Don't say Climate Change: "Its a poisonous term to use"

Sabrina McCormick, Associate Professor, Environment and Occupational Health, George Washington University

Sabrina McCormick, Associate Professor, Environment and Occupational Health, George Washington University

EPA funded Sociologist Sabrina McCormick has some advice for city officials trying to push their climate projects past the legislature;

The best way to fight climate change? Don’t call it climate change.

American cities from Boston to Baton Rouge are getting hammered by hurricanes, torrential downpours, and blizzards amped up by climate change. Maybe that’s why Americans are coming around to the idea that the climate is actually changing. But are all the floods, heat waves, and other disasters spurring cities to prepare for our overheated future?

Sabrina McCormick, a sociologist at George Washington University who once investigated how cities cope with disasters for the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, set out earlier this year to find out. Her study, recently published in the journal Climatic Change, breaks down 65 in-depth interviews with city officials and experts in six cities — Portland, Boston, Los Angeles, Raleigh, Tucson, and Tampa. It seeks to answer the etiquette question from hell: How does a city go about preparing for something that its residents would rather not think about, or even believe in?

In a recent interview, McCormick said she learned that many city officials believe the key to getting everybody on board to battle climate change is to avoid uttering the words “climate change.” It’s “a poisonous term to use,” one said. …

Read more:

The study referenced by the Grist article;

Localized vulnerability assessments are critical to effective climate adaptation. However, the differences between how local decision-makers and experts see vulnerability have not yet been fully explored, especially in the United States. Seeing possible distinctions between these approaches is critical since it is necessary to ensure a comprehensive, accountable approach. This research explores the distinct approach of local stakeholders to conceptualizing climate vulnerability in six American cities. Sixty-five interviews of cross-sectoral local stakeholders were conducted in: Boston (MA), Los Angeles (CA), Portland (OR), Raleigh (NC), and Tampa (FL). Findings demonstrate that conceptualizations of vulnerability are affected by intellectual frameworks that tend to orient around infrastructure and human health; that retrospective and prospective thinking are inter-related and affect one another; and that institutionalized forms and biases are critical. These factors shape the way that vulnerability is conceived differently than traditional expert frameworks.

Read more (paywalled):

I’m not sure how McCormick reconciles “an accountable approach” with not mentioning that proposed public works projects are part of a climate agenda. Perhaps accountability means something different to sociologists.

176 thoughts on “Don't say Climate Change: "Its a poisonous term to use"

      • Charles
        + a bunch
        Ditto; + a bunch
        NB – no Moderator, me, but a real gen-you-whine, authentic joint-co-winner of the Nobel Prize for – Ahh – Whatever, Thingy, when the EU, of which I was a – not stunningly willing – citizen, when the EU won, possibly the Peace Prize for tramadol-laced wine-gums, maybe [???] [Note – I am pretty 7200% sure it wasn’t Economics . . . . . . . (Does that surprise you?)].
        My memory might be a nano-tad hazy on this, as we probably had a party lasting some femto-hours.

      • She’s obviously a manipulator, but don’t twist facts. Her CV is honest, unlike some others-“She recently served as a Lead Author on the Special Assessment of the Nobel Prize-winning Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change entitled Managing the Risks of Extreme Events and Disasters to Advance Climate Change Adaptation.” The sentence is designed to mislead, but the grammar is honest- Nobel Peace Prize winning Intergovernmental Panel on Climate change, not something like Nobel Prize winning author of…something.

    • Poisonous simply means the terminology has been exhausted. Without any data, they simply need to reboot with new terminology and definitions.
      Remember “global warming”.

  1. Findings demonstrate that conceptualizations of vulnerability are affected by intellectual frameworks that tend to orient around infrastructure and human health; that retrospective and prospective thinking are inter-related and affect one another; and that institutionalized forms and biases are critical. These factors shape the way that vulnerability is conceived differently than traditional expert frameworks.

    I’ve read this a dozen times and have no idea what she is saying. What is wrong with me?

      • I don’t normally leave replies that are not about science, but that link is extremely funny – and unfortunately, it looks like the text in this article could have been made by that. A postmodern random text paper generator. Incredible.
        More seriously, it is disturbing how deeply entrenched the environmental religion has become in the academic world. Literally, the alarmist elements are taken as a gospel truth, hence the goal of this paper to achieve a “good” outcome using subterfuge.
        I gave up a probable career as an atmospheric science academic because of this nonsense almost 20 years ago. But the level of nonsense in the “soft” sciences has gotten truly insane – I could not survive in academia now whatsoever.

    • I’ll take a crack at explaining the over use of crap here.
      “Findings demonstrate that conceptualizations of vulnerability are affected by intellectual frameworks that tend to orient around infrastructure and human health;”
      finding demonstrate that the way people view each others vulnerability(‘s) are affected by biases and indoctrination that are oriented around infrastructure(aka colleges indoctrinating people) and human health;
      “that retrospective and prospective thinking are inter-related and affect one another;”
      not really sure anything needs to be done to explain that line.
      “and that institutionalized forms and biases are critical.”
      and that colleges promote biases through propaganda are critical.”
      “These factors shape the way that vulnerability is conceived differently than traditional expert frameworks.
      These factors(propaganda through colleges/indoctrination) change how people view vulnerability(aka white man evil, darky god) is conceived differently, traditional appeals to authority of experts from colleges/degree holders/mainstream news shows experts/etc, are not working anymore.
      Basically her argument is its time to rebrand again. Maybe take up the global cooling banner or invent something new like they did with climate weirding.

