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Climate is generating a lot of linguistic heat.
--Technically Speaking, IEEE Spectrum, August 2006

Climate change was a hot enough topic that I wrote about it in this column in 2006, but recent polls show it’s no longer a major component of the average person’s stress portfolio. Was global warming just another faddish obsession? We can look to language for an answer—new words are the cultural by-products of our preoccupations. And sure enough, while the idea of climate change may be on the back burner, it’s clearly on high heat, because new words and phrases are still bubbling up.

Talk about climate change often starts with carbon dioxide—calculating one’s carbon footprint, weighing the pros and cons of carbon offsets, or debating the ethics of carbon trading. But when concern becomes obsession, a new class of environmentally conscious person is born: the carborexic, a person who obsessively minimizes his or her use of carbon.

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Asad Madni and the Life-Saving Sensor

His pivot from defense helped a tiny tuning-fork prevent SUV rollovers and plane crashes

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Asad Madni and the Life-Saving Sensor

In 1992, Asad M. Madni sat at the helm of BEI Sensors and Controls, overseeing a product line that included a variety of sensor and inertial-navigation devices, but its customers were less varied—mainly, the aerospace and defense electronics industries.

And he had a problem.

The Cold War had ended, crashing the U.S. defense industry. And business wasn’t going to come back anytime soon. BEI needed to identify and capture new customers—and quickly.

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