"Atmosphere Cancer" – The Latest Name for Global Warming

Guest essay by Eric Worrall

According to Business Insider, renowned marketing expert Seth Godin suggested in an interview that “atmosphere cancer” would be a far more engaging term to promote climate action, than “global warming” or “climate change”.

‘Call it atmosphere cancer’ – How the world’s best-known marketer would tackle global warming

Tom Turula 26 Jan 2018 6:03 PM

Much of Seth Godin’s work – his famous blog; his books and TED talks – convey the following: No product or idea will spread just because of a brilliant technology or rock solid facts. In essence, people will respond to stories that stand out, which creates culture, changes behaviors, and leads to change.

“Just look at what happened with gay marriage in the US in the last 10 years. It went from being safe and respectable to be against, to something that no one speaks up against anymore.”

“Did everybody change their mind? Of course not.”

“What changed was the culture, and the culture was changed because of the story,” Godin says. “People like us do things like this. That’s it, that’s all we got.”

“For starters, global is a good thing and warming is a good thing. If [the scientists] had called it ‘Atmosphere Cancer’, they probably would have started on a better footing: because atmosphere is scientific and cancer is a bad thing. There are no cancer deniers. Everyone knows that cancer is a chronic and degenerative disease, and you need to stop it soon. ”

Read more: https://nordic.businessinsider.com/why-marketer-seth-godin-thinks-storytelling–not-science–will-solve-climate-change–/

This has got to be one of the most insensitive climate ideas ever proposed. A few days ago I attended a “living wake” for a friend who has terminal cancer – a final sendoff for someone who probably only has a few weeks to live. To suggest harnessing the pain and loss of a disease like cancer to promote their pathetic political cause is execrable.

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Sweet Old Bob
January 28, 2018 6:28 pm

These people are sick .
And dangerous ……

Reply to  Sweet Old Bob
January 28, 2018 6:36 pm

You left out ‘disgusting’.

Bryan A
Reply to  kaliforniakook
January 28, 2018 9:01 pm

They are like a cancer on society

Robert from oz
Reply to  kaliforniakook
January 29, 2018 3:43 am

You forgot “Globull Cooling” .

Reply to  kaliforniakook
January 29, 2018 11:34 am

They are a malignant tumor on the science community … and like all tumors, they need to be FED … in their case lots of $$$$ from the FED’s has caused exponential growth, overwhelming the healthy cells of science.

Reply to  Sweet Old Bob
January 28, 2018 7:22 pm

Climate shigellosis sounds better to me:)
Chees Roger

Jeff Alberts
Reply to  rogerthesurf
January 28, 2018 8:19 pm

Wensleydale please.

Reply to  rogerthesurf
January 28, 2018 10:38 pm

“Climate Sc@m” is still the best.

Another Ian
Reply to  rogerthesurf
January 29, 2018 12:39 am

Adapted from the original
“What utter climate (_i_)kissing Tripe.”
It has been suggested that “!” might be more fitting than “i”

Andy Pattullo
Reply to  rogerthesurf
January 29, 2018 8:10 am

Stratospheric syphylis? global gonnorrhoea? Planetary plague? Capitalist chancre? Meteorological leprosy? I may be biased but I work in infectious diseases. Perhaps my colleagues in gastroenterology can come up with something more fecaliscious.

Reply to  Andy Pattullo
January 29, 2018 12:06 pm

Well I don’t think that Capitalism is the cause of all this. To me AGW is part of a movement to gradually restrict freedom and private property by regulation until such time we are completely controlled by a elite left. AGW provides an excuse for regulation and taxation etc. Certainly not the only excuse but a useful and so far effective one. Cheers

Reply to  rogerthesurf
January 29, 2018 5:20 pm

I’m going with Sky AIDS.

Reply to  Sweet Old Bob
January 28, 2018 8:34 pm

As the atmosphere is a gas that is nonbiological and cancer is pure biology, “atmosphere cancer” just highlights how stupid and/or desperate the global warming crowd is. I say they should go for it and prove to the world how absurd, ignorant, and insulting they can be (insulting because they assume the people will buy this hype).

Mickey Reno
Reply to  higley7
January 29, 2018 6:03 pm

I think I’ve just seen the definition of a new layer of the atmosphere called the Coprosphere, the layer where the shit gets so thick, you can no longer breathe.

Komrade Kuma
Reply to  Sweet Old Bob
January 28, 2018 8:56 pm

Just more compelling evidence that all this whole ‘climate’ scare campaign has only ever been a marketing exercise. It is little wonder that the ‘science’ is little more than ‘sciency’ flavoured gibberish.

Komrade Kuma
Reply to  Komrade Kuma
January 28, 2018 9:00 pm

SHeesh. I hadn’t even looked up who Seth Godin was or what he did but then I saw Latitude’s pic posted below (which says an awful lot about Mr Godin by itself) and lo and behold … he is a marketing man.
Well I never….

Komrade Kuma
Reply to  Komrade Kuma
January 28, 2018 9:02 pm

Only a complete narcissist in this age of instant images could have a pic like that with him looking to one side. In the old days he would have to look at himself in the missor or in the still waters of some pond.

Reply to  Komrade Kuma
January 29, 2018 3:54 am

It’s been a marketing/advertising/PR/lobbying exercise from the get-go. Spend vast amounts of money on an army of cronies and media over extended time frames – and perception becomes reality.

Reply to  Komrade Kuma
January 29, 2018 7:02 am

It has been proven over and over that if you use big-sciency-sounding words and speak very earnestly that many people will be convinced that you must be right.

Hot under the collar
Reply to  Sweet Old Bob
January 28, 2018 9:18 pm

Seth Godin’s next idea will probably be ‘every time you don’t believe in Global Warming a Fairy and a Unicorn dies’!

