists will go unsummoned.” you are NOT being metaphorical? so while Delingpole is merely calling for a Climate Nuremberg rhetorically, you are actually serious. The only difference is that you believe Delinpole should be in the dock rather than Mann and co.. And your emotive use of language to summon up visions of a future holocaust caused by “deniers” – as if there is any straightforward agreed policy we can follow to control the weather and make it more favorable to us over the whole globe- is incredibly manipulative: you have no way of knowing that these things will happen rather than, say, an increase of cold weather deaths or simply an increase in poverty and related deaths as a result of following misguided policies to “combat climate change”- eg wind power, biodiesel, biomass or excessive carbon taxes, all of which could obviously have a much more immediate and tangible deleterious affect than climate change may or may not have at some point in the future.

    This is because, let me explain since you appear to be new to the debate on climate, that the impact of climate change will depend very largely on the level of wealth and technology people have achieved; and this could be severely limited by the wrong energy policies now. But Im sure your Nuremberg trial will work through all this in a fair and balanced way and pass the correct judgement, just like all courts always do.

  7. Lofty says

    Awww he just wants to shoot the messenger. How dare anyone contradict his right wing smugness?
    He should build his house on an arctic ice shelf if he’s so sure the environmentalists are wrong.

  8. says

    let me explain since you appear to be new to the debate on climate

    This is true. I only had my first writing on the topic published in 1974 or so.

  9. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    @ Graham:

    Saying X may come to pass is not at all the same thing as saying
    …X should come to pass
    or
    …I want X to come to pass

    I quote from the same passage you do:

    “there may well be calls for a ‘Climate Nuremberg’”

    Reading for comprehension really, really helps.

  10. says

    This is because, let me explain since you appear to be new to the debate on climate

    Hahahahahaha. Oh my. How does it feel to be a freshly minted environmentalist, Chris? Are you all excited?

  11. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    his is because, let me explain since you appear to be new to the debate on climate, that the impact of climate change will depend very largely on the level of wealth and technology people have achieved; and this could be severely limited by the wrong energy policies now.

    Gee, typical non-evidence claims from someone sounding like a denialist. *floosh* unevidenced claims are dismissed without evidence. Welcome to science. Back up your claim with peer reviewed scientific literature, and you might have a valid point.

  12. The Mellow Monkey says

    let me explain since you appear to be new to the debate on climate

    Hee.

    I want to commemorate this in some tangible way. Like cross-stitch it on a pillow or something.

  13. Gregory Greenwood says

    Currently, the vast preponderance of the evidence supports a rate and degree of anthropogenic climate change that is substantially more severe than initially projected due to ‘tipping point’ factors. While all findings in science are of course tentative, the weight of evidence has reached such a point that people who deny AGW really are on a par with those who prefer creationism to Evolutionary Theory or who think that this whole ‘gravity’ business is merely a passing fad engendered by an egomaniacle apple.

    The alternative to accepting that AGW is real and amounts to perhaps the single most pressing issue facing our species today, is to embrace the utterly ridiculous notion that somehow all the evidence is wrong and/or the vast majority of climate scietists are clueless/engaged in an evil conspiracy to destroy the world’s economies – a plot line unworthy of even the most low rent of pot boiler thriller novels. And yet not only does Delingpole deny the self evident, he also gleefully fantasies about the prosecution of those warning of this threat by means of the equivalent of a warcrimes tribunal – even if we accept his claim that this is simply a metaphor (and thus, one is apparently meant to be assured, ‘harmless’), the fact remains that he seems to be suggesting that there is some parity between people who bring such a potentially devastating threat as AGW to the attention of the world and genocidal butchers – apparently, in the world according to Delingpole, speaking uncomfotable truths to those who get fat from the unsustainable status quo is to be discussed in the same terms as mass murder.

    Anyone with any awareness of history and current events should be able to discern how very dangeorus such extreme hyperbole is. One would think that Delingpole – who is an Oxford garduate, afterall, as he seems to like reminding people – would be able to grasp it.

  14. Moggie says

    Rich Woods:

    James Delingpole is an arse.

    He is. What makes it more irritating is that that’s his job. He’s so consistently arse-like that I suspect the first line of his job description is “be an arse”. So much for journalism.

  15. says

    Gregory:

    an egomaniacle apple.

