There are times when existing language is insufficient to express the frustration, incredulity or other emotion felt when reading some of the things that are written or said about climate change. That happened to me today and a new word popped into my head.

Envirallax (noun) – the apparent shift in importance of a report, quotation or publication related to climate science due to the difference in belief or opinion on the causes of climate change between two readers (cf. parallax). Related terms – biased interpretation, confirmation bias, cognitive dissonance.

Whaddya think? Could it catch on?

Happy to have people add other ones they’ve come across (links please) or any they’ve come up with themselves.

Unless another blog reposts this page, or until someone uses the word elsewhere on the web this page is a Googlewhackblatt.

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77 Responses to Neologism

  1. O very in jest says:

    “Climastrology” is sometimes used. No definition needed.

  2. Another Ian says:

    Verity, if it was good enough for Shakespeare to invent new words then why not?

    Around the same area –

    “Empixellated” – to describe those who believe what shows on their computer screens without comparing it to the view out the window first

  3. Verity Jones says:

    @O very in jest
    Models with no predictive value – indeed.

    @Another Ian
    Not bad. It has connotations of ’empower’ and ‘fascinated’, the prefix ’em’ meaning ‘put into’.
    Sixteen uses found by Google, including a couple of your own.

    • Verity Jones says:

      Hmm “The empixellation of meteorology”. I can feel inspiration for a whole series of blog post titles coming on. Why does this always happen to me when I have a deadline for a huge report looming large?

  4. Chuckles says:

    The ‘lax’ suffix with it’s suggestions of a free flow and it’s medical overtones is good too. cf. Brooklax, Dulcolax, ‘Free your mind, and your ass will follow’ and so forth.


    • Verity Jones says:

      Oh no, you’ve set my mind on a certain course. All I can think of is ‘advertising speak’.

      “…when research appears overcast with environmental monotones, take Envirallax, and see the world in a new light.”

  5. Another Ian said

    “Empixellated” – to describe those who believe what shows on their computer screens without comparing it to the view out the window first”

    We already have a word for that; ‘metoffice’


    • Another Ian says:


      But we need a word with wider compass or we might waste resources on a spat as to the relative magnitude of “metoffice” v/s “BOM”

  6. j ferguson says:

    Envirallax! Envirollax? You’re on to something. This has been a good day, having much appreciated Richard Betts’ term, dissenter rather than skeptic or denier over at Bishop’s.

    We do need a word for Envirallax.


  7. Verity Jones says:

    What did they ever do before supercomputors?

    @j ferguson
    “We do need a word for Envirallax.
    Yes – it’s a a definition that needs a word. And the parallax parallel not bad, but I’m not 100% convinced by ‘envirallax’ either, or ‘envirollax’. And yes enviro-llax respects the roots better (like para-llax). Ah well.

  8. Anteros says:


    @j ferguson – I too liked ‘dissenter’. It does what it says on the tin, without being inflammatory. It’s honest and doesn’t need quote marks. And I’d always be happy to stand up and say “Yes – I’m a dissenter”

    There was a discussion over at Bishop Hill about the need for an ‘ology’ to cover the study of catastrophes and apocalypses – especially the imaginary ones created in a never-ending stream by those who have a fear of the dark, change or the consequences of human agency..
    I suggested Armaggedonology – it runs off the tongue quite well and has the appropriate feel of satire.

    There was also an entertaining set of ‘dooming’ constructions by ‘Mike’ at Climate Etc – doom-head, doom-kopf, doom-butt, doom and doomer (say, Mann and Hansen), and doomed-down science (the Hockey Stick!).

    [Reply…except that it’s more doomed-up and dumbed-down. Oh that’d be a great title for a blog post “Climate Scrience – doomed-up & dumbed down” – Verity]

    • Anteros says:

      Verity -you’re right. It’s like Tony Blair’s ‘sexing up’ whatever it was that needed selling – ‘doom-up’ is what alarmists do with their imagination to any vague extrapolation. And of course in all subsequent communication about possible events of the future.

      You know, more and more I’m thinking we just live in an age of superstition and climate panic has got nothing to do with science, reason or evidence. There’s not much general conflict or war going on and we’re by and large all ridiculously rich [I just read that we get 1300% more food for an hours labour than we did 150 years ago..] so what do we do? We look into the future, it’s dark and unknowable and we then construct an apocalypse with our armaggedonology!!

      It’s a coincidence isn’t it that the doom-mongering began precisely when the Wall came down in ’89 and the dark spectre that had kept us all engaged for 50 years evaporated?