Reply to  Hot under the collar
January 29, 2018 6:33 am


Reply to  Sweet Old Bob
January 29, 2018 6:42 am

Choosing the most horrendous descriptor seems a bit less than scientific, no? How about using “global suicide,” instead of beating around the bush? [Some cancers are curable; some take long times to kill.] When truth is not a value, anything goes!

Power Grab
Reply to  douglascooper
January 31, 2018 7:51 am

Who was it that said “Cancer is the only socially-accepted form of suicide”?

Reply to  Sweet Old Bob
January 29, 2018 6:48 am

Try pathologically stupid, or execrable, or heinously insensitive to reality.
Seth Godin is trying to turn this into an advertising campaign? i sincerely hope that he has an epic failure in any/all of his future pursuits. He is drek personified.

Reply to  Sara
January 29, 2018 6:51 am

Lest I forget, please give your friend my deepest sympathies, Eric, and my wishes for his peaceful ending.

Reply to  Sweet Old Bob
January 29, 2018 11:08 am

As a long term developer of marketing messages, I agree with what appears to be Mr. Godin’s principal point: the use of positive or negative messaging to ‘sell’ concepts, ideas or products is powerful. As a case in point, the question surrounding abortion has been boiled down to picking a side where as the messaging is bilaterally positive (pro-life or pro-choice / pro-women). On the surface, neither marketing message connotes a perceived negative position juxtaposed to Mr. Godin’s approach, which connotes extreme and indefensible negativism.
This form of messaging is a double edged sword. While it induces fear and loathing by it assuming all living organisms will be subjected to a disease that is universally feared and detested, it also sparks an intellectual and emotional outrage among individuals (and their loved ones) diagnosed with cancer where as the AGW marketing message superciliously compares a cancer patient’s real and debilitating trials with a seemingly minor adjustment to the earth’s atmospheric chemistry.
My personal experience includes a diagnosis of glioblastoma (brain cancer), which like most forms of cancer is considered terminal. That’s not to say that I don’t have hope for the future. As an example, technology and science may evolve with better treatment methods or, dare I say it, a cure, which is inarguably less certain than the earth and its inhabitants adjusting to altering minor climate patterns.
While I may agree with Mr. Godin’s passionless marketing rhetoric, I must question whether it is morally or ethically advisable to compare life draining cancerous cells with possible atmospheric carbon dioxide levels that may or may not exist a century from now.
As a challenge, I suggest that Mr. Godin merely spend an afternoon with a cancer patient to fully understand the life changing fear and pain associated with daily existence and afterwards pose two questions of the cancer patient:
1) Is it remotely rational or even morally reasonable to fuel an ember of climate catastrophe hypothesis by comparing its least likely outcome with the pain and suffering that you are living with?
2) Do you give a flying f**k at the moon if the inestimable global mean surface temperature exceeds pre-industrial levels long after you are dead?
On second thought, never mind, Mr. Godin, I doubt that you would have the intestinal fortitude to subjectively expose yourself to a front row seat in a theater of actual and realistic anxiety as opposed to the manufactured type that your messaging promotes Unsurprisingly, I believe both questions are answered for you.
Brian Abate

Reply to  brianabate
January 29, 2018 2:35 pm

If it’s all about spin and negative is bad, maybe we should start calling it “atmospheric fertilization.” CO2 is just an atmospheric supplement, like taking vitamin C.

Joel Snider
Reply to  Sweet Old Bob
January 29, 2018 12:36 pm

There’s a psychology at play here – the belief that there is no empirical reality, but only ‘spin’.
No substance – just propaganda.
That’s why progressives put such stock in consolidating and controlling the message.
Unfortunately, reality always catches up.
More unfortunately, it doesn’t always catch up to the con man, who is usually long gone by the time that whole reality-thing circles back to bite the sucker on the a$$.

January 28, 2018 6:36 pm

it’s not possible to get the full effect without a visual…comment image

Gary Pearse
Reply to  Latitude
January 29, 2018 7:39 am

He’s got a permant look to the left. Walking into telephone poles will make you think like he does.

Reply to  Gary Pearse
January 29, 2018 12:53 pm

Failing that he could always be ‘walked’ into a telephone pole

R Shearer
Reply to  Latitude
January 29, 2018 9:04 am

Leftist worm.

Dave Fair
Reply to  Latitude
January 29, 2018 11:31 am

There doesn’t appear to be glass within his frames. Are they an affe[]tation[] {Spilled []offee on my keyboard and some keys don’t work; therefore the [].

Reply to  Dave Fair
January 29, 2018 2:04 pm

They looked fake to me, too, but I wasn’t sure. Thanks for confirming what I suspected.

Reply to  Dave Fair
January 29, 2018 3:18 pm

Glass or plastic lenses do not photograph very well because of reflection etc. so photographers prefer to use frames only, unless they want to have a certain dramatic look. Would you prefer mirrored sunglasses? That would look cool.

Extreme Hiatus
Reply to  Dave Fair
January 29, 2018 4:18 pm

“Would you prefer mirrored sunglasses?”
I think clown makeup would be more appropriate.

Reply to  Latitude
January 29, 2018 4:30 pm

looks like Carl Crushellnutsky.

Reply to  Latitude
January 29, 2018 4:34 pm

A Goebbels acolyte.

Interested Observer
January 28, 2018 6:44 pm

Well, there certainly is a cancer in the political atmosphere, just as there was a change in the political climate.
As my dad used to say, advertising is about making the negative aspects of a product seem positive. The blood-sucking leeches will always be looking for a new way to spin it so their evil seems like it’s for the good of society. (Just like Hitler, Stalin, Mao, Pol Pot, et cetera, etc…)

Reply to  Interested Observer
January 29, 2018 1:29 pm

You’ve omitted Dr. Josef Goebbels, PhD, a philology graduate of Heidelberg University. Goebbels used his expertise to create a propaganda machine of unparalleled effectiveness. Godin’s oh-so-clever suggestion is akin to giving a hand grenade to a rather nasty child: the consequences will not be pleasant.

