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Discussion > Anthropomorphic climate change

A wonderful typo spotted by Geoff Chambers.

Climate change - this time it's personal?

Sep 8, 2013 at 12:21 PM | Registered CommenterRichard Drake

Anthropomorphism and weather have long gone hand in hand and while I did a project on just that, I don't remember finding any references to the god of climate change. One of the things that did strike me was that they all seemed to have a flood myth. I wondered if they harked back to the end of the ice age and the rapidly rising sea levels.

Sep 8, 2013 at 12:40 PM | Unregistered CommenterTinyCO2

Normally I try to keep my pedant's instincts under some control.
I don't subscribe to the view that spelling doesn't matter but as someone to whom it came fairly easily it ill becomes me to be over-critical of those who find it more difficult (for whatever reason).
Likewise typos happen, in my work as in everybody's.
This abomination is of a different order altogether.
Here we have the web site of an organisation that has chosen to set itself up in a pseudo-corporate manner — web access, mission statements, all that pzazz — that does not even know what it is for.
Neither the person who wrote the mission statement nor the site designer were aware that in describing the aims and objects of this organisation they used the wrong word in spite of the fact that the right word has become common currency even among those who would, absent the whole global warming brouhaha, never have bothered even to enquire as to what it might mean.
Not only that but two of the leading lights of this organisation appear either to be equally ignorant or unobservant.
Monbiot is a journalist (supposedly) but also a zoology graduate and if a zoologist doesn't know the difference between 'anthropogenic' and 'anthropomorphic' then there seems little hope for the future of zoology as a scientific discipline.
Lucas is an English graduate so while we might forgive her not being fully au fait with such scientific concepts it is reasonable to expect her to know which is the right word to use in context.

Of course it's always possible, since it is an essential of Green politics that we treat all animals as cuddly and friendly — think badgers and polar bears — that they all actually thought 'anthropomorphic' was the right word and all these silly climatologists and their 'anthropogenic' have been getting it wrong all this time.

Sep 8, 2013 at 2:12 PM | Registered CommenterMike Jackson

MJ, I have to agree with you, there. I, too, am a bit pedantic with our language, and often just quietly foam at the mouth as I read the horrors the “proffessionals” [sic] inflict upon it – mixing affect/effect or the more subtle enquiry/inquiry, and similar linguistic nuances; but to confuse “anthropogenic” and “anthropomorphic” moves the intellectual level into that of the fifth form.

My own contributions to that site have been to question the very ideas they espouse – climate change is “real”, climate change is “catastrophic” and climate change is “man-made”. Somehow, I doubt I will get any response.

Sep 8, 2013 at 5:06 PM | Unregistered CommenterRadical Rodent

There are two completely absurd mistakes here. The first is that their objective is to campaign FOR ... etc. So what they want, it seems, is that climate change be given human characteristics. Very odd indeed.

Sep 8, 2013 at 5:55 PM | Unregistered CommenterRobin Guenier

Further to the above, having looked at the site again, I should - more accurately - have said that their objective is to promote the proposition that climate change has human characteristics. It's utterly absurd - yet this is the UK's premier climate change website, headed by Monbiot, Lucas and Meacher.

Sep 8, 2013 at 6:26 PM | Registered CommenterRobin Guenier

Typo, malapropism or something even weirder, it seldom gets funnier than this in dealing with the UK's climate elite!

Sep 8, 2013 at 7:06 PM | Registered CommenterRichard Drake

Anthropomorphic? I've long suspected it - the way that global warming attacks life forms that we find appealing, such as fluffy polar bears, and promotes life forms that we dislike, such as weeds and pests, appears to be a strong sign that climate processes are almost supernaturally tuned to human values. :)

I also wonder whether a Wikipedia contributor has written (or amended) the description as a sly dig at CaCC.