    This gives rise to some fascinating imagery. Now I have a vision in my head of the cross-stitch pillow MM mentioned, but with an egomaniacal apple on it with ‘Minty Fresh!’ underneath. I may need a little time off here…

  16. woodyemanuel says

    Graham Strouts,

    One can disagree politically on policies to deal with large issues like climate change. But Delingpole doesn’t do that. He actually claims the entire field of climate science is a hoax, a grand conspiracy of scientists for the last 30 years.

    Delingpole is guilty of the very charges he levels against climate scientists. It is entirely an ideological attack with no grounding in scientific reality.

  17. cicely (mumblemumble-SomethingHalf-Witty-mumblemumble) says

    But Climate Change just doesn’t matter, ’cause Jaysus is gonna be rollin’ up the entire works, any day now!
    -

  18. says

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    nd jst fr th hck f t. lnk thr: http://www.mnzshs.cm./2011/06/rchrd-glvr-frcbly-ttt-clmt-chng-rlsts.html

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  19. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Still no scientific evidence that AGW isn’t occurring. Until then, pretending it isn’t is both idiocy, and bad policy. Doing nothing means your grandchildren pay the price.

  20. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    @jonjermey

    F’d up messages and ones that wouldn’t be tolerated here.

    Even so, to get Delingpole off from being **just as bad**, one would have to find some actual meaning for this supposed metaphor.

    So, the question now falls to you: for WHAT is murder climate scientists a metaphor?

  21. Gregory Greenwood says

    Graham Strouts @ 6;

    This is because, let me explain since you appear to be new to the debate on climate, that the impact of climate change will depend very largely on the level of wealth and technology people have achieved; and this could be severely limited by the wrong energy policies now.

    Why yes – the worst extremes of the hardship caused by AGW probably could be mitigated if one was wealthy enough and had access to the right technology. Wealth would let one absorb higher food prices and sidestep the effects of what may well be a global famine, move away from flood zones or build better flood defences, procure uncontaminated water and generally continue on with busines (almost) as usual…

    And that might be OK for you – if you happen to be numbered among the wealthier citizenry of the richest countries on Earth.

    But I have a question for you – what about everyone else? What about the people who don’t have that comforting buffer of wealth? Let’s not even talk about the 99% in the rich countries of the world for whom this would still be no picnic – let’s focus on the people who would really suffer in scenario like this; those who already live in the poorer regiones of the world, where those government who even care to try to help their citizens lack the resouces to do so today, let alone in the wake of ongoing climate change resulting in mass crop failures and natural disasters.

    Those parts of the world where simply providing clean drinking water for the population is a technical, economic and social challenge that has proven nigh insurmountable, let alone pulling some techno-utopian panacea for climate change out of the ether.

    How are they supposed to deal with a climate crisis that is not of their making but that will effect them disproportionately more than anyone else? I somehow doubt the wealthy nations of the world would be able to ride to the rescue, even if they wanted to, and if they somehow could manage some kind of Heath Robinson fix, you could bet that it would come with some very nasty strings attached.

    If we don’t take action now to mitigate AGW those who are already dead because of climate shift will be joined by millions more, almost entirely drawn from the most impoverished and exploited peoples on this planet.

    What do you think – if we are to look to technology and wealth to protect us from the effects of global climate change, the what about those who don’t enjoy such luxeries? Do you entertain the notion that the wealthy nations will somehow be able to protect everyone from the effects of AGW? If so, what about the inevitable day when those wealthy nations want a return on their ‘investment’? Or do you subscribe to the libertarian approach that those who can’t afford to pay should be allowed to fend for themsleves?

  22. Holms says

    …and the urban aged drop dead when the power goes out,

    Quick quibble: this is most common in winter rather than summer, triple digit or otherwise. Also, fahrenheit shmahrenheit.

  23. Gregory Greenwood says

    Caine, Wonder-wench @ 17;

    This gives rise to some fascinating imagery. Now I have a vision in my head of the cross-stitch pillow MM mentioned, but with an egomaniacal apple on it with ‘Minty Fresh!’ underneath. I may need a little time off here…

    I’d buy one.

    I may have to give in to the long resisted urge to update my nym around here. ‘Gregory Greenwood – Minty Fresh Egomaniacle Apple’ may be too good to pass up…

    ;-P

  24. gjpetch says

    all of which could obviously have a much more immediate and tangible deleterious affect than climate change may or may not have at some point in the future.

    Well obviously. Wind power is clearly going to kill countless millions, we all know that, but that’s just the price we have to pay. *eyeroll*
    Show your work please, actual studies (not Heartland Institute “studies”) show that the cost of climate change is dramatically larger than the cost of mitigation.

