Friday, May 4, 2007

Pet Peeves, the IPCC and Internal Monologue

I just received an email asking "What's the big deal with the storylines?"

I have two problems with them. One; the IPCC used them in the WG I report "The Scientific Basis" which seems not to be science and two; storylines strike me as bureaucratic CYA, just jibber-jabber. That kind of phony diplo-speak distorts one's perceptions and by taking the passive voice has real-world effects e.g. one million human beings hacked to death in Rwanda.

Here's Lt. Gen. Romeo Dallaire on the infamous cable Kofi Annan sent him (Mr. Annan was Under-Secretary General for Peacekeeping Operations).

"I woke up and this cable came in, signed by Kofi Annan in his normal staff responsibilities that essentially said cease and desist. Conduct no such operations. It's out of your mandate. On top of that, in the proper process of a Chapter VI, you will inform the ex-belligerent of the shortcomings that we notice and make it quite clear that he's got to rectify these shortcomings within a very short time frame, or else we will be in a position to have to review the mission, and ultimately their commitment to the peace agreement."

I have a problem with bureaucratese. Say what you mean. If you don't like the reality disclosed by being forthright, change the reality, or live with the frisson.

On the other hand I like this video "Al Gore sings Grease"
I'll get back to WG III in a bit.