Climate change urgency
Tom Dougherty, CEO – Stealing Share
28 May 2019
Increasing climate change urgency means a new name
The worst thing that ever happened to increasing climate change urgency was scientists initially calling it global warming. While technically correct (the Earth is warming), the doubters kept measuring it by their home thermometers. That is, when weather turns cold, they just say, “Well, how about that global warming?”
Increasing climate change urgency is a continuing crusade. But it still runs into roadblocks from doubters, the current US presidential administration and some countries. Others are on full alert.
In fact, according to a recent survey by the Pew Research Center, many voters in several nations list climate change as our greatest threat. Even more so than ISIS, cyber attacks, and North Korea. So, climate change urgency is increasing.
But it still feels that our concern is not as intensive as it should be. US voters, for example, list ISIS and cyber attacks as greater threats than climate change.
Therefore, the Columbia Journalist Review and The Nation are urging media to effectively rebrand climate change. Because the current term sounds so passive.
“The term climate change was an improvement over global warming. Now it’s time to take the next step in raising the level of climate change urgency by representing what’s truly dire about the situation.”
Climate change urgency needs greater emotion
Instead, the Covering Climate Now project encourages much more active terms like climate emergency, climate crisis or climate breakdown. Because the next step in increasing climate change urgency is making it feel like a true threat.
In rebranding anything, emotion always rules. You can sport names that accurately describe the brand, product or company. But you’re looking for meaning that prompts action. While the feeling of climate change urgency is certainly greater than it was, let’s say, 10 years ago. The emotional impact isn’t always evident.
Those new terms ramp up the danger climate change presents. Or shall I say, what the climate crisis says. UN climate scientists warn that carbon emissions must be halved in the next 12 years to…save the damn planet.
If that doesn’t suggest a dire threat with an urgency to act, I don’t know what is.
The term climate change was an improvement over global warming. Now it’s time to take the next step in raising the level of climate change urgency by representing what’s truly dire about the situation.
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