  25. birgerjohansson says

    This is fun.

    “let me explain since you appear to be new to the debate on climate”

    The first article of the greenhouse effect I am aware of was written by Svante Arrhenius in 1898. He concluded that the world was going to get warmer and now we have 110 years of accumulated data sets to back up that conclusion. In the seventies there was speculation that another glacial cycle might be due any century now, but we have since learned that the effect of the Milankovic cycle is more than negated by all the extra carbon dioxide that has been added to the atmosphere.

    In regard to wealth, it is cheaper to reduce carbon emissions at the source than scrabble to create some technological band-aid once the temperature has risen by two degrees.

  26. says

    In a world that contains an annoying orange, I see no reason there could not also be an egomaniacal apple.

  27. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    @Holms

    At some point, as Britain suffers the third or fourth or fifth triple digit summer in as many years, and crops fail and people go hungry and the urban aged drop dead when the power goes out

    You thought this was referring to Fahrenheit? Nonono. We’re climate alarmists here!

  28. says

    But…but…Delingpole won the 2013 Bloggies for the “best blog about politics”. And Watt’s Up With That won for “best weblog of the year” and “best science blog”.

    How dare we criticize them?

    Unless, of course, the Bloggies are full of shit.

  29. unclefrogy says

    well at some point the wealth of the rich will change. Is not one of the things that support the value of the things that the wealth is calculated in dependent on some level of stability and someone to accept the value of what ever the means of exchange happens to be. Some one will have to accept the gold (money) in exchange for consumable goods and services. when vast numbers are dieing from famine, storms and flooding the effects of AGW there will be little international stability which the current wealth of the world depends on. Just what is supposed to keep the markets growing which we depend on?
    Does anyone doubt that some countries will make war on their neighbors? The pentagon is worse casing just those kind of results and they are not part of any radical left wing conspiracy to destroy the country..
    maybe they are part of a right wing plot to take over or maybe something else.
    get a grip graham buddy look at the whole thing just not the story some one is telling you.
    alternative energy may not cost more than conventional energy for the end user but it probably will cost more for those invested in conventional energy.

    uncle frogy

  30. says

    Gregory:

    If we don’t take action now to mitigate AGW those who are already dead because of climate shift will be joined by millions more, almost entirely drawn from the most impoverished and exploited peoples on this planet.

    The big ol’ problem in the middle of the room is that a whole lot of people don’t really see a problem with this happening, as long as it happens to the impoverished and exploited people.

  31. pseudonymus says

    So, this person calls for some people to be put down, and when confronted with the wrongness of it, retreats to it being a metaphor, and in fact, not something he actually held to be true and good.

    Such base dishonesty and apologia for immorality is intensely reminiscent of the way religion has shielded itself from scrutiny. Everything is metaphorical, except when it isn’t.

  32. w00dview says

    It is interesting, I had a discussion with my dad the other day about how the shifting seasons have required him to keep the cattle in the shed for longer whereas they should be out grazing by now. But the fields are pure brown, he told me, grass is just barely popping up now. This will mean that the farming year is entirely out of whack and certain things such as silage cutting and calving season will have to change along with it. I know that the extended winter in the UK and Ireland would enable jonjeremy and his ilk to do the “hurr durr so much for global warming” shtick but the fact remains that the seasons are shifting at such a rate should definitely be cause for concern about how our food producers are going to adapt. By the way, my dad never even got a secondary school education and he sees plain as day that climate change is occurring. What is “Oxford graduate dontcha know” Delingpole’s excuse?

  33. w00dview says

    Oh by the way Dietwald Claus if you are reading this, Delingpole refers to himself as a libertarian. As always libertarians look out for the little guy!

  34. Goodbye Enemy Janine says

    Holms, try reading about the Chicago Heatwave of 1995. Over 750 people died because of the heat, most were old and poor with no air conditioning.

    Even for those of us who were in better shape, it was very difficult. I had no air conditioning at the time. The night time lows were in the mid eighties. I took a shower in my clothes before trying to sleep, that way the evaporation would cool me a little bit.

  35. says

    Janine:

    Even for those of us who were in better shape, it was very difficult.

    Yeah, I’ve been through my share of heatwaves, and that’s a rough time. I about keel over now if the temps are only around 90F, we don’t have central air and the house sucks up heat. There are a lot of things you can do to keep warm in winter. It’s not so easy, dealing with heat.

