I read with interest Erica Busit’s article, “Language is the Latest Weapon Against the Climate Emergency” partly because, like her, I am an occasional writer who is always thinking of how to use words to best effect and of course because the ongoing debate over climate change is on everyone’s mind.
But the first thing that came to mind is that she’s actually saying that journalists aim to impact people’s thinking so that they end up agreeing that there is a “climate crisis” and that it’s all settled. because “scientific facts prove it’s true there is a crisis demanding government action.” She also refers to using language as a “weapon.” I just think that’s a little bit aggressive for anyone who thinks they are serving a good cause “peacefully” and honestly.
Two elements: First is that journalists are employed to write materials that grab people’s attention.This is entirely about making money for the publishers in every country. It is not about anything but making money for the journalists and for their employers. Second is that scientific theories are never settled, theories must be constantly open to being questioned on the basis of new findings. And new findings may be scientific facts not taken into account at the time the theory was advanced.
Another element unmentioned is that this particular theory was created by politicians and the politicians were all of certain political parties which promote the idea of using government potency (or power) to achieve desired goals. That belief is actually another theory, a political science theory, it could be said.
So the British publication known as The Guardian has recently decided it’s writers shall use “climate emergency” when referring to the theory that, indeed, the established measurements and projections pose an emergency. Emergency: a serious, unexpected, and often dangerous situation requiring immediate action
Immediate action? 1989 — UK Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher — possessor of a chemistry degree — warns in a speech to the UN that “We are seeing a vast increase in the amount of carbon dioxide reaching the atmosphere… The result is that change in future is likely to be more fundamental and more widespread than anything we have known hitherto.” She calls for a global treaty on climate change. So the “emergency” has existed for about 30 years — more than a whole generation. That’s a pretty slow moving emergency and obviously not reason to stampede the public.
Lets notice here that PM Thatcher held a degree in chemistry, not in any of the Earth Sciences. It’s significant because many of the people quoted have degrees in a science but not in any of the Earth Sciences. Such use of non experts to ‘establish and confirm facts’ isn’t correct use of the Scientific Method. It is very convincing to lay persons, however, and that means for voters in democratic countries. No, PM Thatcher was a politician and her motives necessarily involved political gain. Moving votes was her actual specialty.
In the U.S. it was politician (and one time vice president) Al Gore who took the lead in promoting the theory of climate change as a threat to humanity. His timeline might as well start at 2006, the year the starred in the movie, “Inconvenient Truth.” So another politician weighs in in agreement with a British politician of “opposing political ideology.” But in the U.S. it was the conservative political ideologues who opposed Mr. Gore (who, being a Democrat, was on the left).
Mr. Gore was awarded the Nobel Prize in 2007 for starring in that movie. But the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) issued its first climate change assessment report in 1990. “Intergovernmental panel” means another body of politicians (in way over their heads) were setting out to issue a series of these reports promoting the theory (still lacking genuine criticism) that increased global temperatures were creating an “emergency.”
That’s enough to give the overall picture. Despite the convincing surface picture being projected by politicians and the always crisis hungry Press, no one can honestly claim this theory has withstood any kind of real scientific review.
And no one can say that “climate change deniers” have been any better. Their position produces a massive contradiction of known facts: The world’s climate DOES change and at times the changes have been great as when the series of ice ages began about 3 million years ago.
It is those series of global glaciations that has been omitted from this whole discussion. I can’t think of a single so-called authority who has pointed out that (1) we are in an interglacial period with the remnants of the last ice age still melting away and (2) that the known ice ages all produced massive reductions in terrestrial food sources. Right now, in fact, most of the land areas above and below 40º latitude are restricted to seasonal food production. In addition, though the worst of the ice age are gone, human populations are impacted by their need to maintain billions of dollars worth of infrastructure and with spend billions more repairing infrastructure damage caused by cold weather (aka, winter seasons). Winters produce things like flu epidemics. Winters require people to buy cold weather clothing, winters force people to use increased amounts of energy — usually involving the consumption of coal and petroleum.
Now lets look at the theory destroying bit of real Earth Science. I mean of course that it’s scientifically established that, while we have know only the last 80,000 years which include the last major ice age, the previous ages going back to the beginning of the Triassic period had much higher CO2 levels and much higher global temperatures. There was no species like humans which used technology and industry to permit survival, the species going back over 160 million years flourished in tropical heat from pole to pole and there was no sea ice, no glaciers.
So it’s established: humans arose in regions near the Equator, they slowly migrated to northern and southern latitudes and could survive the cold in those regions only because they knew how to make or use shelters, how to use fire and how to make clothes that protected them from the cold. They never needed protection from tropical temperatures in the first place.
In additional to all of that, we know too that (1) development of alternate energy sources is being pushed ahead to meet the time (2) when fossil fuels run out! So man made global warming through CO2 production will END by itself.
Even if the journalist and politicians are sincere: the theory they believe in cannot be a valid theory on which to base (or enforce) “emergency” or “crisis” corrective action.
And none of these “professionals” have asked what the people of Detroit, Cleveland, Minneapolis, New York or Moscow want in the way of climate. They are so eager to be “leaders” with luxury living to think of those millions.