Warren Blair
January 28, 2018 6:44 pm

This guy needs to answer some polite questions from normal people: seth@sethgodin.com

January 28, 2018 6:49 pm

Given the poor state of the science involved “scientific cancer” may be more appropriate.

Extreme Hiatus
January 28, 2018 6:55 pm

Gee Eric, you’re finding some pretty depressing topics. But still enlightening. From the article:
“Godin thinks action on global warming… depends on effective storytelling, which sparks a culture of change.”
“effective storytelling.” What a nice way of saying relentless full spectrum propaganda.
The unicorn named “global warming” cannot be compared to cancer except for the impact of those who seek to ‘save’ us from it. Even then they would be better compared to a tapeworm or some similar parasite because they don’ want to kill their host entirely. There’s no money or power in that.

Michael Jankowski
Reply to  Extreme Hiatus
January 28, 2018 7:13 pm

“…we need to get some broad based support, to capture the public’s imagination. That, of course, means getting loads of media coverage. So we have to offer up scary scenarios, make simplified, dramatic statements, and make little mention of any doubts we might have…” -Dr. Stephen Schneider

Reply to  Extreme Hiatus
January 29, 2018 3:13 am

PROPAGANDA (Find a Wheel and Spin it Round, Round Round.) And
Don’t forget about the dogma.
Don’t forget about the dogma.
Don’t forget about the dogma.
The dogma’s all there is..
(To the tune of “Tomorrow Never Comes.”)

John Robertson
January 28, 2018 6:55 pm

Like Rust.

Another Ian
Reply to  John Robertson
January 29, 2018 12:42 am

Dry rot?

High Treason
January 28, 2018 7:03 pm

Humans are more closely related to dung beetles than primates. Dung beetles are the only other creatures that appear to be able to swallow whatever bullshit is served up to them.
This is garbage ready to be ridiculed, hopefully at the State of the Union address coming up in 47 hours.

January 28, 2018 7:29 pm

The fear of climate change caused by CO2 emissions is more like a cancer on science itself.

Reply to  co2isnotevil
January 28, 2018 8:21 pm

I believe the notion that Western public “education” is a “science education” is the problem. “Science education” consists essentially in a bunch of vaguely related sciency factoids that the children can hardly connect to each others. No presentation of the world of “Science” is ever given.
Then people are doused in “Science says blah” claims that they cannot process as they know exactly nothing about the Method.

January 28, 2018 7:30 pm

What’s new here, story-telling has been going on all along. I, however, prefer to call it lying. I shall try to remember to call carbon dioxide by the more appropriate name,the ‘gas of life’.

Trevor Collins.
January 28, 2018 7:31 pm

greetings from New Zealand………’I call it ‘climate control’, because in this beautiful of NZ…..the greenies and Labour are getting into our lives in a BIG WAY!! regards to you all…..Trevor.

Reply to  Trevor Collins.
January 28, 2018 8:20 pm

Yup Trevor you are right there – even considering taxing the volcanos sheeshcomment image?w=640

Paul Johnson
January 28, 2018 7:36 pm

Applying this principle to the other side of the climate scam, solar panels should be given cute and affectionate names. If Solyndra had been named Cuddle Bunny Solar instead, how could it possibly have failed? Similar, wind farms and solar towers should be named for the beautiful birds they exterminate.

Mike MacKenzie
Reply to  Paul Johnson
January 28, 2018 8:23 pm

Welcome to the California Condor Memorial windfarm!

Reply to  Mike MacKenzie
January 28, 2018 10:19 pm

Condolences from the Arizona Solar Crematorium for swallows.

Reply to  Mike MacKenzie
January 29, 2018 6:39 am

I refer to the wind plants as “The Church of the Windy Spires” on my wind blog. Considering the entire exercise is semi-religious (definately fleecing the congregation part), it seemed appropriate.

Gary Pearse
Reply to  Paul Johnson
January 29, 2018 7:51 am

Accompanied by the song “If the swallows could come back to capistrano” or at solar tower farms, “come on baby light me on fire”.

Gary Pearse
Reply to  Paul Johnson
January 29, 2018 7:51 am

Accompanied by the song “If the swallows could come back to capistrano” or at solar tower farms, “come on baby light me on fire”.

January 28, 2018 7:39 pm

The scary part of this is they’ve been given a pass and platform to present their views. Someone is paying for this whether you believe it or not.

January 28, 2018 7:57 pm

“Everyone knows that cancer is a chronic and degenerative disease, and you need to stop it soon”
Actually, no, it is not. It is a state of cells that is an anomaly and that may or may not lead to a real disease (as in being sick).

Reply to  st
January 28, 2018 8:19 pm

Everyone has cancer, in the sense that cancerous cells crop up all the time in the body. Most of the time the immune system disposes of them before they cause trouble. And of the ones that survive long enough to reproduce and form tumors, only a fraction of those remain malignant, ie. unchecked by the body, causing the myriad diseases of varying severity that we collectively refer to as “cancer”.

Reply to  drednicolson
January 28, 2018 8:46 pm

I am not a medical doctor not a biologist, but I intuitively believe that convincing women at risk of breast cancer to have their breasts squeezed and sometimes poked is not without drawbacks, notably the risk of waking up very quite cancerous cells, like a bull.
(And unlike many critics of systematic breast X-ray imaging, I don’t think ionisation is the major risk here, although the possibility of genetic vulnerability to ionisation is a serious hypothesis.)

Keith J
Reply to  drednicolson
January 28, 2018 9:30 pm

Absolutely correct. Cancer is just uncontrolled regeneration of cells. And the cause is genetic damage, the primary cause is free radical oxygen.
To make the analogy to life, increasing carbon dioxide levels increase respiration rate. Which is exactly how the earth is responding, by greening.

Reply to  drednicolson
January 29, 2018 6:46 am

Actually, my oncologist said “We don’t know what causes this”. I agree. Again, like the atmosphere, there are way to many factors involved. Yet I see people believe in chaos theory with global warming and toss it out with nutrition and medicine. “We don’t know”. It’s not an evil statement, it’s just how it is.

