WC Varones

Don't lend your hand to raise no flag atop no ship of fools

Your turn, peanut gallery

Chairman Varones and I have a dispute about the below Economist text. We would like you to chime in. The article in question is a review of two books: Climatopolis: How Our Cities Will Thrive in the Hotter Future; and Turned Out Nice: How the British Isles Will Change as the World Heats Up.
The ways of a warmer world
Books about how people can and will adapt to climate change need not be Panglossian--as these two show

Climate change is a pretty scary topic, and those who write about it have, for the most part, been happy to play up the scariness. This may be due to noble motives or base ones. Many will have chosen to write about climate change because they think something should be done about it and that if their readers get scared they will be more likely to act. Others may intuit that their readers are likely to be seeking stuff that confirms how right they were to have perceived the dreadfulness of the world in ways lesser people have not. This is the road to "climate porn", which revels in exaggerated disaster.

It is refreshing, then, to read books which look at the warming to come not as a frightful warning, nor as a fait accompli, but as something to which, at some levels of change, people will have to adapt--and which in some settings they may adapt to rather well. The setting Matthew Kahn is interested in is the city, one of his preoccupations as an economist; Marek Kohn's is the British Isles.
Dictionary.com has Panglossian defined as: "characterized by or given to extreme optimism."

Readers, will you kindly provide your opinions as to whether the headline writer uses "Panglossian" correctly?

3 comments:

Shane Atwell said...

I'd vote its correct, but I still hate The Economist. They were such idiots about the housing and then financial collapse that I haven't opened an issue since 2008.

Cowgirl said...

Mistaken use... good catch...

Anonymous said...

Splitting hairs over semantics? Who cares about that. In case you missed it, what follows is all you need to know about AGW:

http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Front_Page/FB03Aa01.html

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