  36. unclefrogy says

    that big old problem as you put it will have real first world effects right here in the U.S. and other developed countries. we are for better and worse all becoming much more globally interconnected every day just look at the supply chain for just about anything. we will have to all swim together or sink one at a time.
    willful ignorance is deadly eventually
    uncle frogy

  37. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    There will be no climate denialism or apology therefor in my threads here. Graham Strouts, take your pseudoscience somewhere else.

    Ah, the denialists refuse to learn. Lead the with the peer reviewed scientific literature, not videos/web sites of BAD UNSCIENTIFIC OPINION.

  38. Goodbye Enemy Janine says

    Let’s be civil have have true FREEZE PEACH and let Graham Stouts have his say. I am sure it will be worth everbody’s time and we will all learn a valuable lesson about about tolerance.

    Yeah, right.

  39. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Bow to the cuteness!

    BOW! *makes download for the Redhead*

  40. Ulysses says

    Graham Strouts,

    Many of the deaths occurred in northern France, where air conditioning is uncommon because it’s usually not needed. The wikipedia article Chris linked says:

    The high number of deaths can be explained by the conjunction of seemingly unrelated events. Most nights in France are cool, even in summer. As a consequence, houses (usually of stone, concrete or brick construction) do not warm too much during the daytime and radiate minimal heat at night, and air conditioning is usually unnecessary. During the heat wave, temperatures remained at record highs even at night, preventing the usual cooling cycle. Elderly persons living by themselves had never faced such extreme heat before and did not know how to react or were too mentally or physically impaired by the heat to make the necessary adaptations themselves. Elderly persons with family support or those residing in nursing homes were more likely to have others who could make the adjustments for them. This led to statistically improbable survival rates with the weakest group having fewer deaths than more physically fit persons; most of the heat victims came from the group of elderly persons not requiring constant medical care or living alone without immediate family.

    So your red herring doesn’t apply. Got any other fallacies you want to use?

  41. woodyemanuel says

    Graham Strouts,

    Try to understand subject matter, no matter how much you’d rather play with bunnies.

  42. Ulysses says

    Chris, please remove my post 55 since I was replying to a post which has been deleted.

  43. The Mellow Monkey says

    Caine

    Now I wonder if rats and bunnies get along.

    According to my partner: “It could work, but might not. Rabbits have a very different ‘language’ and they play by running around and kicking out their massive, clawed back feet like they’re possessed. Same reasons I don’t like seeing rabbits and cavies housed together, diet concerns aside. But people apparently do it all the time without issue.”

    (For once, he’s around when I have a rabbit question.)

  44. chigau (unless...) says

    Ulysses #58
    Don’t worry about it.
    We all end up talking to deleted post, sometime.

  45. Rich Woods says

    @Moggie #16:

    Exactly. And what does that say about our supposed newspaper of record?

  46. Holms says

    Holms, try reading about the Chicago Heatwave of 1995. Over 750 people died because of the heat, most were old and poor with no air conditioning.

    Europe 2003 is what I had in mind.

    The passage I quoted specifically named Britain, thus I had Britain in mind.

  47. Infophile says

    A metaphor, let me explain – I can because I read English at Oxford, dontcha know – is like a simile but stronger.

    *headdesk* No, that isn’t the relevant distinction. You should know this since you read English at Oxford, but since you obviously don’t, let me make it clear. A metaphor is like a simile, but without a direct indication of a comparison (typically the words “like” and “as”). Instead, it states something as if it were factual, but with the comparison implied.

    What he may have been thinking of is, “Hyperbole is like a metaphor, but stronger.” That is, hyperbole is a metaphor that’s deliberately extreme (though it doesn’t have to be a metaphor). His whole piece reads a lot saner if you swap in “hyperbole” for “metaphor.”

  48. says

    MM @ 59, thanks. I wouldn’t put them together, but I haven’t had a bunny since I was in my teens, so it’s been half of forever. I have too many rats anyway, they’d gang up on a poor bunny. (They aren’t bothered at all by the monster dogs, and if they don’t mind a 120 lb dog trying to make them act like a squeaky toy…)

    /derail

  49. DLC says

    @Chris Clarke #45 : quash dissent much ? Oh, you mean, he wasn’t dissenting with rational, scientifically sound information but with hacked together bollocks picked out by paid shills for the oil and coal companies ? Oh, like I’m supposed to believe that! Like the oil and coal companies would tell lies about things. Why, BP Like totes cleaned up the gulf spill, and you know, Exxon-mobil really do know how to run a proper pipeline , and clean coal!.
    But didn’t you know, all those climate scientists have a vested interest, that they want more government funding, so they can (gasp!) keep doing science!