January 28, 2018 8:02 pm

Maybe we should help them out by providing a list of scary labels they can use after this one falls flat. May I suggest, “Climate Cardiac Arrest!” for their next one, or maybe “Atmospheric Arrhythmea!” Just trying to be helpful.

Ed Zuiderwijk
Reply to  Notanist
January 29, 2018 1:22 am

Climate Colic. Climate Coronary Convulsion. Charlatans Cavalcade. Anything with Cs will be catchy.

Reply to  Ed Zuiderwijk
January 29, 2018 6:33 am

Climate Herpes.

Reply to  Notanist
January 29, 2018 6:49 am

Atmospheric Arrhythmea is good. Climate Cardiac Arrest is going to lead people to believe we’re already toast and to just party till the last breath. Probably not good, since the “arrest” isn’t really coming. Never oversell.

January 28, 2018 8:13 pm

Why not give it a James Bond feel and call it “Skyfall”?

January 28, 2018 8:23 pm

No matter what your call it it still does not change the face that according to the paleoclimete record and the work done with models, the change in global climate that we have been experienceing is caused by the sun and the oveans over which mankind has no control. There is no real evidence that CO2 has any effect on climate and plenty of scientific rational to support the idea that the climate sensivity of CO2 is zero.

January 28, 2018 9:07 pm

Why don’t they just call it “Sky Screwing” and be done with it?
They can turn it over to the #MeToo nags and claim the world is being sexually assaulted.
After all, don’t women buy more CO2-spewing cars than men?
Oh, wait….

January 28, 2018 9:11 pm

So precise, so technically accurate! How did science thrive, even survive, without such marketing genius? We must be at the dawn of a new Golen Age, basking in the rising warmth (oops!) of such genius.

Gordon Pratt
January 28, 2018 9:14 pm

Call it Faulty Al Gore Rhythm.

Jeff L
January 28, 2018 9:15 pm

“No product or idea will spread just because of a brilliant technology or rock solid facts”
There is something here for skeptics – we argue from facts …. but perhaps that is a mistake. Perhaps to win the war, a different tactic is required – not arguing from facts but from emotions (even though we know what the facts are)…. ends justifying the means? Clearly the other side is engaging that avenue…. can we win the debate if we don’ engage the same tactics? Food for thought …

Reply to  Jeff L
January 28, 2018 9:42 pm

Jeff L – I think you have a point. Fact- and science-based Skeptics cannot win an argument with folk that are not using the rational part of their brain (belief vs objectivity). Have you even seen an atheist convince a religious believer to abandon his faith, or vice-versa? All that this marketing person is doing is suggesting a new ‘meme’ that CAGW proponents can use when the latest ‘global warming’ meme runs out of steam, which may or may not work in a marketing sense. But there is an ethical issue here – should skeptics lower themselves to the abysmal moral depths that the CAGW crowd has adopted? Personally, I think no, because given time the whole UN/IPCC -led CAGW campaign will founder on its crappy economics, rather than because of the underlying science. The next recession will obliterate the ‘believers’ with a dose of cold, hard economic reality – un-affordable subsidies, cheap coal-fired power, real jobs vs ‘green’ jobs, etc. I can’t wait.

Reply to  BoyfromTottenham
January 29, 2018 3:24 am

The underlying science says that so-called renewable “energy” is a sad, sick joke that is being planed on taxpayers and ratepayers.

Reply to  Jeff L
January 29, 2018 6:55 am

If one engages in the same tactics, it just becomes an eternal game of “King of the Hill” with who can scare the most people into submission. Do skeptics want to win or do they want to be right? There’s a saying among the mentally feeble of society that “It is better to be happy than to be right”. What it means is happiness is submitting your dignity, your soul, your life, to the crowd and they will like you. Never do what is right, only what is popular. That will end science as we know it. It will also usher in the loss of freedom in all areas of life. It is not good to be a Delta, no matter what the story says.

January 28, 2018 9:16 pm

Alarmed by this latest CAGW pronouncement, I checked the sky outside is Sydney to look for signs of ‘Atmospheric Cancer’ The sky was, however, its usual clear dark blue and the temperature was a below normal 27C at 4pm. I was greatly relieved. Atmospheric cancer was nowhere to be seen. Australia is safe from this latest catastrophe, just as it has been from all the previous ones.

Reply to  ntesdorf
January 28, 2018 9:48 pm

Ha ha. I think that the Skeptics most powerful weapon is ridicule. Maybe we should call fear of CAGW ‘mental cancer’ – it has a nice ring to it!

Patrick MJD
Reply to  BoyfromTottenham
January 29, 2018 4:20 am

“BoyfromTottenham January 28, 2018 at 9:48 pm”
I don’t think so. They wander around with their “wedding tackle” flapping about in the wind. They know no shame.

John F. Hultquist
January 28, 2018 9:46 pm

Skeptics of CAGW need to turn this fellow’s idea around.
As Johnny Carson’s skit said “lets call it what it really is.”
It being the scam of CAGW.
An initial but unsatisfactory attempt: climate pimps for Gore; . . . or Soros, . . . or the U.N.
Maybe, “climate garbage,” or “As–ole climate science,” or “Climate Science Puke,”
There can be a “Godin’s Law”: In the first 3 minutes of listening to a “climate scientist” you will hear at least one outright lie. or, . . .
In the first 5 minutes of listening to a “climate scientist” you will hear at least one serious insult.

January 28, 2018 10:10 pm

Marketing is the last refuge of those forsaken by reality.