    • 1) The findings show that how people think about vulnerability centers on health issues and infrastructure.
      2) That thinking about the past and the future are related and affect each other;
      3) That standardized/common beliefs and biases are critical in how vulnerability is perceived.
      4) Rather than frame the arguments in terms of experts proclaiming something, they need to talk in terms of how people perceive or conceive of vulnerabilites.(presumably, a personalized threat or how they will be personally affected).

    • Hmm. Here’s my attempted translation. “When we think about risk we worry about getting sick and basic things failing. Thinking about the future requires thinking about the past. People tend to go along with what other people around them thing. If you want to think about people thinking about risk, think about these things and ignore those boring people who want numbers.”
      Her recommendation seems to be “LIE!” which would make a more cynical person than me wonder if she had followed her own advice.
      Oddly enough I’m reminded of Scott Adams, of Dilbert fame, who (transparently honest) relentlessly pushes the idea that we are all Meat Robots and our reasoning all post hoc rationalization for being pushed around by desires and persuaders. She says that the people SHOULD be manipulated; he says that they ARE.

    • Studies find that people base their thoughts on vulnerability to climactic events around concerns for infrastructure and human health. They look at both the past and future, and the vision of both colors the other. The opinions and politics of the listener play a critical role in how they interpret evidence. Interpretations and plans that ignore these factors will not succeed.
      When translated into legible English, you can see that there is a cogent point in there, though a rather banal one. Probably it’s expanded on in later paragraphs. I truly have no desire to read more.
      It’s not that hard to write legibly. This is supposed to be a paper made to be read and interpreted, not an art book from James Joyce.

    • I worked with a gentleman who at one time filed grant requests with the state for various school funding projects. He explained to me that the requests were to be 20 pages long, have a written goal of the project on the first page and a breakdown of how the funds were to be sent on the last page.
      He also explained that they (almost) never read the 18 pages in between. He had a staple set of 18 pages that he used for every submission to fill those middle pages. They read much like the stuff (above) that you claim you can’t understand.
      By the way, it took over 2 years before anybody questioned their content.

    • This is government contract consultant filler language….and probably a connection to an agency higher up.

    • @Smart Rock:
      I’ll translate (as a youth, I afflicted myself with a sociology class once…)
      “I think fear of damage centers on structures and people; that how we think about the past and future is connected; and our institutions influence what we do. These things cause us to see problems based on experience instead of buying-in to new ‘concensus’ theories.”
      Or as a more free translation: “Those SOBs value knowledge and experience for planning more than our unfounded fantasies, the nerve!”

  2. Re: the key to getting everybody on board to battle climate change is to avoid uttering the words “climate change.”
    We could also note that the key to getting everybody on board a cattle-truck to a death camp is to avoid uttering the words “death camp.”
    At risk of invoking Godwin’s Law, in my first comment. But – the similarities are clear to see.

    • Re: the key to getting everybody on board to battle climate change is to avoid uttering the words “climate change”.
      Oh my, my, ….. and recent history repeats itself.
      The wacko “warminists” were told to quit using the term “global warming” and refer to it as “climate change”.
      And now Sabrina McCormick is instructing the wacko “warminists” to quit using the term “climate change” …… but she didn’t tell them what it should now be called.

    • Well, if they can make an argument for a change that is sufficient without relying on the boogeyman, then it’s probably a good project. After all, a sea wall will protect from the next 100 year storm whether or not CO2 is the cause of anything, and efficiency projects typically pay off eventually.
      The problem only comes when the CO2 reductions are the only benefit.
      Come on, silver lining, y’all?

      • Cost benefit analysis.
        If the cost of the wall exceeds the expected savings from reduced storm damage, then it’s not worth it to build the wall.
        A lot of the time they have to use these exaggerated storms sometime in the future to justify what are little more than make work projects being handed out to friends of the mayor.

  3. “Findings demonstrate that conceptualizations of vulnerability are affected by intellectual frameworks … that retrospective and prospective thinking are inter-related … that vulnerability is conceived differently than traditional expert frameworks.”
    OK, don’t call yourself “grist”, and print crap like that
    do these alarmists have any self-awareness at all?

  4. So really she is just saying “I’ll tell you how to BS people for a while and hopefully when they’re on to the ruse it’ll be too late. It’s like fooling your dog into going for a ride and then taking him to the vet. It’s for his own good, after all.”

    • Reminds me of a classic Far Side ™ cartoon, dog in the back of the car yelling out the window to his fellow dogs; “Hey, I’m going to the vet to get tutored….”
      Har har har….
      Cheers, KevinK

  5. Wait a minute, the reason the term “climate change” is used is because of bad PR associated with CAGW: it’s not warming everywhere, and it’s not causing anything catastrophic anywhere. Are we now to believe that the PC term is also not true? What next “warm giggles?”

