I analyse the jargonized climate change language used in very common material including the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's (IPCC's) Fourth Assessment Report (AR4), recent economic policy papers (Stern, The economics of climate change, 2006 and Garnaut, Garnaut climate change review, 2008), government responses, and the full set of abstracts for the Climate Congress held in Copenhagen in March 2009. Despite the best efforts of experts who try explain messages of climate action urgency, the fact of climate change seems to still suffer from a credibility shortfall. At least part of this problem are the climate change communication "code words" as described by Hassol, Eos 89(11):106, 2008. She explains that words such as "anthropogenic, "bias, "debate, "enhance, "positive" (as in positive feedback and trend), and, perhaps most dangerous of all, "theory" have common language meanings very different from their climate change meaning. She says that terms that now seem perfectly reasonable to global change scientists are still jargon in the wider world and always have simpler substitutes. For example few people say "spatial" and "temporal," they say "space" and "time". Surely, in day-to-day speech, people say "caused by us (or people)" rather than anthropogenic. The very terminology we have developed to talk about this diabolical challenge for humanity may be slowing down our ability to galvanize the actions so urgently required.
|Name||Climate change management|
|Conference||Online Climate Change Conference (2nd : 2009)|
|Period||2/11/09 → 6/11/09|
- Climate change