Linked Up: Good Panic?, Eco Vocab, and Bondof

Remember that whole swine flu H1N1 virus thing?  Well, it’s still around — with a few thousand cases, according to the WHO.  Might the ridiculous panic that surrounded the disease actually have been a net positive?  Well, it’s good to know the WHO was prepared (even “excessively” prepared), but on balance, no, I don’t think irrational fear-mongering was a beneficial idea either.

Joe Queenan eagerly mocks environmental messaging, but doesn’t seem to make a point beyond the fact that it would be silly to start calling the ozone layer “that awesome thing in the sky.”  Not far below his sarcasm is a telling reality — that WSJ readers can laugh contentedly at environmentalists’ rebranding efforts only shows that they too believe that the fight for what to call something is one of the most important in the anti-environmentalist’s crusade.

And a case against Bono and Bob Geldof — or “Bondof,” as one confused taxi driver in Ethiopia offered — as stereotype-perpetuaters and usurpers of African voices.  Fair point, and “Do they know it’s Christmas in Africa?” still always makes me cringe.