  6. If you’re a leftist, and one meme-phrase stops working, float a new, more-fear-inducing meme-phrase. How about, “Capitalist-caused complete climate destruction”?

  7. I believe the “climate” of society is taking shape: what we have is a post-industrial economy that now has time enough (and wealth enough) to employ folks to mince words and guide thoughts.
    When I was young my father worked on roads and dams, my mother was a farmer’s daughter. He aspired to become a certified engineer and work in aerospace, she aspired to be the perfect mother and homemaker (June Cleaver meets John Glenn). To that end he got himself a BS in Electrical Engineering and she a BA in Home Economics. They thrived and had children, of which I was one.
    Before that her father was a construction worker, former Seabee in the Korean War and his father was home schooled, self taught, civil engineer. Neither had aspirations other than to survive well and raise kids. They didn’t achieve “self-actualization” as Abraham Mazlow might have said.
    Now we actually have the leisure to provide Sociologists who specialize in Environment and Occupational Health. My neighbor (a former SDS member in the 60’s) worked for WHO and eventually got herself a job doing county level public health administration. Her first husband was a Chicago School PhD economist. You could see even then they die was cast.
    And it’s bound to get even more interesting as we employ more and more people to tell us exactly how to think. Good luck to all of you, I’ll be leaving soon. Thanks for all the fish. 🙂

    • There must be a name for the phenomenon you describe.
      Everybody wants to become a coordinator, a controller, a master of others.
      But, finally we will recognize that the mass of people resent excessive control of their lives.
      The peasants are revolting. They don’t want to be controlled or mastered by babbling bureaucrats.
      And in most cases, they don’t need it, or stand to benefit from it.
      The fight back is beginning. Trust in experts is vapourising.
      A person might watch the neighbours vacuous and lazy daughter sale through a psychology degree with first class honours. Now she is an expert. But an attempt at normal conversation reveals that she is still the same vacuous and lazy empty-headed fool who left home.
      So step by step, the world is beginning to realize that there is a rot eating away at the core of the system.
      The experts often seem to have no insight or intelligence or even, expertise.
      Nobody wants to be ruled over by people who they suspect are stupider and less well informed than themselves. That’s what we saw in the Brexit vote. The mass of people voted against the experts.

      • @indefatigablefrog:
        I can’t, off the top of my head, come up with a recognized classification for it. It’s embodied in “The Peter Principal” I think, but that’s about as close as I can get.
        In my life I’ve never sought control over others and I’ve actively avoided being in control of them. The idea that advice is a very expensive gift is something I took to heart at an early age, I suppose I’ll have to credit Tolkien for that. Independence and taking care of my own garden have always been my goals and I think I’ve done well by them.
        I hope you’re right the tide is turning but I have my doubts. My son graduated 8 years ago with a BS in bio-engineering at the top of his class of over 600; 4 were bio-engineers. It was very depressing for me. The vast majority were anthropologists and sociologists who likely went on to become WalMart employees. Those were kids who might have become fine mechanics, electricians and carpenters but they ended up wasting four years and hundreds of thousands for a useless “expertise” that, in their mind, granted them privilege to direct others. And you’re right observing they were the same vacuous fools who left home to start.
        My daughter wanted to be a clothing retailer but I insisted she at the least get an AA in business beforehand, so even though I talk the talk, when it came right down to it I didn’t walk the walk. I have no idea how we’ll change and maybe I shouldn’t; it will happen in its own time.

        • I’m also currently tending my over-grown garden, also. This autumn, felling sizeable trees, piece by piece.
          I am also not personally walking the walk. I dropped out of a physics degree, years ago, due to ill health and stress.
          But, I strongly advised my two step-daughters to spend their time in education on learning what was practical and useful.
          If they chose, on some occasions, to ignore my advice, then the reponsibility for that was not mine.
          At least neither of them took any sociology, psychology or the various stupidifying “studies” subjects at A level.
          Some subjects appear to have a permanently devastating effect upon the developing intellect.
          I’m grateful for my solid grounding in the rational tradition, even if all that I am doing now is hiding from the world and amusing myself with home renovation and hobby engineering!!

      • Sorry I can’t reply directly Master Frog, a limitation of WordPress.
        I did some silly things in my first college year, planning to take my A levels in British Constitutional Law, English Lit and Sociology. I ran for (and won), the VP seat at my Student Union (Farnborough Tech.) and got into the Drama program. It was fun, no doubt, but didn’t lead to much in the way of a career unless I wanted to be a bartender (which I did for awhile).
        It took me 3 more years to discover I was paying fees to sit in classes I was passing without even studying the books. I switched to Physics, the Electrical Engineering. I never looked back.

