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April 16, 2008
In search of a neologism
The world desperately needs to agree on a new word to describe what happens when fanatical environmentalists end up damaging the world with hare-brained schemes. Case in point: the chaos inflicted upon the world by the asinine drive to produce massive amounts of ethanol as a substitute for oil. Leaving aside the higher levels of CO2 generated, the amount of extra energy needed to transport and convert biomass into fuel and then distribute the ethanol (which cannot be sent in energy-efficient pipelines) via truck or rail, it is now evident that world food prices are being vastly inflated by the demand for ethanol, heavily subsidized by taxpayers.
Articles yesterday in the New York Times , UK Telegraph, The UK Independent, UK Daily Mail , and UK Times chronicle the havoc as food prices soar, and food riots begin to break out in poor countries. Sooner or later, someone will point out that Al Gore lied, people died, when it comes to assessing responsibility for the debacle.
Back to our neologism search. When a physician or hospital blunder causes a death, the term employed is "iatragenic" My suggestion for an adjective for greenie-caused damage is "crudugenic" from the Latin term for "green" (crudus) and the word for "type"(genus).
So let us await further reports of crudugenic starvation, inflation and riots.
Hat tip: Joseph Crowley
Update -- John Hunt writes:
The medical term is "iatrogenic", not "iatragenic", [as the reference linked from the article explains].
The etymology of the "-genic" is not Latin but Greek: "genos" -- race, stock, family;
"genesis" -- origin, source.
I believe the concept you wish to encapsulate is not specifically an environmental one, but a more general precipitate rush to act without sufficient investigation, forethought, and consideration of the probable consequences.
For this, I propose "festination": from the Latin, "festinatio" -- "haste, speed hurry".
This is not a neologism, as the Compact Oxford English Dictionary quotes examples from 1540 to 1822. The most recent is: "The temerity of a blind festination".
Clearly, nothing is new.