January 28, 2018 11:14 pm

Not only is “atmospheric cancer” cruel and manipulative, it is bizarre, nonsensical and creepy. It is such a stupid metaphor for climate change / AGW that it reminds me of a joke about “Ishtar”, one of the great Hollywood flops, starring Dustin Hoffman and Warren Beatty:
The studio brought in a marketing genius to try and salvage Ishtar. The genius asked to see the entire movie and then asked for a couple of hours after the movie to brainstorm and ponder a way to sell the movie-after all Beatty and Hoffman don’t work cheap.
So the studio execs waited for the marketing genius to come give his report.
The genius comes in, stands at the head of the huge table and says,”I know how to make people really understand Ishtar.!”
“The ad’s gonna read, “Ishtar! Rat Shit Spelled Sideways!”

Matthew R Epp
January 28, 2018 11:16 pm

Although the author’s choice of words are beyond reprehensible, his idea is sound. It’s all about the naming, phrasing, sound bite, etc.
I think we should capitalize on his concept and turn it against the CAGW crowd. When someone calls it climate change respond by calling it atmospheric fertilization, or biosphere enhancement.
Perhaps this approach will redirect some scientifically illiterate , well meaning people from pessimism to optimism.

January 28, 2018 11:34 pm

Regardless of how one feels about a particular idea, there is something disturbing about frightening and bullying people into accepting or “supporting” it.
Godin is a bit behind the curve, though. CAGW marketing has always been synonymous with bullying.

January 29, 2018 12:02 am

This sounds to me like an open admission that the whole scare is based on nonsense. If they had the facts on their side there would be no need for such silly and factually empty slogans. The comparison with the gay marriage issue doesn’t help him, the reason for the shift in attitudes on it was due to the fact that those in favour were right, and those not in favour were wrong. When asked for rational reasons to be against it, those opposed to gay marriage came up blank. The climate alarmists, on the other hand, are dead wrong, and this is becoming more and more obvious with each passing day. They have had to resort to making their hopeless predictions about the year 2100 now so that they don’t get disproved until eighty years hence.

Roger Graves
Reply to  Stonyground
January 29, 2018 6:40 am

The real reason for the acceptance of gay marriage is that the rationale for having marriage at all has been very much diminished with the introduction of birth control and the welfare state. Prior to this, the survival chances for the children of single mothers were not very good, so marriage was a basic necessity for a stable society, and anything that would weaken it as an institution was fiercely resisted. Now that marriage is little more than a social convenience, there is no reason not to extend it to anyone and anything. Gay marriage is not a matter of being right, or redressing a social injustice, it is simply a recognition that marriage per se is no longer one of the pillars of society, so there is no reason not to permit gay marriage.
Now apply this reasoning to global warming/climate change. Until historically recent times we lived in an energy-constrained society. Suggesting to people in a cold climate, for example, that they should stop burning coal to keep warm would have been regarded as the ravings of a lunatic. However, in the last fifty years or so, Western society has ceased to be energy-constrained, and most people under fifty are unable to conceive of an energy-constrained existence. You want electric power – just flip a switch. You want to be warmer – just turn up the thermostat. You want transport – just fill up at the nearest gas station. Consequently, adopting measures which have been skilfully sold to us but which will result in a more energy-constrained society, such as relying on wind and solar power, are not immediately rejected as a threat to society.
The CAGW meme can only survive in relatively pampered societies such as North America and Western Europe. It would be, and is, laughed out of court in other parts of the world.

Reply to  Stonyground
January 29, 2018 7:47 am

I think you have it bass-ackwards. All I ever saw from the pro side was emotionally-charged narratives, faulty analogies, venue shopping for activist judges, and bullycotting any small business with religious owners that dared raise an objection. How quickly they seek to rewrite history.

Reply to  Stonyground
January 29, 2018 9:46 am

It must be nice to live in a world where you can dismiss those who disagree you as “just wrong”, and never need to come up with anything better.

Steve B
January 29, 2018 12:39 am

ok so effective storytelling sells does it?
Here is a story. Jesus creates the Earth and everything in it including mankind who have been left in charge. Lucifer/Satan somehow compels Adam & Eve to rebel. Jesus comes to earth to live life as a man to reclaim earth back from Lucifer/Satan. In conjunction through Jesus sacrificing himself as a man he is also able to forgive the rebellion in mankind but they need to follow Jesus. Only 5% to 10% follow Jesus.
According to Seth then the gospel story is not an effective story – it doesn’t seem to work very well.
PS yes I left some bits out.

Steve B
Reply to  Steve B
January 29, 2018 12:40 am

Posted to early. It seems Jesus needs an effective marketing guy.

Ed Zuiderwijk
January 29, 2018 1:14 am

In a year’s time we will call it by its real name: damp squib.

January 29, 2018 1:22 am

It is surely only because Seth needs the consultancy fees that he is suggesting this new marketing ploy , because from the viewpoint of public acceptance of climate change , “atmospheric cancer” or global warming , the game has already been won .
The evidence is there in Australia to judge from the reports at Jonova and Notalot on the recent blackouts.
Nowhere and at no time do the public , the media or the politicians blame the fallibility of “renewables” and the premature demolition of coal power stations. In the upcoming elections it is almost certain , from what I glean from sites such as Jonova, that the public will overwhelmingly choose a Labour-Green coalition which will impose even stricter controls on any activity which risks CO2 emission .
In the UK and the EU we are following close on Australi’s heels and Canada I believe is also determined on the same course . So the Warmists and the Greens do not need to throw millions in the direction of Seth and his marketing teams , the game is over , the ref has blown his/her whistle and we are all trudging off the field for a bath ( cold one of course – no heating).

Patrick MJD
Reply to  mikewaite
January 29, 2018 4:13 am

“mikewaite January 29, 2018 at 1:22 am
In the upcoming elections it is almost certain , from what I glean from sites such as Jonova, that the public will overwhelmingly choose a Labour-Green coalition which will impose even stricter controls on any activity which risks CO2 emission .”
The majority of the public won’t but the voters who benefit from Govn’t subsidies most will vote Labour/Green. And that is pretty much anyone in a city in Australia.