  8. I think she must have helped Australia push through those desalination plants so that they now have water to drink in spite of their unprecedented permanent forever and ever drought. “Don’t say Global Warming because it’s not really warming much but don’t say Climate Change cause it’s not really changing much. Just tell them ‘The scientists say it’s like Godzilla but invisible’. Let’s try that with these deplorable hicks. “

    • I’m actually going to speak out for the desalination plants. While they might have been been built on a bad prediction, the basic idea of them is sound, and should they be maintained until the next swing comes around, they will prove useful when Australia switches to a dry spell again.
      The bet on the desalination plant was lost. However, that’s far better than the “not-even-wrong” projects that are being thrown around, such as power plants that won’t ever produce energy equal to their construction, subsidized electric sports cars for the ultra-wealthy, or converting coal plants to biomass that decrease production while increasing both pollution and direct environmental effects.

      • From an economic stand point, now that they are built, how much they cost doesn’t matter.
        What matters is, does the cost of maintenance exceed the expected future benefit?

      • Deferred maintenance is the bane of all constructed items. You can spend a few thousands or tens of thousands per year, or do a total replacement for tens or hundreds of millions in 10 – 15 years. Like the commercial said, “Pay me now or pay me later.”

      • I tend to agree about the desal plants. I think California should have done something like this with all the money they’ve blown. That being said, it costs about $400M/yr to keep one nonfunctioning plant maintained. The cost of living where long droughts occur, I suppose.

  9. PS: I think this is why God invented grad students; you fill them full of the nonsense you wouldn’t dare say in public then turn them loose to see what happens.

      • No, I wouldn’t (and haven’t) done that to mine. There’s something perverse about grad students, though I also wouldn’t do it to one of them. Maybe it’s just the sort of person that’s attracted to becoming a Professor of Sociology?

  10. Why is it that these negative connotations exist toward climate change? Because fear-mongering has raised a largely disproven theory to the pedestal of “consensus”.
    Climate change is like seasonal weather change in slow motion. Our society has always been able to cope with “climate change” on a month-by-month basis, planning for the extremes. Why should there be any “vulnerability” due to climate changing?
    Oh yeah, climate change only goes one way for folks like her… so maybe she should go back to saying catastrophic global warming and not abuse the term “climate change”.

  11. I recall when “liberals” started calling themselves “progressives” because too many people sneered when talking about “f-ing liberals.” I would note that this change has one thing in common with banning the term “climate change” and that is this: people who now call themselves “progressive” stole the term “liberal” from people who must now call themselves “classical liberals”. The later group were people who championed personal freedom, rule of law, discipline, rational thought and giving deference to the opinions of others.
    As for progressive use of the term “climate change”, it is no more truthful than the progressive term “assault weapon”. In the case of the former, past repeated cycles of glaciation on a vast scale prove that the climate is *always* changing, so this term is nonsense. As for the later, it is a progressive term for something that is defined by nebulous cosmetic criteria, not having anything to do with meaningful function.
    The last insult of progressives is that they claim to be the guardians of moral truth when in fact they are hostile to the truth when it conflicts with their ideology.

    • Your discussion of the way the Marxists seized “liberal” then morphed into “progressives” is particularly poignant, I’ve been fighting that fight awhile myself.
      And let’s face it, if you’re using a weapon against another person or group of people you don’t call it “hunting”; it’s either a defense or an assault. Apparently progressives would prefer not to be the subjects of assault and don’t like the idea someone might defend themselves either. Oh well. The rules weren’t expressly written for them. At least not yet.

  12. “American cities from Boston to Baton Rouge are getting hammered by hurricanes, torrential downpours, and blizzards amped up by climate change.”
    Says who?

    • TA, That’s the one that has left me speechless (so far)
      There has not been one real hurricane for years and the one that just “inundated” Florida and the rest of the SE States was nothing but a large albeit wet tropical storm, it barely reached ( if it did in fact) # 1 hurricane status. But hey the MSM had a “field” day.
      Leaning into gusts of 35 mph standing next to waves and so on. I feel terrible for the people that were flooded and so on but they have been lured into a false situation for years by these same MSM people!

  13. It is simply a “Sudden Historic Intentional Thermal-warming theory” or a “SHI_T theory” for short.
    Just tell people that the scientists pushing this SHI_T theory are making $400K per year and they will understand quick enough.
    Or let’s say that there are 100,000 scientists pushing this SHI_T theory (about right) each making $400,000 per year (about right) and the total works out to $40.0 Billion per year. NOW, people should really understand what this is all about. It is simply corrup_tion.

  14. Too bad that IPCC’s 2013 AR5 Report (Chapter 2, pages 150~285) states that global severe weather incidence/severity trends have been flat/falling for the past 60~100+ years for: hurricanes, typhoons, cyclones, droughts, floods, tornadoes, tropical storms, sub-tropical storms, thunderstorms, hail, etc…. Whoops…
    Yes, any fool that still uses the term “Climate Change” will find the term poisonous to their careers and their credibility in about 5~7 years.
    People around the world are realizing that Leftists cannot effectively control their societies and economies without destroying their lives, and are beginning to realize that Leftists’ “Climate Change” policies are further ruining their economies for no reason whatsoever.
    CAGW is already a disconfirmed hypothesis under the rules of the scientific method:
    Over the past 166 years, global temp trends have ALWAYS fallen when PDO/AMO cycles are in their 30-year cool cycles. This phenomenon will occur again in about 2 years and global cooling will likely be enhanced when the weakest solar cycle since 1790 starts in 2022.
    When CAGW alarmists start trying to blame global cooling on global warming (excuse me, “Climate Change”), that WILL be “a poisonous term to use”….
    And so it goes…. until it doesn’t…

    • I have been looking for a copy of the above graph with error bars for the CMIP5 portion of the graph. I am sure that I have seen it. Any help?