    • Father of Josh says:


  9. AGW_Skeptic says:

    How about Harmitology? Belief that human influence and progress is always dangerous.

    • AGW_Skeptic says:

      Or maybe Warmitology or Warmitologist.

    • Anteros says:

      It sounds quite close to misanthopy (which it probably is), so we’d get ‘misanthropology’ 🙂

      • Verity Jones says:

        misanthropology (from Urban Dictionary):

        the scientific study of the origin, the behavior, and the physical, social, and cultural development of hatred in humans
        misanthropology-the opposite of optimistology

      • Anteros says:

        I had no idea it had already been coined – it’s such a nice word.

        I also think it could have crept in as a character in Sheridan’s ‘The Rivals’. The bitter spinster Miss Anthropology..

        [Reply – LOL – sister to Mrs Malaprop and given to equal misuse of words, Verity]

        [Reply 2 – in fact I can feel a possible ‘literary imagining’ coming on… The Rivals (with apologies to RB Sheridan) set at UEA. Hmm – might need some help with that – along the lines of Gistemp Reloaded or Climate Pygmalion]

  10. j ferguson says:

    Endians maybe?

  11. Judy F. says:


    When I first saw your word, before I read your definition, I thought of ENvironmental VIRAL(L) anthrAX. (noun) The disease we are all going to die from when the oceans rise/boil and the air overheats and it is wet/dry, cold/hot, snowy/not snowy. Used in a sentence:” I’m a goner, Joe. ( cough, cough) I’ve caught the dreaded Envirallax…”

    Or, Envirallax. A copyrighted computer program used only by climate scientists who have no skill in Excel, limited organizational skills and use suspiciously poor scientific methods to extract data.

    • Verity Jones says:

      Welcome Judy F.
      I didn’t see your comment before writing the one below. LOL – great (both) alternative definitions of envirallax. Variation on the second one – envirallax (adjective) – we could then say that ‘Phil Jones was envirallax in his use of linear regressions.

  12. Verity Jones says:

    Good stuff all! BTW, I need a good definition for another one.
    ‘Farigle’ – I think it could be used for when environmentalists insist on describing the Earth as ‘fragile’ but we really need a proper ‘definition’. Origin here: And I’m not meaning to pick on Kevin for his ‘too fast’ backwards typing – genuinely thought it could be a useful word.

    I like ‘dissenter’ too.

    I take it you remember Beattie (‘BT’) and “Oh he’s got an ‘ology’!” then.

  13. Anteros says:

    I’m getting carried away here!
    I know this isn’t new, but I particularly like “Doom-mongering” with a capital D, and “Doom-mongerer!” as another accusative.

    • ArndB says:

      RE: “Doom-mongerer!”
      Do you mean “climate doom-mongerer”, which would be on the same line as
      WUWT (19.Jan.2012) raising the question: „ NOAA and “climate disasters” – made up words?”.
      My comment at WUWT (January 20, 2012 at 1:13 am) says: “The word „disaster“ is not the problem, the word CLIMATE is a disaster”; more at:

  14. E.M.Smith says:

    OK, for those not into bit-twidling: “endian” and both ‘big endian’ and ‘little endian’ are already taken for the property of which end of the machine word has the highest value. Some machines are bigendian and some are little endian. (It was a bit of a religious war for a while with VAX follks on one side and Intel on the other. Motorola joining VAX IIRC)

    I think we also need ‘cliflate’ and ‘clifation’ “The inevitable inflation of anything related to climate to impossible levels, be it disaster, budget, self importance, etc.” of which the other words would be specific subsets. As in “He suffered cliflation of confidence until his report was rejected”.

    For skeptics, can’t we just say “realitizers” 😉

    And I’m sure that an empixellated researcher will have cliflation of angst leading to embiggened panic as his enviralaxed paper is googlehuffed into importance causing warmologists globally to suffer a panixiation … at least until their grant money is applied as a geldbalm entorporant 😉

    (Definitions will be supplied upon request…)

    [Reply – oh go on then. Please! Verity]

    • E.M.Smith says:

      Well, I had a nice long reply 9/10 done and fat fingered the mouse buttons while being inattentive… Guess I’ll just go with a short summary of the ‘not already defined’ words:

      Cliflation: The exaggeration of all things climate related (as in running off a cliff of inflation from climate…)

      Embiggened is borrowed from a neologism of the past:

      1884, C.A. Ward, “New Verbs”, in Notes and Queries: A Medium of Intercommunication for Literary Men, General Readers, Etc, volume 10, page 135:
      Are there not, however, barbarous verbs in all languages? ἀλλ’ ἐμεγάλυνεν αυτοὺς ὁ λαός, but the people magnified them, to make great or embiggen, if we may invent an English parallel as ugly. After all, use is nearly everything.

      and deserves to be resurrected, IMHO.