  50. says

    DLC:

    But didn’t you know, all those climate scientists have a vested interest, that they want more government funding, so they can (gasp!) keep doing science!

    Why it oughta be a crime! Aaaaaand we’re right back to the beginning.

  51. says

    DLC:

    But didn’t you know, all those climate scientists have a vested interest, that they want more government funding, so they can (gasp!) keep doing science!

    And that’s why you can’t trust scientists. They keep fleecing the government (which totes pays better than oil companies), and there’s no way to check their work.

  52. AmandaS says

    I always wish that those who do the “technology/wealth will save us” would look up the Holomodor. Because that is the future if there is a simultaneous grain failure in Russia, China, the US, Canada and Australia. They have all failed recently – if it happens all at the same time, then we discover that civilisation is a very thin veneer.

    As for the guff re: Tim Flannery and desalination plants, I have to say that it gets me angriest of all of the nonsense that is spouted by deniers. If the Millenium drought hadn’t broken in mid-2010, then Adelaide (a city of 1.23 million people) would have almost certainly run out of potable water by December. THAT’S why they built de-sal plants. No, “running out of water” is not hyperbole or greenie talk; all of the hydrology and river operation reports from the time are available on the web. But, as usual, because the worst never happened, the deniers take the millenium bug view of it all: the preparation that averted the crisis wasn’t necessary, because it never would have happened anyway. Because, you know, it didn’t! So obviously it wouldn’t have! Ever! I can only presume that these people never get their cars serviced either.

  53. Pteryxx says

    Like the oil and coal companies would tell lies about things. Why, BP Like totes cleaned up the gulf spill, and you know, Exxon-mobil really do know how to run a proper pipeline , and clean coal!.
    But didn’t you know, all those climate scientists have a vested interest (…)

    http://boingboing.net/2013/04/07/exxonmobil-faa-arkansas-cops.html

    It was less than 90 seconds before suddenly the sheriff’s deputies started yelling that all the media people had to leave, that ExxonMobil had decided they don’t want you here, you have to leave. They even referred to it as “Exxon Media”…Some reporters were like, “Who made this decision? Who can we talk to?” The sheriff’s deputies started saying, “You have to leave. You have 10 seconds to leave or you will be arrested.”

  54. godhatesyeast says

    “A metaphor, let me explain – I can because I read English at Oxford, dontcha know – is like a simile but stronger.”

    Well, Mr Delingpole, if that IS your real name…

    I happened to read English Language at Lafayette, which has an older (look it up) and apparently much better English Language department than the one at Oxford because I know the actual difference between a simile and a metaphor.

    It has nothing at all to do with “strength,” which is a ludicrous abstract with absolutely no definable boundary with “weakness.”

    A simile is a direct comparison of two objects that uses a connective, most commonly “like,” “than” or “as.” That’s it. Which makes your pathetic description of a metaphor a simile! See? Grammar can be fun!

    A metaphor is ANY OTHER COMPARISON OF OBJECTS.

    So there you are, Oxford boy. Now go get your fucking shine box.

  55. Koshka says

    Amanda S,

    Brisbane was also down to 8% of reserves at the same time. And we would have in fact run out except for the population generally responding well and drastically cutting water consumption.

    Then we flooded and flooded some more. And the desal plants which were only just turned on were labelled a waste of money and have been mothballed.
    They will be brought back online pretty quickly when we get back to drought. I suspect next time it will be worse.

  56. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    I’ve always thought a simile *is* a metaphor, in the same way that a square is a rectangle. A rectangle just needs 4 sides, 4 angles, each angle a right angle, and opposite sides equal in length. Squares meet that definition, they just *also* have adjacent sides equal in length.

    Likewise, a simile is a comparison phrase meant to give meaning or description to one of the comparators by reference to the other, therefore it *is* a metaphor, but a simile must use a direct connector “like” “as” etc. A metaphor has no such requirement. It’s inclusive of simile but not limited to it.

    Anyway, that’s what I always thought. Do I have it wrong?

  57. godhatesyeast says

    A simile is a direct comparison of two objects that uses a connective, most commonly “like,” “than” or “as.”