      • Any ‘error bars’ aren’t. RGBatDuke has explained that many times. The 5-95% envelope of the model run spreads is just that, an envelope of simulation results. It is in no way a statistcal comfidence level around the ensemble average, just like the ensemble average is not a statistical mean. Don’t let warmunist doublespeak confuse you.

      • Is this graph designed to show that any fool can adjust temperatures to match a basket of random models?
        The massive El Niño of 1998 has been, to all intents and purposes, disappeared in the above graph – just like the 1940’s ‘blip’. I detect an anthropogenic cause.

    • Toneb, when was that published? 2005, correct? If I recall, the above graph was produced based on the 1995 predictions. If my guesses at dates are correct, then the models in your graph predict precisely nothing during that time. After all, we could be in the onset of an ice age and not have the cooling needed to drop out the bottom.
      Finally, 95% spread of models is an incorrect analysis. You can’t treat models like independent datasets and average them. Models just don’t work that way. They are either accurate or inaccurate, and they definitely aren’t independent since they share code, assumptions, calculations, and data.
      As for peer review. It has been reviewed by many peers over the past decade. Given the furious pace of updates on RetractionWatch, I think we can say that being published in a journal gives no guarantee of accuracy.

    • It’s a mistake to fight propaganda with facts. Completely missing the target.
      Propaganda is an emotional argument. Anything that looks like a fact in it is just window dressing, read the emotion. That’s what people retain. Trying to counter the facts in this sort of propaganda is actually missing the real message.
      There is a Wikipedia page on counterpropaganda, which has some useful info…
      The important part is at the bottom: exposing the propagandists, attacking reasoning errors, exposing the deceits.

  15. It’s a case of “crying wolf” too many times. People tune “climate change” out because it is not affecting their lives. They don’t see what all the fuss is about. So they ignore all the warnings more and more.
    This makes the alarmists deperate because they are certain they hold the truth and cannot understand why everyone else can’t see what they see. This causes them to double-down on their efforts, and question their own methods in hopes of getting through the thick skulls of all the little people who don’t see the danger. If they can’t convince them intellectually, then they try to figure out how to fool them into going along.
    The thermometer is not cooperating with the Alarmists. And there is not much they can do about that. Doctored temperature charts will only get one so far, especially when the chart does not mirror the weather people experience.

  16. Here are a couple of other choice articles Ms McCormick has written; “Transforming Oil Activism: From Legal Restraints to Evidenciary Opportunity”, also “Democratizing Science Movements: A New Framework for Contestation”. She makes documentaries too. The Climate Change dogma will be with us for a long time. It has PR firms, sociologist, governments, and its own brand of scientists all pushing the envelope.

  17. I note the gobbledygook paragraph that several others have zeroed in on and ponder:
    Should the term ‘sociology’ be redefined to mean the study OF sociologists? Now there’s a field with limitless horizons.
    P.S. Shhhh… don’t use the poisonous word ‘sociologist.’ People will think you are studying them.

  18. The more verbiage from government officials I read concerning climate change, the clearer it becomes that “climate change” is a Trojan horse for ecototalitarian dictatorship.
    Now the layers of deceit are multiplying, it’s becoming – to mix metaphors – a Trojan matrioshka doll. Inane concerned-sounding blablabla concealing climate change concealing ecototalitarianism.

  19. If “climate change” has become poisonous it is probably time for yet another change of name. I suggest calling it “Climate Related Anomalous Predictions”. It has such an appropriate acronym.

  20. Independently the use of the word ‘change’ is not good in marketing.
    Powerful words include ‘free’ and no strings and can opt out, no more to pay ‘proven scientific evidence’.
    Rebranding as stated above is the best way out of this, so it will be ‘moving forward’ and ‘sustainability’ which ‘no one may deny’.
    The problem is in the core narrative.
    Extremes of weather encompass the most likely forecasts in the next 50 to 100 years.
    Even if you believe that there will be more cyclones and bigger storms in a warming world, when this is unlikely or that there will be more hot days, which is more likely, you may as well build to higher specifications against that one in a two hundred year event.
    In NSW the water board, despite the Professor Flannery predictions of dams drying up, have been quietly building the dam walls for a 200 year rainfall event.
    There is good sense in building cities with ergonomic skyscrapers and open spaces able to withstand climate change.
    From a sociological point of view she has a problem.
    If the real people who actually build cities don’t believe CAGW theory, they may not be prepared to change their building codes, for good reason, on those grounds.
    But their codes may still need improvement for other reasons, such as the fact that climate changes anyway.
    Perhaps her best bet would be to argue that climate always changes and cut the cackle.
    After all, this may actually be true.

