On Climate, Ice Cream, and Gender Slurs

Writing for the Washington Times, Jennifer Harper describes the recent exchange between writer Valerie Richardson and CNN correspondent Bill Weir. Here’s the sequence:

  • Recently the EPA came to Denver to promote its stiffer energy regulations (see my previous post).
  • It was an unusually cool day at 58 degrees. Richardson wrote, “The Climate Reality Project [organized by Al Gore] brought its ‘I’m Too Hot’ trucks and offers of free ice cream to this week’s Environmental Protection Agency hearings on power-plant emissions, but the climate wasn’t cooperating.”
  • Weir Tweeted, “Weather is not climate, you willfully ignorant f**ksticks.”

Of course Weir is correct about the difference between climate and weather—a given day can be unusually hot or cold regardless of overall climate trends. Unfortunately for Weir, there is some evidence that the climate has actually cooled in recent years.

The climate debate aside, how come Weir can get away with using a slur referring to a penis? If a right-winger had called a left-winger the “c-word,” he’d have been crucified.