Many years ago (January 2011) we referred to “Political Change for a Climate in Crisis”, an introduction to our first Public Forum on climate change. In a later blog we noted that A World Public Health Crisis is coming! Shortly thereafter we referred to the theme of a book “The Great Disruption”: Why the Climate Crisis will bring on the end of shopping and the birth of a new world.
Although the word “Crisis” was on our mind it was not in our vocabulary. We used “Climate Change” and “Global Warming” because these terms were used by climate activists, scientists, government representatives and the press. We did not wish to overstate our case, which could reduce the effectiveness of our message.
The Manchester Guardian has been a great resource over the past decade. The Guardian has just advised that it has updated its style guide to introduce terms that more accurately describe the environmental risks facing the world. Instead of “climate change” the Guardian’s preferred terms are “climate emergency, crisis or breakdown”, and “global heating” is favoured over “global warming.”
“We want to ensure that we are being scientifically precise, while also communicating clearly with readers on this very important issue,” said the editor-in-chief, Katharine Viner. “The phrase ‘climate change’, for example, sounds rather passive and gentle when what scientists are talking about is a catastrophe for humanity.”