Sometimes the news media calls out official doublespeak:
WASHINGTON, March 30 — In the bog of the federal regulatory code, a wetland is defined as a marshy area of saturated soils and plants whose roots spend part of their lives immersed in water. In the Interior Department's periodic national surveys, a wetland is defined, more or less, as wet.
Traditional tidal, coastal and upland marshes count, but so do golf course water hazards and other man-made ponds whose surface is less than 20 acres.
And so, even at a time of continued marsh depletion, pond inflation permitted Interior Secretary Gale A. Norton and Agriculture Secretary Mike Johanns to announce proudly on Thursday the first net increase in wetlands since the Fish and Wildlife Service started measuring them in 1954. Wetlands acreage, measured largely by aerial surveys, totaled 107.7 million acres at the end of 2004, up by 191,800 acres from 1998.
The two cabinet secretaries hailed the apparent reversal in the long trend of wetland losses. "I'm pleased to complete my term as secretary of interior by announcing some good news, said Ms. Norton, who will step down from her job Friday.
Other times, they are happy to play along. Here is a BBC headline:
What a bit of good news, you think, given that the US interior is using clever interpretation to hide environmental degradation. At least, there is Norway! Protector of Arctic regions. Well, you may wish to reconsider, based on the rest of the article:
Norway has approved increased oil exploration in its Arctic waters but will limit drilling in some areas until 2010 to protect the environment.
(The thing that is irritating is the choice of headline)Read the full post and comments »