Trudeau Govt. And State-Funded CBC Will Now Use Scarier Term: Climate Emergency
While it may be hard to believe, the Trudeau government and the CBC have concluded the language they currently use to describe climate change hasn’t been apocalyptic enough.
So now, Environment Minister Catherine McKenna and the state-funded public broadcaster will be using the term “climate emergency” in place of climate change.
McKenna included the phrase in a recent Liberal motion before Parliament to declare Canada “is in a national climate emergency,” as did NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh.
According to the U.K.’s Guardian newspaper — which recently updated its style guide, replacing “climate change” with preferred terms, “climate emergency, crisis or breakdown” and “global warming” with “global heating” — the CBC is doing the same.
The Guardian reported that after its changes to its style guide, “Senior CBC management told staff they were able to use the terms ‘climate crisis’ and ‘climate emergency’ when covering the wide-ranging impacts of temperature rises around the world.”
CBC News standards editor Paul Hambleton said:
“Neutrality is an important principle in our journalism. We recognize that ‘climate crisis’ and ‘climate emergency’ are increasingly common expressions in debates over what to do about global warming. ‘Climate change; and ‘global warming’ offer a neutral starting point for that debate, but as with all our journalistic decisions, context matters.”
Nonsense. If neutrality, context, and accuracy, were important, politicians and media, would never use “climate change” in the context they are today.
No one disputes the climate is changing.
The issue is “anthropogenic” or “man-made” climate change, or what Prime Minister Justin Trudeau would call “people-made” climate change.
That is, the impact that rising man-made industrial greenhouse gas emissions have had on natural climate change for the past 150 years, which most climate scientists have concluded is now causing abnormal warming of the planet.
Similarly, the term “climate denier” — to which McKenna has added a new twist, “gender climate denier,” meaning someone who does not accept that anthropogenic climate change disproportionately impacts women — is neither accurate nor neutral.
For one thing, many politicians, environmentalists, climate scientists and journalists who use it acknowledge they mean to equate climate denial with Holocaust denial, which is simultaneously disgusting, sleazy, absurd and inaccurate.
Again, no one denies there’s a climate or that it’s changing.
Skepticism about the widely accepted scientific theory that human activities are influencing the climate, or that another tax will resolve it, is not the same as advocating the extermination of 6 million Jews, along with 6 million other innocent victims in the Holocaust.
That this even has to be said shows how far from reality the public discussion of this issue has strayed.
The irony is that constantly escalating the doomsday rhetoric about this issue is doomed to fail.
For example, the U.K.’s Institute for Public Policy Research, a progressive think-tank, concluded 13 years ago after a major study of how the media, politicians and environmental groups communicate about climate change, that the doomsday rhetoric was backfiring.
As Simon Retallack writing in, appropriately, the Guardian in 2006 noted:
“The alarmist language widely used to discuss climate change is likely to be having a counter-productive effect … tantamount to ‘climate porn,’ by offering a terrifying and perhaps secretly thrilling spectacle, but ultimately making the issue appears unreal and distancing the public from the problem … It contains an implicit counsel of despair that the problem is ‘just too big for us to take on.’ Its sensationalism … distances people from the issue.”
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