Amitav Ghosh got the story wrong and the metaphor wrong when he gave interviews recently to several Indian newspaper and reports. He said ''We are like frogs in boiling water'': ......Author Amitav Ghosh on climate ...
Times of India-2016.7.23.
HEADLINE: which was retweeted by hundreds of readers in India: ''We are like frogs in boiling water: Author Amitav Ghosh on climate change'' (IANS interview)
from the article: ''This is one of the major reasons, he says, that he wrote this book, hoping that it would serve the cause by bringing environment into the public conversation.
"It's like we are the frogs in boiling water which keep looking around but don't recognise that the water is boiling," he said.
But....pay attention Amitavji....
The boiling frog is an anecdote describing a frog slowly being boiled alive.
Pay attention, Dr Ghosh: The premise is that if a frog is put suddenly into boiling water, it will jump out, but if it is put in cold water which is then brought to a boil slowly, it will not perceive the danger and will be cooked to death.
The story is often used as a metaphor for the inability or unwillingness of people to react to or be aware of threats that rise gradually.
While some 19th-century experiments suggested that the underlying premise is true if the heating is sufficiently gradual, according to contemporary biologists the premise is false: a submerged frog gradually heated will jump out.
The ''boiling frog story'' is actually generally offered as a metaphor cautioning people to be aware of even gradual change lest they suffer eventual undesirable consequences. It may be invoked in support of a slippery slope argument as a caution against creeping normality.
The story has been retold many times and used to illustrate widely varying viewpoints. Among them: Al Gore used a version of the story in a New York Times op ed, in his presentations and the 2006 movie An Inconvenient Truth to describe ignorance about global warming. In the documentary movie version the frog is rescued before it is harmed.
So... reporters in India who never questioned this: pay better attention next time:
Dr Ghosh did not do his homework and if he tells this story to USA and UK reporters in the fall, he should try to get the facts straight. Not one person in India called him on this. All the reporters there just parroted what Ghosh said. Without question the quote and looking it up on Google, something Dr Ghosh could also have done. Maybe when he goes to the USA and the UK to PR his very important essay book on climate he will get it right in the West. Because Western reports will call him on it if he repeats the same blooper he offered in India this summer.
- We are like frogs in boiling water: Author Amitav Ghosh on climate change (IANS interview) http://www.business-standard.com/article/news-ians/we-are-like-frogs-in-boiling-water-author-amitav-ghosh-on-climate-change-ians-interview-116072300369_1.html#.V5NGj58yuro.twitter …
- We are like frogs in boiling water: Author
@GhoshAmitav on climate change http://www.saharasamay.com/lifestyle/676595238/we-are-like-frogs-in-boiling-water-author-amitav-ghosh-on-climat.html …