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Buzzwords in climate change

Afghanistan has strong potentials to become an exporter of food and fruits, experts say Akmal Dawi/IRIN

If you don't know your "Ecoflation" from inflation and think "Greenwashing" might be a new detergent, and that "Global weirding" has probably crept in from sci-fi, read on.

Global weirding: A slang term for climate change, coined by Hunter Lovins, co-founder of the Rocky Mountain Institute, a US-based energy think-tank. The term has been catching on in cyberspace, as it aptly sums up the crazy impact of global warming — more intense heat and cold spells in some places, shorter winters and longer droughts in others, excessive flooding in more places, more frequent and bigger cyclones, and so on.

Greenwashing: Refers to repositioning a product to stress its eco-friendly attributes; it can even apply to politicians, according to scientist Jim Hansen.

Ecoflation: Inflation caused by ecological problems in the future, such as water scarcity, which would push the price of production up. The term was used in a report, Rattling Supply Chains, co-authored by the World Resources Instiitute, the US-based environmental think-tank, which looked into into the cost of production in the future expected to rise when the implementation of climate change policy would result in a price for greenhouse gas emissions, water scarcity; a deforestation policy which would lead to the use of recycled fibre and in the introduction of biofuels.

Precycle: The practice of reducing waste by making a conscious effort, for instance, buying consumables in bulk to reduce packaging, or choosing products in recyclable packaging instead of those in non-recyclable materials, and using electronic media for reading material rather than throwaway items like magazines or newspapers.

Locavore: Someone who tries to eat food grown within a certain radius of their home; the food not only tastes better because it is fresher, but less energy is wasted in transporting it. The term was coined by US chef Jessica Prentice.

Energy-exia: A combination of energy and anorexia. Refers to people who follow an extremely strict carbon-footprint regimen. The New York Times, the daily newspaper, coined the term in an article in October 2008 about "energy anorexics" – people who grow their own produce, air-dry their clothes, and let their children share beds to pool body heat.

Green audit: An assessment to determine the environmental impact of an activity, product, or production process by examining, for example, the use of energy, the type of raw materials, and disposal of any waste materials.

Eco-hacking or geo-engineering: The use of science in large-scale projects to change the environment or stop global warming, for example, by putting reflectors on ocean surfaces to reflect sunlight back into the atmosphere, as suggested by US president Lyndon Johnson's advisors when scientists warned of the impact of carbon dioxide on the climate in the 1960s. Kind of B-grade sci-fi, as the Guardian newspaper in the UK put it.

Green jobs: Jobs in eco-friendly business sectors, like manufacturing components for wind and solar energy projects, green construction, and recycling.


Sources: Wikipedia, Green sympaticoThe Global Language Monitor

This article was produced by IRIN News while it was part of the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. Please send queries on copyright or liability to the UN. For more information:

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