'Climate change' is the new 'global warming' — the green linguistics battle

Recent focus groups indicate we should drop "energy efficiency" and "the environment" as well, and reframe them as "saving money for a more prosperous future" and "the air we breathe, the water our children drink", respectively.


Sometimes leading the debate is a case of first-mover-advantage, as in the case of  the coal industry staking out "clean, green coal" in their full-page advertisements.


And sometimes, the defenders depend on having a spirited song to sing while marching into battle.  And what better way than coal ringtones -- I don't make this stuff up.  Be sure to scroll to the bottom and chose your favorite, the "Male Voice Choir (Up Tempo Mix)" or the "Bluegrass Mix".


I recently attended a Climate Change forum where I heard that the search for solutions to achieve a reduced-carbon future has shifted from seeking a single "silver bullet" to accepting a portfolio of solutions, or so-called "silver buckshot".


Please send your favorite phrases and neo-logisms to me at @paulmess or [email protected]

So it's come to this?  "Global warming" is out and "climate change" is in?  We are no longer looking for a "silver bullet", but rather seek "silver buckshot"?

Based on a recent article in the NYTimes, linguistic battles are shaping as PR firms and lobbyists look to shape the language of debate over climate-change legislation working its way through the halls of Congress.  Though, navigating this new lexicon may help to improve the image of this most important social, environmental, and geo-political issue.  Perhaps when renamed, "global warming" will climb from its last-place position of twenty important voter concerns (based on a recent Pew Research poll).

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