The frog metaphor that will not die (alas)

In which Conservation magazine demolishes the deathless metaphor/myth of the frog that supposedly will not jump out of a pot of water brought slowly to a boil. To wit: Dr. Victor Hutchison, a herpetologist at the University of Oklahoma, has dealt with frogs throughout his professional life. Indeed, one of his current research interests isContinue reading “The frog metaphor that will not die (alas)”

Metaphor watch: Cliches get Obama in trouble again

As Matt Iglesias (channeling Paul Krugman) points out, the fact that the Obama administration used misleading, overused metaphors to describe the problems afflicting the American economy has a lot to do with the wide-spread but false perception that their efforts to revive the economy made it worse. Here's Krugman:  I still don’t know why theContinue reading “Metaphor watch: Cliches get Obama in trouble again”

Climate: It’s Not Just a Metaphor

Hope you can read my Climate: It's Not Just a Metaphor op-ed, published this Sunday in the Ventura County Star…here with links. "Something a little strange has happened in our national conversation about the economic crisis. Our economic experts frequently speak and write of the fiscal climate as if it were the physical climate. ByContinue reading “Climate: It’s Not Just a Metaphor”

Barack, Your Climate Rhetoric Needs Work

I can't claim to be fully objective when it comes to Barack Obama, who is one of the best speakers I've ever heard, perhaps the best. But perhaps my fandom will make the following point a little sharper. Mr. President, when you speak about the climate, you really haven't found your way. When you speakContinue reading “Barack, Your Climate Rhetoric Needs Work”

I Am Sorry, Earth. As I Scar You, I Scar Myself: A Q & A with Dancer Monica Favand Campagna

This spring a small-but-innovative dance company in Southern California called TRIP Dance Theatre premiered a production in a Hollywood theater about what poet Gary Snyder calls "the war against nature." The dance was called "Poisoning the Well." Using delicate Asian-flavored music, played live, the dancers first appeared carrying water and gathering around a well. SlowlyContinue reading “I Am Sorry, Earth. As I Scar You, I Scar Myself: A Q & A with Dancer Monica Favand Campagna”

Looking for a New Climate Change Metaphor: Canaries Exhausted

While on a book tour recently, Bill McKibben made an interesting point in an appearance in Santa Barbara. McKibben–a former New Yorker writer who wrote his first book on climate change back in l989–in an aside told the crowd that to expect the Sierra Club and traditional conservationists to take on global warming with "theContinue reading “Looking for a New Climate Change Metaphor: Canaries Exhausted”