Thursday, April 24, 2008

War On ...

I was irked by Time magazine's cover this week, "How to Win the War on Global Warming." The phrase "War on [problem]" was bad enough when applied to drugs or terror, but at least those crises could be blamed on small groups of "enemies." There was a clear analogy to a military campaign.

In contrast, global warming is caused by everyone on the planet, and averting that catastrophe will be very different to warfare. Many aspects of our society (energy generation, transport, manufacturing, etc.) will have to change in order to avoid global warming; the appropriate image would be revolution, or maybe renaissance. The combat metaphor doesn't make sense, and encouraging a martial mindset doesn't help.

Could we all declare a ceasefire on emotive misuse of language?

No comments: