Scientific Understatement

Scientists are extremely embarrassed about showing emotion. They are fond of British ironic understatement. For example, they refer to an extinction event that wipes out 1/3 of all species on earth as a disruption. An earthquake, 9 on the Richter scale, is a tectonic shift. The beginning of the universe is the big bang. A hydrogen bomb is a thermonuclear device. The collapse of a country’s economic system is called an adjustment. Addiction to methamphetamine is called an substance abuse. Targeting children in war is called collateral damage. Torture is called enhanced interrogation. So it is no surprise they selected the terms global warming and climate change to describe what ordinary people would have called climate chaos, climate collapse or climactic Armageddon.

~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:70)