    Metaphor is indeed inclusive of simile.

    Simile is exclusive of most metaphor.

  58. unclefrogy says

    what with the great gift for believing BS those who deny AGW will undoubtedly rationalize the effects in such a way so as to say it is in fact natural and the fault of environmentalists and the scientists that have been talking about the changing climate for years now
    too bad we don’t have a “B” Ark” or some similar device to Help them out.

    uncle frogy

  59. left0ver1under says

    Isn’t is ironic how Delingpole says “Climate Nuremberg” while using the very same tactics as those convicted at Nuremburg?

    Extremists make a real effort to make insinuations that will incite others to violence, but try not to go far enough to actually be blamed for the violence or face legal responsibility. Whether it’s saying “cockroaches”, saying “judenraus”, using a strikethrough tags on names of murdered doctors as anti-abortionists have done, or gun crosshairs on political opponents, the goals is clearly to advocate for, incite and cause violence, no matter what they say otherwise.

  60. says

    godhatesyeast:

    Now go get your fucking shine box.

    This can be taken in several different ways, none of them terribly good. So, not cool. I’m sure you can come up with something better anyway.

  61. godhatesyeast says

    @Caine

    I’m sorry, it’s just that my years of training and screaming into the void of the decline of science education in this country have left me a little raw.

    It is indeed a reference from “GoodFellas,” and I was generally responding to repeated idiocy from the Telegraph website.

    I apologize for any offense.

  62. AmandaS says

    Koshka – absolutely agree. Brisbane was in dire straits at the time and the storages were at terrifying levels. I know much more about the Murray-Darling Basin aspects though as my job is in the area and there was genuine despair about what would happen to Adelaide if the drought didn’t break. It was personal to me, and visceral, and nothing to do with green philosophy or climate change or environmentalism but to do with having to start considering what you do with a city of over 1 million people who are no longer able to access potable water.

    Now, of course, storages are close to full and the grass is green and only the river operators are paying attention to the fact that, once again, inflows have fallen to historic low levels in the Basin.

  63. Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :) says

    Should Tim Flannery be fed to the crocodiles

    At least there’s one vulnerable species he’s interested in preserving…

  64. Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :) says

    And your emotive use of language to summon up visions of a future holocaust caused by “deniers” – as if there is any straightforward agreed policy we can follow to control the weather and make it more favorable to us over the whole globe- is incredibly manipulative: you have no way of knowing that these things will happen rather than, say, an increase of cold weather deaths or simply an increase in poverty and related deaths as a result of following misguided policies to “combat climate change”- eg wind power, biodiesel, biomass or excessive carbon taxes, all of which could obviously have a much more immediate and tangible deleterious affect than climate change may or may not have at some point in the future.

    U=Q-W, dumbass.

  65. godhatesyeast says

    @Caine

    I must again sincerely apologize for my use of profanity on this thread.

    There is simply no excuse for such an abandonment of professional courtesy.

  66. Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :) says

    There is simply no excuse for such an abandonment of professional courtesy.

    *epic facepalm*

  67. karpad says

    I’m sure someone has said this by now, but…

    A metaphor, let me explain – I can because I read English at Oxford, dontcha know – is like a simile but stronger.

    NO IT ISN’T. A metaphor is just a comparison between two things. All similes, by definition, are metaphors, but metaphors have forms that are not simile. Saying someone is like a thing they are plainly not is not “stronger” because of the presence of the word “like.” It’s simply which figure of speech is more appropriate (or not) for a given situation.

    There are very few things more irritating than being condescended to by someone who is also wrong. One might think this is undue attention to a single sentence, but reading the rest of the article: it’s a metaphor. For what he does throughout the rest of the piece.

  68. bittys says

    I’m (obviously) not a climate change scientist, but I have a question

    At some point, as Britain suffers the third or fourth or fifth triple digit summer in as many years

    I was under the impression that the major danger to Britain from climate change was the gulf stream shifting and our little island suddenly reverting to a climate more suited to its latitude (ie freezing)

    Am I completely wrong?

  69. Maureen Brian says

    In a few words, bittys, the gulf stream is weakening – possibly because of melting Arctic ice – and the jet stream is constantly in the “wrong” place, as in right now it’s to the South of the British Isles when it “should” be to the North!

