You may have once read the childhood tale of Chicken Little, the fearful pullet. (Disney issued an animated movie version in 2005.) So timeless is CL's metaphoric persona, you may still encounter people who, in the 60's, learned to call environmentalists "Chicken Little's," implying a propensity for mindless over-reaction to risk.
These days, you will find Chicken Little playing a leading industry role (see below for example).
Per Wikipedia: "the basic premise is that a chicken eats lunch one day, and believes the sky is falling down because an acorn falls on her head. She decides to tell the King, and on her journey meets other animals who join her in the quest."
Inspired by the promise of serious climate action in coming months, CL's back. Let's introduce her/him in his latest, more prominent roles. In case you are fluttering your feathers, CL is presenting a unisex character.
Energy intensive industries in the US are molting in preparation for the climate stage - already strutting their "onerous cap and trade" pin feathers. Here's an example.
A US Chamber of Commerce spokesperson, referring to indications, in the Wall Street Journal article, EPA Set to Move Toward Carbon-Dioxide Regulation, that EPA may regulate carbon dioxide emissions under the Clean Air Act Amendments, sees the entire sky coming down, and uses Chicken-Little-style hyperbole to spread the fear.
"Once carbon dioxide is regulated, they can no longer contain the Clean Air Act...and it would completely shut the country down," said William Kovacs, a chamber vice president.
Citizen activists, or 'NGOs' as they have come to be known, have also donned their end-of-the-world green Tees lately.
Example: several infer a risk of 'destroying marine ecosystems' by those who would experiment in the deep oceans with iron fertilization The print media falls for their clucking every time. 'marine eco-sytems may be ruined I tell you!'
You can see for yourself, how much of the earth's ocean surface would be affected by an iron seeding experiment, by glancing at this a satellite image of an iron seeding test underway now, in the South Atlantic ocean. (The small circle labeled :"Lohaflex" is an iron seeded bloom.)
To interact with this color map yourself, link over to NASA's ocean color homepage, to look at Which of These Blooms is Not Like the Others?
Below is a zoomed-out view of the South Atlantic region where the Lohaflex iron seeding experiment is underway.
So, Chicken Little, I'd like to introduce you to Chicken Little.
Time to stop playing chicken, both of you!
Andrew Revkin of the New York Times recently offered the hyperbolic pronouncements of Al Gore and George Will, respectively, as illustration of this very same problem in his analysis column: In Climate Debate, Hype Is a Pitfall . Insightful; but, I do not share the cynical outlook of those quoted at the article's end. Like this one.
Criticism of Mr. Will's columns, Dr. Nisbet said, "only serves to draw attention to his claims while reinforcing a larger false narrative that liberals and the mainstream press are seeking to censor rival scientific evidence and views."
Bill Ruckleshaus, first Administrator of the US-EPA, famously tells of when public testimony on a contentious subject (like banning a bio-accumulative, toxic chemical) is characterized by confusing hyperbole from sides, an opening is created to run with a legislative or regulatory proposal that is centered and rational and engaging of those not immersed in the technical details. No doubt, Carol Browner will know that lesson well.
I dedicate this post to Victor Smetacek and crew of the PolarStern who are battling the elements of the Southern Ocean, to complete their iron seeding experiment.
Earlier reviews of Chamber of Commerce performances.
The Green Chamber: Superior Alternative to Chamber of Commerce ...
US Chamber Of Commerce On The Inside Energy Policy Track
Go Green to Save Green: Sustainable Ideas for Every Business ...
Dutch Town of Venlo Goes Cradle to Cradle
Alliance To Save Energy