Reply to  Patrick MJD
January 29, 2018 6:57 am

There will be no rebellion and the sheep will continue to stand in the meadow until slaughtered. What happened to human beings that they are nothing but stupid sheep?

Reply to  Patrick MJD
January 29, 2018 9:48 am

Once you have convinced a majority of the population that all good things come from government, the only thing left to do is to start preparing for the inevitable collapse.

Reply to  Patrick MJD
January 29, 2018 1:43 pm


January 29, 2018 2:33 am

The new title is a bit tame. How about ‘Death air’?

Berényi Péter
January 29, 2018 3:02 am

A 10 years old story is hardly new. Here is an opus from 2008-02-18, Andrew Revkin, NYT.
Global Heating, Atmosphere Cancer, Pollution Death. What’s in a Name?

January 29, 2018 3:04 am

I am just glad that they didnt make us pay billions for each gay marriage and keep switching the lights and air con off

January 29, 2018 3:31 am

Atmosphere Dancers? Has a nice ring to it to describe their modus operandi-

January 29, 2018 3:36 am

Seth Godin is the modern face of Saul Alinsky.

Tom in Florida
January 29, 2018 4:32 am

I have always said that success in pushing the AGW agenda or opposing it will depend on who is better at implementing Sales 101 techniques. In this light, Godin is correct, if you want to scare people refer to things that will actually scare them.

January 29, 2018 4:33 am

It’s just another sign of their complete desperation. Let them really try to use that term. The American people will be smart enough to dismiss it for what it is.

Bruce Cobb
January 29, 2018 5:04 am

Heh, “Atmosphere Cancer”. Sounds great, less filling.
The Great Climate Flimflam stumbles along, not knowing that it is already dead.

January 29, 2018 5:05 am

In other words, better propaganda to control how people think of the climate. I think everyone needs to be trained or at least made aware of propaganda techniques used by people when they are using them. This is a great example to point out. The association of pollution as a cancer to the climate. This is meant to control how we view pollution on the climate. I look out side. It is cold. There is snow on the ground. It is January. Nothing has changed. Until Chicago is a winter tundra 12 months a year or I can swim in Lake Michigan in January without getting hypothermia, the climate has not changed.

Bruce Cobb
January 29, 2018 5:22 am

The correct analogy is of course that the CAGW ideology is a cancer of human society. It has responded well, however to the radiation therapy of truth, common sense, and plain old gumption.

January 29, 2018 5:38 am

Why not just go the whole hog and call it atmospheric nuclear annihilation?

Bengt Abelsson
January 29, 2018 5:51 am

May I suggest:
Thin air syndrome ?

January 29, 2018 5:53 am

About the same level of disgusting as labelling those who question their religious belief as akin to Holocaust deniers. Anyone who observes the left in action should know by now that no form of reprehensible behaviour is beneath them

Bruce Cobb
January 29, 2018 5:56 am

Funny how now that Klimate Kommunication has failed, these marketing geniuses come out of the woodwork with their bril marketing ploys. Shoulda woulda coulda. Sorry guys, that ship has sailed, and hit an iceberg called Truth and Reality. Deal with it.

January 29, 2018 6:02 am

Marketing science is all it ever was.

Reply to  ResourceGuy
January 29, 2018 6:24 am

It’s Lew and Cook’s specialty. Psychology to guilt, shame, coerce, etc. And they are the heros of the movement, along with Gore, Oreskes, etc. No scientists other than Mann and Hansen were involved in the actual science and they were willing to sell out for fame and glory. I truly believe they would tell ANY lie, no matter how big, to stay famous and noticed.

January 29, 2018 6:28 am

This will backfire. Cancer is not something one turns into a marketing theme. People who have had relatives die of cancer, go through rounds of chemo (consider the treatment for the disease is often as bad or worse than the disease itself—which AGW people have denied to be true in their treatment of the “disease” of AGW), relapse——marketing with a truly nasty illness as one’s theme is a bad choice. It will show how dark and evil these people are, which is the only up side to the whole thing.

Bruce Cobb
January 29, 2018 6:55 am

Ah, but,
What’s in a name? That which we call a sewer
By any other name would smell as bad.

Reply to  Bruce Cobb
January 29, 2018 3:40 pm


January 29, 2018 6:57 am

This is a sign of desperation. When someone borrows a name for a heinous, painful, debilitating disease to make a natural process more palatable, it is scrambling and nothing else. I have sweaters that are smarter and a lot more pleasant to be around than seth godin.
What a colossal jerk.

Caligula Jones
January 29, 2018 7:01 am

Sadly, this will probably work.
Every day, I take the subway in Toronto.
Every day, I have to elbow people (mostly, but not all, of a Certain Generation Who Shall Not Be Named) out of the way as they stop, while on a busy stairwell, to look at their “phones”.
Many of them are wearing pyjamas.
In other words: they are already tasteless people. Comparing a gas that is not only not very harmful, but absolutely essential for the very soy they put into their “coffee” to cancer won’t bother them one bit.
Just wait until Jimmy Kimmel gets a hold of this idea…

Gary Pearse
January 29, 2018 7:17 am

I’m wondering how good a marketer he is. The list of name changes for this benighted campaign shows that the product is a dud. Renaming a dud in search of a winning ad campaign is a disaster in more ways for climate fantasy than it would be for a product that nobody’s interested in buying. Actually, all these changes came about while the climate losers were deeply engaged with Madison Avenue message gurus like Godin.
Has this idiot any idea how this would look in the technical literature. First, there are all those years with technical journals using global warming, then AGW, then CAGW, then Climate Change (the stupidest of them all). I don’t think GRL would want papers on Atmospheric Cancer. Would Lancet publish it, or the New England Journal of Medicine?
Gee this end game with all the hysteria and terminal stupidity has taken me by surprise. I opted for an evolutionary end game where scientists gradually shifted away from alarm. Many have a paper or two which they can cite as them having recognized the possibility that natural variation is greater than thought. They could have jumped on some significant volcanic activity in the future or even made a mega-star out of a tiny smoke from the Canary Islands – at exaggeration they cant be beat! But, no. They speed up like lemmings as they approach the cliff, all for a Bertrand Russell tiny teapot in distant orbit.
Read this quote as the perfect analogy for the global warming issue, especially the last several lines of it.

