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Libs Ditch Terms 'Climate Change,' 'Global Warming,' Create New Terms To Scare Innocent People

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I can think of few publications of worth further to the left than the U.K. Guardian. It occasionally does good journalism, after all, and if you want to find out what British leftists who aren’t thinking for themselves are thinking, there are few sources that provide such a detailed guide.

This may have contributed to why I wasn’t entirely surprised when The Guardian became one of the first major media outlets to officially ditch the terms “climate change” and “global warming” because they weren’t scary enough.

“The Guardian has updated its style guide to introduce terms that more accurately describe the environmental crises facing the world,” environment editor Damian Carrington announced in a piece on Friday.

“Instead of ‘climate change’ the preferred terms are ‘climate emergency, crisis or breakdown’ and ‘global heating’ is favoured over ‘global warming’, although the original terms are not banned.”

Well, big day for Newspeak at the Ingsoc headquarters. Pray tell, why are we making this change, U.K. Guardian?

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“We want to ensure that we are being scientifically precise, while also communicating clearly with readers on this very important issue,” editor in chief Katharine Viner said.

“The phrase ‘climate change’, for example, sounds rather passive and gentle when what scientists are talking about is a catastrophe for humanity.”

“Increasingly, climate scientists and organisations from the UN to the Met Office are changing their terminology, and using stronger language to describe the situation we’re in,” she said.

This sounds curiously like the reasoning Calvin gave to Hobbes when he said that the big bang theory ought to be rechristened “the horrendous space kablooie.”

Do you think the "climate emergency" is overblown?

That, however, was a comic-strip 6-year-old talking to a semi-imaginary stuffed tiger being. This is the editor in chief of one of the most influential papers in the world talking to her readership. You may perhaps begin to notice the problem here.

There are several reasons this is eye-rollingly bad.

Firstly, if you have to use scarier language to get your readers to believe something, what does that say about how much credit you give them? This goes for anyone who’s using “climate emergency” or “heating crisis kablooie” or whatever — if you lack an innate confidence in the ability of people to understand how right you are, how serious the cause you’re espousing is, that means you either underestimate them or overestimate your own grasp of the subject.

Secondly, it becomes clear later in the story that this isn’t just about making things sound scarier: “Other terms that have been updated, including the use of ‘wildlife’ rather than ‘biodiversity’, ‘fish populations’ instead of ‘fish stocks’ and ‘climate science denier’ rather than ‘climate sceptic’. In September, the BBC accepted it gets coverage of climate change ‘wrong too often’ and told staff: ‘You do not need a ‘denier’ to balance the debate.’” (Emphasis ours.)

Ah, yes. So, for instance, if you don’t buy The Guardian’s party line regarding this, you’re a “science denier” and can be excluded. This includes those who believe that anthropogenic climate change is real but isn’t as serious as those in the green movement claim.

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And make no mistake, that’s where The Guardian is standing. Consider the fact that it has included a quote from Greta Thunberg, the 16-year-old Swedish climate change extremist given to spouting profoundly hyperbolic rhetoric in a preternatural monotone: “It’s 2019. Can we all now call it what it is: climate breakdown, climate crisis, climate emergency, ecological breakdown, ecological crisis and ecological emergency?”

So, that’s your expert? That’s who you’re citing for a style change? Thunberg has literally called for the replacement of all of our current political systems because they’re not doing enough to fight carbon emissions, and she’s being considered more rational than someone who expresses skepticism regarding either the science behind or the extremity of climate change.

I’m not going to lay out the specifics of climate change — sorry, climate breakdown — disagreement here, because a) it would take forever and has been done elsewhere and b) it’s not as if The Guardian actually did, either.

Instead, what I’m drawing attention to here is the methodology. Calling whatever is happening to our planet a “climate emergency” instead of “climate change” does little to change what’s happening to the planet. It’s designed to change people’s opinions through fear. That should tell you a lot about the motivation behind the terminology.

What this will all end up doing, I suspect, is making Guardian readers feel better. People know when they’re being demagogued, even if the demagogue wants to fool them. They understand cultural jump-scares.

But yet again, at least we know what liberals who aren’t thinking for themselves are thinking.

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C. Douglas Golden is a writer who splits his time between the United States and Southeast Asia. Specializing in political commentary and world affairs, he's written for Conservative Tribune and The Western Journal since 2014.
C. Douglas Golden is a writer who splits his time between the United States and Southeast Asia. Specializing in political commentary and world affairs, he's written for Conservative Tribune and The Western Journal since 2014. Aside from politics, he enjoys spending time with his wife, literature (especially British comic novels and modern Japanese lit), indie rock, coffee, Formula One and football (of both American and world varieties).
Morristown, New Jersey
Catholic University of America
Languages Spoken
English, Spanish
Topics of Expertise
American Politics, World Politics, Culture