Can we please ban journalists from using the word ‘controversial’ as a substitute for explaining the issue. Passages like this from the Independent make me want to throttle somebody:
Candidates rarely talk about reducing the country’s vast appetite for fossil fuels for fear of being attacked as anti-business. In recent weeks public pressure has seen both Mrs Clinton and Mr Obama discretely sign up for carbon ‘cap-and-trade’ systems for industry.
The Democratic candidates are far more comfortable talking up renewable energy and hybrid cars and most give their support to controversial ethanol and “clean coal” projects.
The only reason the Democrats are pushing ethanol and clean coal is that they aren’t controversial among politicians. Bush has [supported](http://www.news.com/2100-1028_3-6152754.html) [both](http://www.fossil.energy.gov/programs/powersystems/cleancoal/). The ‘controversy’ is just everybody playing their roles as usual: politicians of both parties like ethanol and clean coal, because they would help farmers and the mining industry. Environmentalists (Greenpeace, Sierra Club, etc) think they’re expensive and still release too much pollution. In short, they aren’t the best solution, but they’re probably the best solution with a snowball’s chance in hell of being enacted.
Also: has anybody else noticed how people used to say “Climate change is as big a problem as X”, but recently they’ve taken to saying “X is as big a problem as climate change”