Some myths pushed by the anti-science crowd are so laughably backwards that repeating them should be grounds for expulsion from homo ‘sapiens’ sapiens. And so it is with the doubly wrong claim that progressives are now using the term ‘climate change’ because the planet has supposedly stopped warming.
Of course, it hasn’t actually stopped warming (see NASA reports the 12-month running mean global temperature has reached a new record in 2010 “” despite recent minimum of solar irradiance: “We conclude that global temperature continued to rise rapidly in the past decade” and “there has been no reduction in the global warming trend of 0.15-0.20°C/decade that began in the late 1970s”).
But since the deniers make up stuff about the science, why shouldn’t they make up stuff about everything else? The most recent iteration of the dumbest denier myth came from hominid Tim Phillips, president of Americans For Prosperity, the anti-science, anti-EPA, polluter-funded group that is a driving force behind the Tea Party:
We started looking now at the scientific impact and the fact that over the last ten years it appears it was cooling and not warming. Hence the name change, you notice how it went from “global warming” to “climate change.” Whenever the left gets in trouble, they change the name! It was liberals, now the public has repudiated liberalism, and now it’s “progressivism.” They did the same thing with “global warming” and switched over to “climate change.”
Progressivism, of course, is a very old idea.
Actually it is conservatives who typically change the names of things, as in refusing to say “Democratic” but only “Democrat” and insisting on “death tax” rather than “estate tax,” even though only big estates are taxed, not death.
That latter switch was championed by the GOP’s spinmaster, Frank Luntz, who, as it turns out, also championed switching from ‘global warming’ to ‘climate change’ in 2003. Scientists, environmentalists, progressives, and frankly the whole darn planet have always used both terms — hence the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, established in 1988.
It’s time for us to start talking about “climate change” instead of global warming and “conservation” instead of preservation.1) “Climate change” is less frightening than “global warming”. As one focus group participant noted, climate change “sounds like you’re going from Pittsburgh to Fort Lauderdale.” While global warming has catastrophic connotations attached to it, climate change suggests a more controllable and less emotional challenge.
Peter Sinclair has devoted an entire video to debunking this myth:
I use both terms, though, as I’ve said many times, I prefer “Hell and High Water,” since is more descriptive of what is to come:
- Royal Society special issue details ‘hellish vision’ of 7°F (4°C) world — which we may face in the 2060s!
- A stunning year in climate science reveals that human civilization is on the precipice
Others prefer “Global Weirding.” Whatever you call it, it ain’t gonna be pretty.