    • “Powerful words include ‘free’ and no strings and can opt out, no more to pay ‘proven scientific evidence’.”
      Don’t forget, “You can keep your doctor.”

    • I think you misunderstand the purpose of pomo writing. It is not to convey information as such, especially not to the unwashed. It is to establish your membership of a particular community. This style of writing is valued BECAUSE it is distinctive.
      I have had a paper in my field nearly rejected because the language was too informal. I still don’t understand what was informal about it. Maybe I used “don’t” instead of “do not”. Every discipline (from physics to panel-beating) has its own dialect.

      • The other thing that’s very important in pomo papers is to cite everyone else in your field at least once in every paper. That way the whole community of pomo crackpots gets to survive another academic year.

    • The people targeted by the writing will not admit they have no clue what it says but they will merrily agree with the author, showing how wise they are by accepting the information.

  21. These are poisonous too – to humanity:
    Climate action
    Climate agenda
    Climate agreement
    Climate anxiety counseling
    Climate blueprint
    Climate budget
    Climate catastrophe
    Climate challenge
    Climate chaos
    Climate crisis
    Climate danger
    Climate d*nier
    Climate disruption
    Climate fatigue
    Climate finance
    Climate justice
    Climate mitigation
    Climate policy
    Climate punishment
    Climate resilience
    Climate risk
    Climate scenarios
    Climate weirding

  22. “I’m not sure how McCormick reconciles “an accountable approach” with not mentioning that proposed public works projects are part of a climate agenda. Perhaps accountability means something different to sociologists.”
    This was always the end game. I suspect the socialist sociologists are one and the same with the greens CAGW activists. They are becoming frustrated by the lack of traction their games have been getting latley, namely Climate Change and Global Warming, so they feel emboldened to just act out and TAKE what they want by deception and force. They have had a great executive influence!…Now they will just take your money and spend it on their heart’s desires and cut out the Green Agenda middle man.
    oh is change EVER gonna come.!!!

  23. Name changes are common within government buearocracies, the reason why they are common is because as we all know its hard to hit a moving target

    • I’ve admired Confucius for a long time, the “Rectification of Names” in particular. If any political party here adopted the rectification of names as part of its program, and *lived* it, they’d get my vote.

  24. Keep inventing new terms and attaching them to corruption, scientific malpractice and leftist / Marxists politics, and we’ll keep making those terms politically poisonous.

  25. I think she is saying that the concept of climate change stinks so much that to get their power grabbing agenda happening they are going to have to try something else.

  26. “It seeks to answer the etiquette question from hell: How does a city go about preparing for something that its residents would rather not think about, or even believe in?”
    Hell’s Etiquette for Complete Dummies: How to Get Elected and Do What No One Elected You to Do Without Anyone Knowing

  27. …Donald Trump is the “CHANGE” they fear ! He will be the beginning of the end of this “Lunatic Fringe” !

  28. “I’m not sure how McCormick reconciles “an accountable approach” ”
    In Holland, well known for its protection by dikes, we counted the risk of flooding by looking back to the water level in the past. Water levels in Holland mostly are very well measured. From there we counted the chance to flooding statistically, could be 1:1250, 1:4000, 1:10.000. This means for example: for place X with a dike of 6 meter the chance on flooding is once in the 10.000 years. Since 1996 safety is arranged in a law, the “Wet op de waterkeringen”, simply to translate as “Law on the dikes”. The check up is “climate independent”. A possible future climate change is NOT taken into account. We want to be safe anyway.
    What nowadays is taken into account is not only the chance on flooding, but also the [personal and economic] risk there is. Where risks on economic damage or risks because of loosing essential functions are very high, the ‘protection level’ rises. In Holland “Rijkswaterstaat” can tell you everything about water safety. And about how to count the risk.

  29. I think her activities of promoting these falsehoods are insidious and Pure EVIL. That they are promoted by the EPA is even worse.

  30. When anyone uses the technically-ambiguous term “climate change” I tend to dismiss them as scoundrels or imbeciles.
    The issue is catastrophic human-made global warming, and whether it is catastrophic or not. That is the basis of the oft-rancorous debate between global warming alarmists (aka “warmists”) and “skeptics”, who disagree on the magnitude of Equilibrium Climate Sensitivity (“ECS”) to increasing atmospheric CO2.
    The warmists say ECS is high, typically about 3 degrees C or more for a hypothetical doubling of atmospheric CO2 (3C/2xCO2), and the skeptics say ECS is much lower, typically about 1C/2xCO2 or less and so not dangerous. The warmists have been reducing their estimates of ECS over the years – some of their earlier estimates of ECS were as high as about 10C/2xCO2.
    It should be noted that there is NO credible evidence that ECS is higher than about 1C/2xCO2. However, the warmists have captured the limited attention spans of politicians and the mainstream press, and have caused society to squander many trillion of dollars of scarce global resources on this false crisis. In so doing, the warmists have driven up energy costs, increased winter mortality among the elderly and the poor, and compromised our energy systems with green energy schemes that are not green and produce little useful energy.
    Countries like the UK and Germany that were early-adopters of green energy debacles are now retreating from them as fast as they politically can. Remarkably, venues like Ontario and Alberta in Canada are enthusiastically adopting these same green energy scams, even as the early-adopters are bailing out. This is a measure of how truly imbecilic some politicians are – they cannot even learn from the glaring mistakes of others.
    When the history of the global warming scam is written, people will look in wonder at the stupidity of it all, and how so many people could be so utterly duped. Global warming alarmism will be regarded as another example of “Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds”, first written in 1841 and still going strong.
    Regards to all, Allan

