He and I do have discussions about current events from time to time, and he had some thoughts that I'm passing along here:
In George Orwell's 1984, the State of Oceania - epitomized by "Big Brother - had absolute control over all aspects of life, including the media. The people were wholly reliant on what Big Brother told them as being fact, and Big Brother could never be wrong. Of course, sometimes the State was wrong, but had an effective method of correcting itself -- it simply changed its story, and denied that it had changed.
For example, if in early April Big Brother announced an increase in chocolate rations by 15 grams on April 17, and later it turned out that this would not be possible, all references to the "15 grams" would be expunged from the record and the media would report that Big Brother generously announced an increase in chocolate rations by 5 grams. And the people cheered. Those who didn't, those who may have remembered something about "15 grams," disappeared into the Ministry of Love.
Another example came from Oceania's eternal war with either Eastasia or Eurasia. The Party Line on the war was that "We are at war with X -- and we have always been at war with X", where "X" was variable depending on changing strategies and alliances.
In the middle of "Hate Week," a time when the populace was whipped into a frenzy of fanaticism by the Party, a Goebbels-like speaker was haranging a crowd of thousands, vilifying the hated Eastasia over and over. A nearby aid handed him a note, which he read quickly. Without missing a single beat, he continued his speech, damning the hated Eurasia.
No one in the crowd, other than the already doubtful and conflicted Winston Smith, seemed to be aware of any hypocrisy. They simply accepted the change, then forgot there had been a change.
I believe we are seeing the same thing taking place in the world today -- a subtle change in terminology due to an inconvenient truth.
For several years now we have been haranged constantly about "Global Warming." It began in earnest with former Vice President and failed Presidential candidate Al Gore and his film, "An Inconvenient Truth." Many throughout this country and around the world have accepted the "fact" of global warming. Scientists who support what is essentially an unproven -- and possibly unprovable -- theory claim that it is fact because there is "consensus." (Which basically would mean that at some point in human history, the world was flat, because that was the consensus, or the sun revolved around the world, because that was the Church's consensus.)
All of Al Gore's "solutions" to this problem are little more than State-based tyranny, a world-wide advance of socialism attempting to control every aspect of human life. For a cynical person such as myself, this is the real heart of the matter, this is the real reason Al Gore and others are pushing "Global Warming." They hope to dupe enough of the people of the earth into a panic, where the populace will be more willing to give up its freedom to "save the planet."
The problem is that simple observations seems to deny the "fact" of global warming. Right now much of the country is suffering sub-zero temperatures. Russian scientists are claiming we're entering a new Ice Age. In all the years since Katrina and Rita wrought havoc in the Gulf, the wave of catastrophic hurricanes that Al Gore's film confidently predicts would become worse and more numerous... haven't happened at all, thus making the year of Katrina look more like an anomaly than a rule. And sea ice has returned to 1979 levels. Global Warming seminars and sessions have had to be cancelled due to snow or ice storms. Most hilariously, some scientists have tried to explain that increased cold is a direct result of global warming, or that global warming can either cause more hurricanes, or no hurricanes at all. To continue on this path of trying to have it both ways would surely lead to the populace beginning to laugh, rather than panic.
So what is a good State-based tyrant to do? Change the terms of the argument.
I predict you will begin to hear less and less about "global warming" and more and more about "climate change."
As did Max, so have I noticed the shift in words. The shifty seem to do that. Shift things, I mean.