      Googlehuff: is to puff up via manipulating rankings on search engines. As in “AlGore demanded that the programmer googlehuff his latest book and assure that both ‘truth’ and ‘doom’ would rank it highly.

      Panixiation is that fixation on panic that comes with all things “warmist”, so someone can have themselves panixiated via some minor thing (like a snail found a bit further north than anyone had looked before) and run around claiming a proximate ecosystem collapse…

      Geldbalm: To be soothed by the application of money. “AlGore was happy to buy another private jet once his hysteria was dampned by geldbalm.”

      And Entorporant: A substance that causes increased torpor, such as too much buffet food at the latest IPCC extravaganza… or the application of so much geldbalm that one just sits in their office and ignores FOIA requests…

  15. j ferguson says:

    E.M., where did you think I got Endian? It was important to something I did in the 80s with a forgotten application which might run on PCs or Suns, maybe it was an Oracle issue. It’s good that I can’t remember.

    Endians does seem a good appellation for the apocolypsters

    • E.M.Smith says:

      I’m just a bit reluctant to re-use a word that I already use… (Yes, I do us it, as I’ve had to deal with ‘endian’ issues in the FORTRAN inside GIStemp. Some of the code is ‘endian’ and only runs on machines of a non-Intel endian character. That is, the code wants bigendian while the PC is little-endian)

      Perhaps “endtimesian”? “catastrophian”? “Doomian”?

      I think I like doomian best… 😉 or maybe doomsian?

      • j ferguson says:

        Doomsian is very good. Catastropher?

      • Anteros says:

        j ferguson –

        When you mentioned appellation I misunderstood what you meant and pictured
        “apocalypto-endians”. Not perhaps what you were thinking, but quite nice don’t you think..

        You could also construct [or see walking down the street in a state of panic..]
        And many many more 🙂

    • gallopingcamel says:

      I was hoping you got your “Endians” from Gulliver’s Travels. They were folks who went to war over a disagreement as to which end of a boiled egg should be eaten first.

      In Swift’s day it was not safe to criticise the powerful so parody was developed to an art form.

      • j ferguson says:

        It’s funny g-camel, I read Swift early in retirement (catching up, don’t you know), and was amused then that a word from computing could have been first used by Swift.

    • onoropu says:

      Johnathan Swift – Gullivers Travels – Big-endians and Little-endians (which end of a boiled egg to break)

  16. Verity Jones says:

    I do like ‘climate doom-mongers’ and ‘apocolypsters’ is very good to, however E.M. has outdone us. Real neologisms too.
    “googlehuffed into importance” sounds like it should be from Harry Potter.

    • E.M.Smith says:

      Well… I have a bit of an advantage… I use a large number of “shorthand” notations for my internal thought processes. So I’ve been making my own ‘language bits’ for most of my life… The hard part is keeping them ‘inside only’, as it just flummoxes folks when I’m leakaging wordems….

      FWIW, I’ve never read Harry Potter (my Daughter has read them all, though). I was taken to one movie of one of them. But thanks for the compliment 😉

  17. Judy F. says:

    Re: the word Farigle

    I couldn’t help but think of finagle: (verb) to obtain by trickery; to use devious, dishonest methods to achieve one’s ends. Plus, the word far : a considerable distance.

    Farigle. (verb) To alter data originating in a place distant from a research facility and difficult to verify, especially after the passage of time.

    Example: From the desk of James Hansen ” We have had to farigle the data from the Arctic”.

  18. E.M.Smith says:

    Twas a gray coldening day, and Hansen was farigling the Arctic Data, empixilated with his handiwork and hopping for more geldbalm to dampen the panixilation he was feeling. But it was not to be. The cliflation of all things warmist extended even to angst, and his doomian acolytes were mid-paroxysm even as his fariggled. He pressed ‘enter’ on the climaking code. Oh, so shadenfreuded was he that even his adjixtered data did not break the spell of his enviralaxed state. But how to googlehuff the results? Email was right out as being foiaed was not to his liking. No, he would have to wait for the next ngovent when a prideal could be jobbed… Later a prvent would glossgeld the whole processes far from macintyreation…

    ( I could go on, but I feel that ‘over the edge’ feeling starting 😉

  19. Verity Jones says:

    I’ve got another good one. Armageddonology is good but what about ‘catastrophology’?