  70. Ichthyic says

    The climate alarmist industry has some very tough questions to answer: preferably in the defendant’s dock in a court of law, before a judge wearing a black cap.

    you know, those denialist clowns actually DID get a case to court here in NZ, in an attempt to sue government scientists for “falsely misleading the public” wrt global warming.

    The judge heard the evidence for a few days, then threw the entire thing out of court, and threatened the denialists with penalties if they tried it again.

    so, like intelligent design in Dover, “climate sceptics” had their day in court, and lost. Miserably and completely.

    fucking asswipes.

  71. says

    James Delingpole’s mother was a was a whore. — Metaphor
    James Delingpole’s mother was like a whore in some many ways — simile
    Was James Delingpole’s mother just a whore? – Asking a question.

    I hope that no one thought that my examples implied that James Delingpole’s mother, whom may or may not have taken money for deviant sex acts, was a whore.

  72. Holms says

    James Delingpole’s mother was a was a whore. — Metaphor

    Uh, no it isn’t. You’re not helping.

  73. says

    And that’s why you can’t trust scientists.

    Science, what’s it up to? Scary. The old nematode switcheroo!

    holytape@90
    A man is being a jerk, so you call his mother a whore?
    You think the world just isn’t sexist enough? – Sarcasm
    Do you really think sex-workers aren’t taking enough shit, so you need to remind them that suggesting someone is one of them is the worst insult you can think of? – Rhetorical question

  74. w00dview says

    so, like intelligent design in Dover, “climate sceptics” had their day in court, and lost. Miserably and completely.

    Wow, yet another way in which these buffoons are identical in their approach as creationists. Constantly getting scientific terminology wrong (theory, consensus), think slandering a particular person discredits the science (Darwin, Al Gore), trying to get their bullshit taught in class (teach the controversy, heartland documents), made propaganda movies to gain legitimacy (Expelled, Great global warming swindle), think they are brave mavericks fighting the establishment (Big Science, government funded anti capitalists who want a worldwide government), believe in conspiracies that the truth is being suppressed, etc.

    Any other examples?

  75. birgerjohansson says

    In regard to toxic political debates…Margaret Thatcher passed away today, aged 87.

  76. rr says

    When I say I want to throw James Delingpole head-first into a wood chipper what I really mean is I’d like him to do an unbiased statistical analysis of at least 30 years of temperature data, followed by a review of the radiation physics literature concerning the interaction of carbon atoms and infrared photons.

  77. Ichthyic says

    A man is being a jerk, so you call his mother a whore?

    are you clowns daft?

    NO, that’s not the point of what holytape said there.

    they were using an example that was of the exact same nature as Delingpoles. THAT’S the point of that little exercise.

    gees.

  78. drxym says

    The Telegraph has become in the last few years a stridently far right, anti-Europe, anti-science, anti-gay and pro-religion news outlet. Both James Delingpole and Christopher Booker have their homes on the site and both spew out steaming torrents of denialist claptrap week after week.

  79. esmith4102 says

    Metaphor, colloquial metaphor, idiom – descriptions of a trope poorly understood by a brain uncomfortable with abstract thought more complicated than a religious allegory. Climate science deniers are comfortable in their self righteous delusions and intractable skepticism and there they should be left alone as the world passes them by.

  80. Gregory Greenwood says

    esmith4102 @ 99;

    Climate science deniers are comfortable in their self righteous delusions and intractable skepticism and there they should be left alone as the world passes them by.

    If only it were that simple. Unfortunately, vested interests from the fossil fuels industry are pouring billions of dollars into disinformation and obfustication of the science every year by funding pseudo-scientific studies with the outward appearance of being a dissenting position within the scientific community. These pieces of propaganda are then seized upon by politicians – who don’t want to make the politically costly decisions required to tackle AGW out of fear that it may harm their chances of re-election of the prospects of their Party in the next election, or simply because they are paid (whether in terms of hard cash under the table or less easily detectable favours and patronage) to block any such policies by the likes of Exxon Mobil – in order to justify ongoing inaction, worthless half measures, or even attempts to roll back what enviromental protections already exist in the name of ‘protecting the economy’. And all the while people like James Delingpole act as the cheerleaders of denialism in the popular media, whipping up conspiracy theorists and blinkered rightwingers with tales of the supposed perfidy of climate scientists, and working hard to create the impression that the state of popular opinion and the general political climate makes taking meaningful action on the issue of AGW impratical and/or unnecessary.