Dave Fair
Reply to  Gary Pearse
January 29, 2018 12:22 pm

Libs always push it too far.

Reply to  Gary Pearse
January 29, 2018 3:34 pm

“Gee this end game with all the hysteria and terminal stupidity has taken me by surprise. I opted for an evolutionary end game where scientists gradually shifted away from alarm.”
It seems to me that would be a shift toward unemployment . . A genocidal shift, in Godin-speak ; )

January 29, 2018 7:44 am

In the war between reality and narcissists headline seekers, there is often a perception of the headline manipulators winning up until the critical points when they collapse under the weight of their own making. Therefore any and all assistance provided to the delusionists is welcome.

Reply to  ResourceGuy
January 29, 2018 8:00 am

A wounded beast roars the loudest right before it falls down.

Smart Rock
January 29, 2018 7:56 am

Atmospheric Immune Deficiency Syndrome?

January 29, 2018 8:12 am

“Brain Cancer” — The Latest Name for BELIEF in Human Caused Global Warming

Reply to  Robert Kernodle
January 29, 2018 3:44 pm

comment image
Certainly a brain mal-function of some sort. !!

January 29, 2018 8:31 am

“Just look at what happened with gay marriage in the US in the last 10 years. It went from being safe and respectable to be against, to something that no one speaks up against anymore.”
“Did everybody change their mind? Of course not.”
“What changed was the culture, and the culture was changed because of the story,” Godin says.

Actually, no, the culture didn’t change either. Judicial activism took over a social issue that culminated in the SCOTUS declaring gay marriage is an inalienable right, same as for heterosexual marriage. Absolutely nothing in the culture or the electorate changed. Polls still show a strong disagreement with gay marriage.
It doesn’t surprise me that even the world’s best marketer would screw up something so basic and obvious, because marketing isn’t about truth—it’s about inspiring action.

Reply to  AZ1971
January 29, 2018 12:28 pm

I think one can also argue that one reason fewer people say anything remotely “unsupportive” is that they have seen what happens to anyone who does, regardless of how innocuous it actually is. Demonization in the media, lawsuits, fines, threats…
Like far too many issues, only one opinion can be expressed without fear of some sort of retaliation or harassment. The whole mess is actually rather similar to CAGW (in the sense of attacking those who have the “wrong” opinion/belief), except that the legal system was better weaponized. Let us hope that the legal system does not cause more harm to anyone over differences of any sort of opinion.

Reply to  AllyKat
January 29, 2018 2:28 pm

I guess you’re not thinking of young academic path professionals with these statements. There is already a clear and present danger for them. The legal system that covers them is a separate system.

DeLoss McKnight
January 29, 2018 9:20 am

Seth Godin is the real deal. He IS a well known marketer and he does have an interesting blog. He knows what he’s talking about. Ridiculing him may be psychologically satisfying, but it doesn’t address the accuracy of his analysis. He may look funny, but that is part of his personal “brand” to make him stand out. It works. Ridiculing his looks only says more about you, not him.
The interesting thing here is that to date, the marketing of climate change, or whatever you want to call it, has been remarkably successful. You can’t deny that billions of dollars have been spent because of it. You can’t deny that millions of people believe wholeheartedly in it. The money may be misspent; the belief misplaced. But it’s real. The disaster scenarios that we constantly read about? That’s a form of storytelling. The best ones begin with the impact on an individual or family. That sucks in the reader’s attention, because that’s something they can relate to or empathize with. That’s why these stories are effective. Storytelling began with the invention of language and it’s a universal characteristic of humans. We all love a good story, so we are predisposed to listen. What Seth is talking about is taking that marketing to the next level and making belief in climate change a cultural norm.
The work that people do here is invaluable to point out the weaknesses in the “settled” science. But all the academic papers with their numbers and graphs will not win the culture war. You need stories of your own to fight back with.

Reply to  DeLoss McKnight
January 29, 2018 11:34 am

CO2 as a trigger of an “atmospheric cancer” …
Sounds like a case of “scientific hypochondria” that has been instigated/encouraged by a “scientific marketing” scheme.
Next thing they will be telling us is that “religion has been settled” and that their belief system is the only viable way to avoid desolation of the earth.
Seth Godin is Marketer/showman that wants to fool people into doing stuff. A lot of people like to be fooled, and led by their emotions. People that enjoy fooling other people in that manner are assholes. Seth Godin is Marketer/showman that wants to fool people into doing stuff.

Gary Pearse
Reply to  DeLoss McKnight
January 29, 2018 1:42 pm

So why keep changing the name of a product that you feel has been so well sold. You do realize that sceptics doing battle are outnumbered thousands to one (ordinary people aren’t in this battle. They are the target of the campaign), are battling against almost all mass media, every University,
K-12 propaganda/education-lite schools, every research institute, every scientific technical society, politicos of 200 countries, the UN and all other NGOs and all the world’s heavy hitter, cash rich Foundations.
As in the old USSR, dissidents (sceptics) were the 3% and the guys with the clubs, guns and torture instruments are the 97% team. All we’ve got for power like our 3% colleagues is to unremittingly deconstruct scientific fluff and to quest for truth. Fortunately it still seems to be a potent weapon against these global gov Philistines. No Madison Avenue genius could have saved the Soviet Union and they have been spinning their wheels advising how to craft a winning message for the climateers since the turn of the millennium . A good marketer would advise that a product for which you have to keep trying new names is a dud.

