Why Were ‘Liberal Code Words’ Omitted From Proposed State Climate Change Study?
Earlier this year, some Virginia lawmakers wanted to conduct a study on how climate change could affect the state’s shorelines. Before passing the proposed study though in the General Assembly, a few minor tweaks had to be made to the language.
What were the textual modifications? Instead of using the words “climate change” and “sea level rise,” the proposed study used words like “recurrent flooding.”
The Virginian-Pilot reports fear of rejection and outspokeness by conservative groups as the reason for the omission of these “liberal code words.”
With a more “politically neutral” tone, the proposed study “sailed” through the Republican dominated General Assembly and was signed by Gov. Bob McDonnell. The Pilot describes this as evidence that “climate skeptics” are “forcing state and local government to stay clear of certain buzzwords [...].” With this tactic, the Pilot goes on to draw the comparison of how “global warming” was phased out in favor of “climate change,” citing how it seems now “climate change” and “sea level rise” are being replaced as well.
State Del. Chris Stolle, R-Virginia Beach, was the one who requested the word changes in the first place, calling “sea level rise” a “left-wing term.” Similarly, the city of Norfolk recently launched a flooding awareness website with no mention of climate change or sea level rise.
Here is some perspective on the language sensitivities in the study:
“It’s kind of silly,” [Director of Coastal Zone Management Programs Laura McKay] said. “But the reality is, some of the phrases just really send people screaming. We want to use language that doesn’t alienate people.”
Kris Allen, a Virginia Beach businessman, is one climate skeptic who believes sea level rise is real, is a problem and should be studied and acted upon. Indeed, he would prefer that state and local studies be labeled as such.
He gets upset, however, when government wants to prescribe economically harmful regulations on coal and gas and enact strategies such as cap-and-trade to combat a phenomenon that might be more about sinking land.
“It’s a game about control,” Allen said, echoing a sentiment that government is really after more control of property rights and individual liberty.
“It’s kind of embarrassing that people are playing politics instead of just talking straight,” [study co-sponsor State Sen. Ralph] Northam, D-Norfolk] said. “But we went along with it. We needed the study done.”
The $138,000 “recurrent flooding” study is being conducted by the Virginia Institute of Marine Science with scientists from the University of Virginia and Old Dominion University.
Read more details about the study and word-play in the Virginian-Pilot here.
[H/T Think Progress]
- Shock Video Surfaces: Meat Cleaver-Wielding Man Shouts ‘You People Will Never Be Safe!’ Moments After Gruesome London Attack 492 Comments
- Why Were DHS Agents Seemingly Monitoring Multiple Tea Party IRS Protests Across the Country on Tuesday? 476 Comments
- Confusion Erupts in IRS Hearing After Lois Lerner Tries to Plead the 5th — Watch It All Unfold 466 Comments
- The Tense Exchange Between Rep. Trey Gowdy and the Former IRS Head You’ve Been Waiting for…and It Doesn’t Disappoint 374 Comments
- Anti-Gay Bias or Fair Punishment? New Details Emerge About High School Student’s Lesbian Relationship With a Minor 307 Comments
- ‘We…Aren’t Going to Take S**t From Homophobes’: Mysterious Pro-Firearm Ads Use Gays, Seemingly Topless Lesbians to Rail Against Gun Control 147 Comments
- Pope Francis’ Sermon Sparks Debate: ‘Even the Atheists’ Have Been Redeemed ‘With the Blood of Christ’ 252 Comments
- Beck Issues Challenge to People of Faith in Wake of Okla. Tornado: ‘What Have You Done?’ Read More
- ‘Islamic Jihad, Islamic Jihad!: Michelle Malkin Rips Progressives, Clashes With Lib Radio Host Over Islamic Terrorism and the London Machete Attack 111 Comments
- Ariz. Lawmaker Surprises Colleagues, Comes Out as an Atheist While Delivering Daily Prayer 111 Comments
- Trey Gowdy at It Again — This Time with a Jack Bauer Reference! Read More
- Emails Released: Congress Was Asking for Updates on IG’s IRS Audit Before 2012 Election Read More
- Weekly Unemployment Benefits Tumble Read More
- Why Is This German Company Recruiting Tech Staff With Autism? Read More
- House Votes to Speed up Keystone Pipeline: Here’s Everyone Who Voted for and Against It Read More
- The Incredible Role Facebook Played in the Aftermath of Devastating Okla. Tornado Read More
- Tech Company Demonstrates Remote Disabling of a ‘Smart Gun’ 121 Comments
- Meet the Blind Man Nicknamed ‘Midnight Gunslinger’ Who Has 80% Shot Accuracy Read More
- How a $4.5 Million Network of 181 Sirens Helped Save Lives in Oklahoma Twister Read More
- See the Record-Setting Python a Man Caught With His Bare Hands (and Guess How Much It Weighed) Read More
- Just a photo of Al Sharpton smiling in an African dashiki
- ‘Big gas savings’: Kmart’s marketing gurus strike again
- Does CNN want to keep Piers Morgan around?
- Permit requirements shut down another kid’s lemonade stand — but it’s not what you think
- Video: Introducing ‘ConservoTax,’ the first tax software made for Republicans
- Obama defends drone strikes but says no cure-all
- Sweden's riots raise questions about inequality
- Military calls UK attack victim a model soldier
- Wyden: FracFocus 'constructive' tool on drilling
- Storm took town's youngest as it swept through
- Obama: Policy in leaks investigations under review
- Israel to discuss military draft reform proposal
- NASA head views progress on asteroid lasso mission