  20. j ferguson says:

    Some of these words have the capacity to insult in the most insidious way. the object is certain that somehow he is being demeaned but can’t quite put his finger on how it’s been done.

    E.M. I suspect you keep your alternate languages (those you speak only to yourself) in a parallel register and could default over to that register if you employed them much in public, and maybe have real trouble resetting. It would be fun to bring a couple of your friends up to speed so that you could astonish the other patrons at starbucks, or if ever in chicago, at Jimmy’s woodlawn tap.

    Friend who sold Great Books door to door in DC many years ago was very good at alternate language, somewhat like your example and also Sid Caesar’s pseudo-german, more like pseudo-english. He used it when people would keep their screen-doors closed as he was trying to interest them in a presentation in their very own living rooms. He claimed it almost always worked as the door answerer would suspect that perfectly understandable english was being distorted by the screen and that if the door were opened clarity would ensue. And it always worked.

  21. Tom Harley says:

    We have lots of Catastrophers in Australia too: Tim Flannery, Robyn Williams (ABC science broadcaster) and our PM, Gillard, to name a few.

  22. Anteros says:

    How about the perspective of the person experiencing the crankiness? Instead of saying “I feel a bit peaky”, they could say “I feel a little bit apocalypsie

  23. Verity Jones says:

    @ Tom, Anteros,
    We have so many catastrophers in Britain that you’d think we’d all be a bit apocalypsie. I think we’re rather more worried about Eurolepsy.

  24. Verity

    Are we allowed phrases? What about ‘carbon hysteria’


    [Reply – but of course Tony – E.M. managed a paragraph! Verity]

  25. onoropu says:

    Fundation – the ability to take any concept and find an idiot to provide ongoing financial backing.

  26. Hillbilly33 says:

    Homogadjustandardisation: the method panixilated Doomsian Catastropher climaflation scientists use to adjixter and farigle raw data before googlehuffing it to empixellated climaphobes

  27. Pingback: Climate Capers into the Enviroment | Cranky Old Crow

  28. Michael Larkin says:

    Warmenkoism, warmenkoize, warmenkoist
    Calorflagellism, calorflagellize, calorflagellist
    Supercalorflagellistic hextoopallytrocious
    Indoctrocalorification, indoctrocalorify, indoctrocalorfier
    Warmanic depression
    Warmanic repression
    Endenialism, endenialise, endenialist
    Paleobolic dropsy
    Endobendographic proliferation syndrome

  29. Brian S says:

    PRESSCIENCE – Issuing a press release about the findings of your global warming ‘research’ before you actually start working on it.

  30. Verity Jones says:

    This is wonderful. just reading through this I have tears of laughter running down my cheeks. Unfortunatley I’ve been a little tied up this evening and for the next few days.

    Thanks to Jo Nova for picking up on it: and until that post I had not realised that it was also extended by a postscript on E.M Smith’s here:

    There are some great words emerging and I think a ‘best of the best’ is needed (it’ll be a day or so), but keep ’em coming.

  31. Clterature review: Literature review as practiced by the IPCC with extensive use of cherry-picking, lots of selection bias

  32. Correction: Cliterature review OR Clitorature review if the context is appropriate

    [Reply – the less said about either the better! Verity]

  33. R. Shearer says:

    Pull a Tom Karl = pretend to have a doctorate when speaking before congress.

  34. agw nonsense says:

    Envirallax ?does it work like a Laxette. Remember the sixties START A MOVEMENT EAT A PRUNE.

    [Reply – see Tom Harley’s comment above and my reply, Verity]

  35. observa says:

    as in reshiftable energy

  36. wilbert merel robichaud says:

    A finite set of Natural events ,usually cold and snow ,occurring when Al Gore preach Global warming.

    [Reply – algoristic weather? V.]

  37. LG says:

    Steve Mcintyre’s “litchurchur” may well belong in this lexicon.
    litchurchur : as in “peerreviewedLitchurchur”.

    • Verity Jones says:

      How about ‘spear review’ for when a reviewer needlessly skewers a paper to prevent publication because it doesn’t agree with the ‘narrowtive’?

  38. Tonyb says:

    If some carbon hysterics can use ‘anecdotal’ in a derisory fashion then we can surely term their dubious data derived from models as being ‘modeldotal’


  39. Antereos

    Ok, but don’t tell him in advance….

  40. Dr. Dave says:


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