I’ve long since pondered that what’s needed for the layman to navigate the acronym and buzzword-heavy world of the ‘Green Movement’ is some sort of dictionary; a Glossary if you will. This would help the uninitiated cut through the jargon, the science and the species talk that can make the world of your standard Ecologist sound like so much gobbledegook. Starting – as is the custom of things – with A, here a frequently disgruntled mid-level functionary in the movement (me) sheds light on the words conservationists use and what they really mean; revelations which will surely knock all that Xenu stuff into a cocked hat. So here, for all the non-believers out there – the infidels, if you will – I give you the Green Glossary:
Acorn, (n). A marvel of nature. When planted in the ground, within a mere 300 years a single acorn can become a fully mature oak, replete with a multitude of branches, small and large. Vulnerable to a whole host of injurious potentialities, from disease, wind-sheer, fire and fungus, but more commonly victim to clear-felling where an alternate crop would be more financially beneficial. An allegory for the sector.
Agenda, (n). An item often seen in the possession of your intrepid environmentalist. Frequently observed being dragged up the hill of general apathy.
Agriculture, (n). Potentially the movement’s greatest ally. See Also: THE ENEMY
Alder, (n). A tree readily identifiable by its repeated cock and balls motif.
Alien, (n). Anything with the temerity to be where it is not wanted.
Alkanet, Green, (n). An example of the general perversity of botanists in the matter of labelling.
Amphibian, (n). Able to enjoy the best of both worlds. Despite popular belief that the world is run by an unseen cabal of lizard overlords, it is in actual fact run by a secret sect of amphibian despots. This is yet another example of the general ecological illiteracy of the general populace (i.e. you)
Ancient, (adj). As pertaining to trees, having reached an age of such venerable decrepitude as to be almost, but not entirely, dead and yet paradoxically more alive and of interest to ecologists than ever. As pertaining to ecologists, having reached an age of such venerable decrepitude as to finally be of interest to other ecologists.
Animal, (n). The stock currency of the movement. Cuddlier and more charismatic animals represent higher denomination notes, flora and insect life account for the smaller change.
Ant, (n). An insect worshipped by the movement for 364 days of the year. On the other day – Flying Ant Day – it is roundly abused and cursed. Many followers take part in the annual Flying Ant Day dance, which to the ignorant may appear like so much limp-wristed flailing. It is thought that the annual Flying Ant Day celebrations are performed in order to disabuse ants of the notion that they need not be earth-bound. As such, it has so far been a demonstrable success in forestalling the Rise of the Insects.
Anti- (adj). A prefix often associated with the movement.
Apocalypse, (n). A long-expected (and in some quarters, long hoped for) levelling of the playing field.
Arborist, (n). Lunatics who sit in the crown of trees, throwing chainsaws back and forth, whistling all the while. They perform the same religious function as the bull-leapers of Minoan Crete.
Arctic, (n). An Atlantis for the 26th Century.
Ash, (n). An Elm for the 21st Century
Aster, (n). Probably what that pretty flower that caught your eye was.
Attenborough, David – A major deity of the movement. To be worshipped in 1-hour stretches on Sunday afternoons, not unlike other, more erroneously popular deities.
Autumn, (n). A season. A time of year notable amongst conservationists as the period when they start to think about, maybe, possibly getting out and doing some work. Just as soon as the weather clears.
Avocet, (n). A stilt-walking, long-faced, poster-boy and corporate shill for a major arm of the movement.
Next week: B. Please send in your suggestions