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Climate Change Messaging

By:
Edward A. Reid Jr.
Posted On:
Jun 12, 2018  at  at 6:57 AM
Category
Climate Change

The consensed climate science community continues to search for an effective messaging approach which would convince the general public of the rightness and urgency of its cause and propel a concerted public effort to control the climate. The various messaging approaches pursued to date have been ineffective in achieving a sufficient level of climate hysteria to overcome continued apathy and skepticism.

Once the transition from the global cooling concerns of the 1970s to global warming concerns had been completed, it rapidly became obvious that the public was no more concerned about a little warming than they had been about a little cooling. Obviously, The Day After Tomorrow and An Inconvenient Truth were just not adequate to the task.

Global warming then became global climate change, which broadened the concept from temperature to inclusion of any and all abnormal or extreme weather events, including heat waves, cold waves, droughts, heavy rains, heavy snows, floods, hurricanes, typhoons, tornadoes, glacial retreat, rising sea level, ocean “acidification” and coral bleaching. Virtually all unusual weather events were attributed to climate change, which led to the frustrated observation that “Weather is only climate when it’s hot or when people die.”

It has been common practice for decades to assign names to tropical cyclones. However, the enhanced focus on weather and climate has now resulted in the assignment of names to winter storms. It has also introduced new terms to the weather lexicon, including Polar Vortex and Bomb Cyclone; and, the application of pejoratives, such as Snowmageddon. Climate change has also been referred to as Climate Weirding, Climate Apocalypse and Climategeddon.

We have been told of climate tipping points, beyond which recovery to “normal” conditions would be impossible. We have heard various brief periods of time referred to deadlines for dramatic climate action to avoid imminent catastrophe. We have been regaled with aspirational “goals”, such as keeping warming below 2°C, or even better below 1.5°C.

We have been told that the science is settled, though it has recently become abundantly clear that it is very unsettled. Those who question the orthodoxy of the consensed climate science community are referred to with pejoratives such as climate denier, climate change denier, anti-science and climate zombie, though they typically deny nothing. There have even been calls to silence, institutionalize, prosecute, persecute and kill “deniers”, based on the assertion that they represent a danger to public health and safety.

There was great hype associated with the runup to the Paris Accords, which were proclaimed to be the last, best hope of salvation from the impending climate change catastrophe. However, following the US declaration of intent to withdraw from the Paris Accords, the consensed climate science community is now raising concerns that the commitments contained in the Paris Accords are insufficient to avoid climate catastrophe. Interestingly, these concerns are accompanied by assurances that the objectives of the Accords can be achieved without the participation of the United States.

The most recent changes to the messaging suggest that the climate change discussion must be divorced from politics, which is judged to be a divisive influence. The “elites” admired by the unconvinced must be enlisted to gain their acceptance and support. However, it is difficult to separate politics from climate change when the ultimate goal of the consensed political class is a transition from capitalism to a socialist/communist global cooperative.