Sep 8, 2013 at 7:49 PM | Unregistered CommenterAlex Cull

Tiny CO2
Love to hear more about your project on Anthropomorphism and weather.
One of the standard theories of the origins of mythology and religion in the 19th century was that the gods were all personifications of weather - Zeus/Thor god of thunder etc. Like all such overarching theories, it falls apart as soon as you examine it closely.
I once, in my days as a Velikovsky fan, listed all the weather references in the Iliad. It was a time of climate chaos alright, but the majority of references are to clouds, with a lot of references to what sounded like electrical storm effects. It would be nice to link it to the result of volcanism or some other exceptional weather event which sent the Greeks off on a cattle raid to the Troad. No doubt soemeone’s done it.
The Wiki article on the Campaign against Climate Change logo was put up by someone called Villafanuk, whose interests are listed as Aston Villa football club and Letchworth. It takes all sorts.

Sep 8, 2013 at 8:11 PM | Registered Commentergeoffchambers

Monbiot, Lucas and Meacher (or whoever was actually writing/posting in their name(s)) would do well to seek the assistance of the author of this recent essay in Canada's Globe and Mail.

And those who appreciate the finer points (and even the often ignored basics!) of the English language - pedants and non-pedants alike - might enjoy the essay. I know I did ;-)

Sep 8, 2013 at 9:19 PM | Registered CommenterHilary Ostrov

It was more artistic than scientific and the images I included ranged from ancient statues to Powergen's TV news bulletins. Had a lot of fun doing it though and was amazed by the similarities between ancient deities despite thousands of miles separating the believers. I don't remember a single culture that didn't have a flood myth, though the reason the gods started it varied.

Although most of the cultures were geologically recent, I wondered if the sea level rise at the end of the ice age was so traumatic it was passed down verbally and was then woven into religions. Any river flood might have brought back the old stories. Hearing about Doggerland and how excellent hunting and fishing land was flooded and people had to move to less favoured upland areas on what became modern Europe and Britain, reminded me of it. At times the sea advanced up the shore at an inch in height a year which would have been alarming on very flat coastal areas. A good storm and a slight ridge washed away and suddenly large areas would flood and never recover.

Sep 8, 2013 at 9:42 PM | Unregistered CommenterTinyCO2

For those who don’t click on every link, I should explain that Richard Drake is talking about an article in which I examined the blog of the Committee against Climate Change (president George Monbiot; vice presidents Caroline Lucas MP and Michael Meacher MP) an organisation which claims to represent a mass movement of environmentalists (with 53 local groups), but which seems to represent nothing at all, and which exists, according to the Wikipaedia article on their logo, “to promote anthropomorphic climate change”.
It’s unlikely that George or Caroline or Michael had a hand in registering the CCC logo with Wiki, since the registering person seems to be a fan of Aston Villa. I commented on their blog linking to my article two days ago, but have had absolutely no response. Compare what happened when I wrote about UKYCC, another pseudo-mass movement, and got 500 hits on Facebook (though no comments) in 24 hours.
Barry Woods reported on BishopHill unthreaded (12:23 6/9/13) that the founder of CaCC was Phil Thornhill, now retired. Barry provided this link to his remarkable swan song, which is worth reading for all those interested in the psychology of green activists:
While researching Thornhill I came across references to a couple of terrible personal tragedies in the life of another green activist about whom I’ve been very rude in the past - as we all have. It’s made me think seriously about how we conduct what I think of as an unarmed combat to the death with the green nutters. Tackle the blog, and not the man, is now my motto (unless the man is called Monbiot, Lucas, or Meacher, of course).

Sep 9, 2013 at 9:08 PM | Registered Commentergeoffchambers


You are a true gentleman but I would say tackle the problem and sometimes the problem is the mann ^.^

Sep 9, 2013 at 9:37 PM | Registered CommenterDung

And sometimes what Barry Woods says and thinks is of immense importance. His truly innovative building (for a UK sceptic) of good relationships with people like Tamsin Edwards tipped Peter Gleick over the edge into self-immolation in January last year. (At least, the extraordinary timing has confirmed me in that belief ever since.) I consider this equally important. Thank you for passing it on Mr Chambers. Given all that has been happening empathy for those that have been sincere in their beliefs is almost everything we need right now.

Sep 10, 2013 at 6:49 AM | Registered CommenterRichard Drake

The Wiki article on the Campaign against Climate Change logo was put up by someone called Villafanuk, whose interests are listed as Aston Villa football club and Letchworth.
Geoff, It'll be something to do with ley lines, betcha!

Sep 10, 2013 at 10:39 AM | Registered CommenterMike Jackson