    I wish that climate denialists were merely irrelevant fringe crackpots that could be safely ignored, but that simply isn’t the case – they are a powerful, well funded, resourced and connected, and dangerously highly organised political lobby that has the power to shape policy. They have already effectively killed the Kyoto Protocol and ensured that the most recent climate conferences all degenerated into pointless exercises in shallow political horse trading. They cannot be safely ignored, because if their lies aren’t challenged then they will happily go on taking petro-dollars in return for leading the world off a climate change cliff unopposed. Their lies must be fought, or they will smother the evidence and the consensus among climate scientists until it is too late for us to do anything to avert an unprecedented global catastrophe.

  81. says

    Ichthyic

    A man is being a jerk, so you call his mother a whore?

    are you clowns daft?

    Tellingly, holytape did not use “Delingpole is [epithtet of your choice] ” as his example, but “Delingspole’s mother is a whore.”
    That is a clear example of sexism and discrimination of sex-workers.
    Just like your knee-jerk defense of both.

  82. stanton says

    When I say I want to throw James Delingpole head-first into a wood chipper what I really mean is I’d like him to do an unbiased statistical analysis of at least 30 years of temperature data, followed by a review of the radiation physics literature concerning the interaction of carbon atoms and infrared photons.

    To an ambulatory septic tank like Delingpole, to be made to do an unbiased analysis would be, at least, tantamount to being thrown feet first in a wood chipper dowsed in tabasco sauce, if not a fate far worse than death.

  83. says

    Tellingly, holytape did not use “Delingpole is [epithtet of your choice] ” as his example, but “Delingspole’s mother is a whore.”

    Yep. I get the point of saying something outrageously insulting and then hiding behind the “metaphor” defense in order to make the point, but I think a better example could have been used; one with less secondary fallout.

  84. cm's changeable moniker (quaint, if not charming) says

    Well, the discussion’s moved on, but going back to bittys @#86:

    I was under the impression that the major danger to Britain from climate change was the gulf stream shifting and our little island suddenly reverting to a climate more suited to its latitude (ie freezing)

    Am I completely wrong?

    Probably. ;-)

    The gulf stream proper is a wind-driven circulation of surface heat from tropical Atlantic waters westwards into the east coast of the US and thence northwards (and via the North Atlantic Drift, northeastwards to Europe). It’s probably not going to be significantly affected any time soon.

    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2005/05/gulf-stream-slowdown/

    Maureen Brian @#88:

    the gulf stream is weakening – possibly because of melting Arctic ice – and the jet stream is constantly in the “wrong” place, as in right now it’s to the South of the British Isles when it “should” be to the North!

    Sort of. There’s some evidence from one of the commonly-used climate models that Arctic ice depletion is contributing to a “loopier” jetstream¹ which encourages the UK’s recent cold winters (and similarly the Russian heatwave a couple of years ago).

    http://rabett.blogspot.co.uk/2013/03/melting-ice-and-cold-weather.html

    But it’s not true to say that the jetstream is “constantly in the wrong place”; it’s a fickle thing that’s constantly moving. E.g., if you look here, you can see that while it’s south of us now, if you drag the slider right, in a fortnight it will be back where it “should” be.

    http://www.netweather.tv/index.cgi?action=jetstream;sess=

    If memory serves, the last IPCC projections I saw for the UK showed a very small change in average temperature out to 2050. (Yes, I’m being parochial.) Extra variability of winter cold, summer heat, and rainfall patterns, though, are … erm .. worrying.

    Oh, and Delingpole’s an arse. If not (yet) an official tosser.

    ¹ Both senses: The wiggles are more extreme, and its behaviour is more erratic and unpredictable.

  85. cm's changeable moniker (quaint, if not charming) says

    if you look here, you can see

    Well, you could, 12 hours ago. It’s become even weirder since. Bloody weather. ~:-/

  86. kouras says

    pseudonymus

    So, this person calls for some people to be put down, and when confronted with the wrongness of it, retreats to it being a metaphor, and in fact, not something he actually held to be true and good.

    Such base dishonesty and apologia for immorality is intensely reminiscent of the way religion has shielded itself from scrutiny. Everything is metaphorical, except when it isn’t.

    (TW on these links, as precaution if nothing else. Slurs, non-detailed reference to paedophilia)

    He says comparable crap often.
    His response is here and original article (I think it may have been paywalled and/or edited) here.

    (I feel like I should apologise for inane commenting and threadrupt-ness, but this is probably not the place. Did catch up enough to read through this one fully before posting, FWIW.)