      • yes…
        whatever your view on climate change, or on nuclear power, this is a bad deal for the UK
        It will take at least 10 years to build – none of the other reactors of this design are on schedule, one at Flammanville has safety issues over steel used – and the builders get a guaranteed, inflation proofed, price for its electricity massively above current prices…
        EDF the builder is in dire financial straits… this project may bankrupt it. Its own financial director resigned because of that.
        there are 3 other designs which could likely be built quicker

      • Actually, with a number of strings like EDF has no get out (they have to own and operate). I suspect was a clever way to kick the problem back to France without angering the Chinese. Definitely a bad deal for the UK.

  31. McCormick said: “avoid uttering the words “climate change.” It’s “a poisonous term to use,”
    Maybe she should tell them, politicians, to use the real name Agenda 21, better known as “Population Control”.

    • Agenda 21 as you use the term is a conspiracy theory, no more ‘respectable’ than chemtrails or 9/11 truthers…
      It has no place in discussion of the science of climate change

      • Griff, I have read UN’s Agenda 21. It is population control. The same is true with “Co2 drives the climate” agenda. Many of Agenda 21 proposals are being implemented at the local level. Others proposals are being done on the federal level under the term “sustainability” This type of rule making is called Bottom up, Top down. Example; President Obama wants to give control of the internet to a international body of unelected persons. Who going to pay this body of regulators? Why of course the internet will. At first the “fees” will be small. But, as with all government agencies, as they become more money hungry. Web site like Watt up with That will not be able to a afford the “fees”. The ground work is being laid not for a “One World Government”, but for a One World Unelected Bureaucrats.

    • Of course the term “climate change” has existed for a long time as a generic description for ALL climate changes, from glacial periods to inter-glacials, describing both periods of warming and cooling. I’d like it to go back to that proper definition. As a term for energy balance in the short term (anything less than 500 years), climate change is a lousy term.
      The question to ask in terms of today’s debate is why was it necessary to conflate the terms climate change and global warming thereby the prior definition of the former? It became clear that “global warming” no longer carried enough prestige and power as a term of alarm. As propaganda, it no longer scared anyone. That’s why it had to change. And now, climate change doesn’t enough people either. And why doesn’t it? Because the people flinging it are reckless, dogmatic, filled with hubris, and technically wrong. I hope you’ll contemplate that, Griff. The EPA can change the term again, but if careless, reckless, dogmatic and wrong still rule, those toxic poisons will pickle the new term, too.

  32. In the UK no one is talking about climate change. There are some people particularly the BBC still trying to push it but no one takes any notice anymore. In fact, as Brexit showed, no one really takes any notice of the BBC anymore.
    I think you’ve won the argument Anthony and co. (not that was ever in doubt) here. I know they’re still trying to forge ahead with token, international agreements but their grand designs on power are over.

    • “I think you’ve won the argument Anthony and co. (not that was ever in doubt) here. I know they’re still trying to forge ahead with token, international agreements but their grand designs on power are over.”
      It’s only your illusion my friend.
      Statement from the energy sec after today announcing the go-ahead of the Hinckley Nuke PS.
      “Britain needs to upgrade its supplies of energy, and we have always been clear that nuclear is an important part of ensuring our future low-carbon energy security.”
      It’s not in doubt either in the majority, nor in the policy of those put in power by that majority.

    • Only the BBC, the Indie and the Groaniad bother with constant alarmism these days and they’re preaching to the converted, like EGriff anyway.
      It’s an echo chamber.

  33. Ah, is it time for a name change already? I must confess to being a bit of a traditionalist and have always had a bit of a thing for AGW.
    I know, I know, it’s soooo last season but there we go….

  34. “What are the stars?” said O’Brien indifferently. “They are bits of fire a few kilometres away. We could reach them if we wanted to. Or we could blot them out. The earth is the centre of the universe. The sun and the stars go round it.”
    “For certain purposes, of course, that is not true. When we navigate the ocean, or when we predict an eclipse, we often find it convenient to assume that the earth goes round the sun and that the stars are millions upon millions of kilometres away. But what of it? Do you suppose it is beyond us to produce a dual system of astronomy? The stars can be near or distant, according as we need them. Do you suppose our mathematicians are unequal to that? Have you forgotten doublethink?”
    Winston shrank back upon the bed. Whatever he said, the swift answer crushed him like a bludgeon. And yet he knew, he knew, that he was in the right. The belief that nothing exists outside your own mind — surely there must be some way of demonstrating that it was false? Had it not been exposed long ago as a fallacy? There was even a name for it, which he had forgotten. A faint smile twitched the corners of O’Brien’s mouth as he looked down at him.
    “I told you, Winston,” he said, ‘”that metaphysics is not your strong point. The word you are trying to think of is solipsism. But you are mistaken. This is not solipsism. Collective solipsism, if you like. But that is a different thing: in fact, the opposite thing.”
    ― George Orwell, “1984” (1949)

