Is It “Global Warming,” “Climate Change,” or “Climate Disruption”?

By:  William F. Jasper
Is It “Global Warming,” “Climate Change,” or “Climate Disruption”?

Yale Center advises a return to using “global warming” to stir more fear for political uses, as public concern fades and data show no warming over past 17 years.

Is “climate change” or “global warming” more useful to policy makers and politicians for scaring the public into supporting vast transfers of power and wealth to the political classes? That is an important question that has divided the climate alarmist lobby for quite some time, and two recent high-powered reports from alarmist camps appear to be at odds with each other over the matter.

In May, the Yale Project on Climate Change Communication issued a report entitled, "What’s In A Name? Global Warming vs Climate Change", which found that using the term “global warming” is more effective than “climate change” in eliciting alarm and stirring public activism. However, a new Parliamentary report from the United Kingdom's House of Commons Science and Technology Committee entitled "Communicating Climate Science" — and a response to that report from the UK government — indicates that alarmist saturation and exaggeration using both terms has reached a level that is counterproductive.

“Alarm over climate turns people off,” is the headline for a story on the Parliament inquiry report by Ben Webster, Environment Editor for The Times, one of the UK’s major dispensers of climate alarmism. The Times reported:

Alarmist claims about the impact of global warming are contributing to a loss of trust in climate scientists, an inquiry has found.

Apocalyptic language has been used about greenhouse gas emissions as “a deliberate strategy by some to engage public interest”. However, trying to make people reduce emissions by frightening them has “harmful consequences” because they often respond suspiciously or decide the issue is “too scary to think about”.

“Public interest in climate change has fallen sharply in the past few years,” reported Webster, “according to a survey last month which found the number of Google searches for the phrase ‘global warming’ had fallen by 84 per cent since the peak in 2007.”

The Times’ Webster went on to recount some of the embarrassing scandals that have  shattered the credibility of the proponents of anthropogenic (man-made) global warming (AGW):

Confidence in climate science was undermined in 2010 by the revelation that the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, a UN scientific body which advises governments, had falsely claimed that Himalayan glaciers could disappear by 2035. Scientists have also been accused of exaggerating the rate of loss of Arctic sea ice by claiming the North Pole could be ice-free in summer by 2020. Other scientists say this is unlikely before 2050.

Claims were made a decade ago, and later retracted, that the snows of Kilimanjaro, Africa’s highest mountain, could disappear by 2015.

The Parliamentary inquiry, led by Professor Chris Rapley, former director of the Science Museum (and an AGW alarmist), concluded: “Alarmist messages that fail to materialise contribute to the loss of trust in the science community.”

It’s the old case of the boy who cried “Wolf!” too many times, or the Chicken Little who foolishly claimed the sky was falling.

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