Extreme Hiatus
Reply to  DeLoss McKnight
January 29, 2018 4:13 pm

“He knows what he’s talking about.”
Not in this case. This is a profoundly stupid idea.
On the other hand, it did help him stay “a well known marketer” and probably drove traffic to his blog, which is probably all he actually cares about.
This guy is a manipulative weasel who reminds me of Jonathan Gruber, who helped “market” Obamacare.
“Lack of transparency is a huge political advantage and, basically, call it the stupidity of the American voter or whatever. But basically that was really critical to getting the thing to pass.”
I’m sure this guy thinks the same way. He must to have come up with this idea.

Reply to  DeLoss McKnight
January 29, 2018 4:38 pm

“The interesting thing here is that to date, the marketing of climate change, or whatever you want to call it, has been remarkably successful.”
I don’t think so, in the general, since “climate change” consistently ranks at or near the bottom of long lists of potential concerns people are presented with. (And that means a great many people at not at all concerned, it seems to me). One could say the marketing of Hillary Clinton was remarkably successful, and for some it surely was . . but not in the general ; )
“But all the academic papers with their numbers and graphs will not win the culture war. You need stories of your own to fight back with.”
I think that was understood and acted upon by some “old school” folks (like the recently departed John Coleman, for instance), who inflicted severe damage on the PR campaign aspect of this (to my mind) globalist power play.

DeLoss McKnight
Reply to  JohnKnight
January 29, 2018 8:16 pm

John, thank you for your reply. I agree with you that a lot of people rank climate change near the bottom of their immediate concerns. That doesn’t mean that they don’t believe in climate change. (Sorry for the double negative.) It may just mean that climate change is too far removed from their daily life to worry about, and they are unwilling to make real personal sacrifices for some amorphous gain. We call out the hypocrisy of Al Gore and Leo DiCaprio for their fanatical belief, yet even they do little to reduce their carbon footprint. I see this as partly politics and partly a generational thing. There are two large groups that advocate for climate change: those that are political hard core believers on the left (about 20% of American voters) and the younger generation that has been indoctrinated by the educational system and by pop culture. When you read the media that they consume, climate change is just as much a given as gravity.
I am glad that some like John Coleman were able to fight fire with fire. He will be missed. His work will need to be taken up by others to continue to counter the constant propaganda.

J Mac
January 29, 2018 9:30 am

More atmospheric CO2 is causing healthier plants to metastasize all over the body of Planet Earth!
Ohhhhhh Noooooooooo !!!! The planet is in Stage 3 ‘greening’ – Kill It Quick!

Gerald Machnee
January 29, 2018 9:37 am

This is the first cancer that is not fatal, has no cause and requires no medical cure except getting rid of stupidity.

January 29, 2018 9:38 am

He makes a good point, Global is good and warming is good, so what’s not to like. I guess that is why the the first name change.

Bruce Cobb
January 29, 2018 10:50 am

Hey, I know – they should make up a beast, say part man, part bear, and part pig, and call it ManBearPig whenever they want to refer to global warming. People are always going to fear a monster. It would be awesome.

January 29, 2018 11:30 am

Godin sounds like another parasite looking for a way to sink it’s mandibles deep into the public’s purse.

January 29, 2018 11:38 am

To be not , or to be…that is the question…!
In any regard, according to this guy, atmospheric climate thingy happens actually to be the tumor, or cancer… not actually the humanity and human activity, so to speak…
Strange, very much so.
Maybe that is where the DJT stand drives at… all these losers … in the end of the day…
The art of the deal..:)

Joel Snider
January 29, 2018 12:32 pm

More shrill, more desperate.
Anybody remember Rumpelstiltskin having a tantrum and tearing himself in half?

January 29, 2018 12:56 pm

If cancer is caused by malignant stem cells that never die, then climate cancer is due to political-advocacy-academic schemes that never die for lack of trying.

January 29, 2018 2:31 pm

Oh, wait!! – Brilliant idea here! Cancer responds and usually succumbs to radiation treatment, right? And seth the know-it-all thinks a marketing campaign for it is the answer, right?
Well, gee whizz, guys! All we have to do is reactivate the Sun, which has gone to sleep on us, and get those radiation-shedding solar flares and sunspots cranking again!
Easy-peasy fix, isn’t it? /sarc/
And yes, seth godin is a colossal jerk, for even suggesting something related to a debilitating and frequently deadly disease.

Gunga Din
January 29, 2018 2:52 pm

If [the scientists] had called it ‘Atmosphere Cancer’, they probably would have started on a better footing:

Let’s see now.
Those who claim to be scientist should have called an inanimate object (a CO2 molecule) a living thing that will kill an inanimate object (the atmosphere).
Sounds like “climate science” to me!
(Or The Weather Channel)

Gunga Din
Reply to  Gunga Din
January 29, 2018 3:00 pm


This has got to be one of the most insensitive climate ideas ever proposed. A few days ago I attended a “living wake” for a friend who has terminal cancer – a final sendoff for someone who probably only has a few weeks to live.

Glad you had a chance to say “Goodbye”.
One of my parents died suddenly. Never got that chance.

old construction worker
January 29, 2018 3:46 pm

PR’s best chance was “Co2 causes global warming” and “see, see it’s getting warmer”.

January 29, 2018 3:47 pm

Again, we await the AGW stall-warts to defend this idiocy.
Come on guys,……
Let’s see how much more idiotic you can make things.

michael hart
January 29, 2018 7:34 pm

It’s what happens when somebody smokes too much climate crack.

Bill Parsons
January 29, 2018 8:59 pm

There are no cancer deniers. Everyone knows that cancer is a chronic and degenerative disease, and you need to stop it soon.

Well, thankfully for the rest of us, California is on the cutting edge.
Somewhere, someone is fashioning a warning label to help us meet the hazards and menaces of daily life. I’m sure that the following warning appeared on a takeout coffee cup just in time on save someone great distress: “Avoid pouring on crotch area”. In California, every fool knows that could cause cancer.

Paul Johnson
February 1, 2018 8:52 am

Unfortunately, the proposed cure for Atmospheric Cancer is Economic Chemotherapy.

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