  35. And Wikipedia keeps telling me that it is Watts Up With That that is devoted to Climate Change Denial.

  36. This comment by Ms. McCormick illustrates a fundamental aspect of the situation. These non-scientists claim to have the solution to an earth-shaking problem, one that will cost trillions of dollars and the liberties of millions if not billions, but they cannot even settle upon unambiguous definitions of the terms used to describe the problem.
    The very first thing you must do to solve a problem is to clearly and unambiguously define the terms you are using to describe the problem. You can’t add “1” and “2” until you can agree on what “1”, “2”, and “add” mean.

  37. “Her study, recently published in the journal Climatic Change” Odd publication to announce that “Climate Change” is a poisonous phrase.

  38. Findings demonstrate that conceptualizations of vulnerability are affected by intellectual frameworks that tend to orient around infrastructure and human health

    Isn’t she actually arguing just the opposite ?
    Findings demonstrate that conceptualizations of intellectual frameworks that tend to orient around infrastructure and human health are affected by vulnerability.

  39. What does this mean?
    From the Australian Government Bureau of Meteorology
    Climate outlook overview
    Spring (September to November) rainfall is likely to be above average across parts of northern Australia. Elsewhere, the chances of a wetter or drier spring are roughly equal.
    Warmer days are likely across much of Australia, except eastern NSW and southern Queensland.
    Warmer nights are likely for Australia, except southwest Australia, northeast NSW and southeast Queensland.
    Climate influences include a weakening negative Indian Ocean Dipole, and tropical Pacific Ocean temperatures which may approach—or briefly exceed—La Niña thresholds (see the Climate Influences section).

  40. In the old days of the nuclear weapons panic, the doomsday term was Mutually Assured Destruction, MAD. Climate Change the policy panic means exactly the same thing – maybe we should start using it. There are some other great terms from the time – how about Overkill Ratio applied to polar bears. And “We cannot allow a doomsday gap!”
    Her message to climate alarmists seems to be STFU! I couldn’t agree more.

  41. It’s fact-resistant humans not global wa.., no wait, climate change that will destroy the earth.
    According to the New Yorker, Earth is in trouble due to a NEW STRAIN OF FACT-RESISTANT HUMANS. Instead of climate change it’s these humans that are going to cause the destruction of the earth. Davis Logsdon, an author of the study states “Our research is very preliminary, but it’s possible that they will become more receptive to facts once they are in an environment without food, water, or oxygen,” he said.

  42. “American cities from Boston to Baton Rouge are getting hammered by hurricanes, torrential downpours, and blizzards amped up by climate change.” HUH? Hammered by hurricanes? We haven’t been hammered every since ALGORE stood upon the hill and claimed his nonsense. It’s tough reading this lying bs. Liars everywhere.

  43. American cities from Boston to Baton Rouge are getting hammered by hurricanes
    Reading this you could be forgiven for thinking hurricanes make land-fall every nine hours/days or even weeks.
    According to…
    No Major Hurricane Has Made Landfall In the U.S. In More Than 9 Years
    Maybe they shouldn’t mention hurricanes, either.

  44. Here is a supplement to the consultant recommendations and shall we say careless editing of local official input in the final report.
    Rebrand the policy goals and crisis agenda as:
    1) Mean weather (updating crazy weather)
    2) Future lost (if you don’t agree with agency directives)
    3) Lost Generation (to gen up some more class divide)
    4) Mad Weather (to address the Mayor’s comment)

  45. Why oh why can’t folk just use the term “ever changing climate”. It’s accurate for ever and needs no computer model!!

  46. We have quite recently had two stories about incorrect or corrupt science.
    1 – A new Mayo Clinic study finds no evidence ” that tightly controlling elevated blood sugar will reduce the risk of death, stroke, kidney failure, blindness and other dire outcomes associated with Type 2 diabetes.” link
    2 – The sugar industry bought off Harvard researchers so they would blame fat rather than sugar for heart disease. link
    People have been hearing about this kind of unreliable science for a long time.
    It is no wonder that people don’t trust scientists.

  47. It occured to me that the Alarmists had the same conversation around 2008-2009 concerning the label: Global Warming.. Hence, the birth of the moniker, Climate Change. Perhaps the IPCC should be more concerned with science than branding.

  48. “How does a city go about preparing for something that its residents would rather not think about, or even believe in?”
    One supposes the same way they prepare for alien attacks, rifts in the time/space continuum, intrusions by alternate universes, etc.

    • Quite true, Reality Check.
      I’d rather not think about those things. And besides, all of those things you mention take the same preparation measures: more taxes, stop using fossil fuels, loss of personal freedom, and submit to a one-world government.

  49. avoid uttering the words “climate change.” It’s “a poisonous term to use,”

    Translation: They’re on to that trick, time to find a new one.
    How do these people look at themselves in a mirror?

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