“But Semantics”

What do words mean exactly?


Objections and Replies

Acidification. ‘Ocean acidification’ is incorrect and used to frighten
☞ “Acidification” has been used for years by scientists studying ocean chemistry (not climate scientists) and pH is only a measure of acidity.

Agreement. Evidence is relevant only given an agreed-upon definition of—
☞ It’s the other way around: we agree on what are chairs by looking at specific chairs {1}.


Conspiracy. The expression “conspiracy theory” is weaponized to shut down—
☞ If you really want to entertain a storyline turned into News Corp red meat, it is your personal responsibility to distance themselves from such ideation.

Contrarian. “Contrarian” is deliberately disparaging and seeks to discredit—
☞ Tell that to Warren Buffett. There’s a Wiki entry for scientific contrarianism. There is only one rule for contrarians: no whining.

Control knob. CO2 cannot be meaningfully called the “control knob”—
☞ According to Bill, Without greenhouse gases, Earth would be a lifeless snowball with all water frozen. How’s that for a control knob?

Dictionary. Here is the definition from my favorite on-line dictionary—
☞ Dictionaries are useful to track common usage, not technical terms.

Forcing. Adding CO2 to a system is NOT a radiative forcing.
☞ According to the EPA, carbon dioxide accounts for by far the largest share of radiative forcing since 1990, and its contribution continues to grow at a steady rate.

Global Warming.

Greenhouse. To speak of greenhouse is a misnomer—
☞ It could be called the Tyndall Gas Effect, or better yet the Foote effect. I personally prefer Greehouse: more evocative, and less personal.


{} Better. We don’t need a definition of contrarian, only better contrarians.

{} Cases. Whoever plays definition games needs to find cases.

{} Cf. Every single square involve concepts over which one can quibble.

{} Interaction. The point of these games should be to interact, not to distract.

{1} Machines. Machine learning disproves the idea that we need definitions first.

{} Parsomatics.

{} Socrates. Asking for definitions is as old as Plato. It’s boring. Don’t fall for it.

{} Wordology. See #ButWordChange for concerns about word choices.


Further Readings

2019-11; Contrarian Models

2004-12; Imprecision of the Phrase “Global Warming”