Guest drive-by twofer by David Middleton
1. Global Warming —> Climate Change: Bush’s Fault
Our planet is in crisis. But until we call it a crisis, no one will listen
We study disaster preparedness, and ‘climate change’ is far too mild to describe the existential threat we face
Caleb Redlener, Charlotte Jenkins and Irwin Redlener
Wed 31 Jul 2019
When Senator Kamala Harris was asked about climate change during the Democratic debate in June, she did not mince words. “I don’t even call it climate change,” she said. “It’s a climate crisis.”
She’s right – and we, at Columbia University’s National Center for Disaster Preparedness, wish more people would call this crisis what it is.
In the early years of George W Bush’s first term as presidency, scientists were actually making serious progress in establishing overwhelming evidence that we were, in fact, facing a global crisis. Public opinion on climate change was shifting; Americans were curious about how worried they should be by the damage being done to our atmosphere.
Enter Frank Luntz, a renowned Republican pollster and strategist. Luntz was concerned that the Republican party was losing the communications battle. He advised Republicans to cast doubt on scientific consensus on the dangers of greenhouse gases and to publicly hammer home a message of uncertainty.
In 2002, Luntz wrote a memo to Bush urging him and the rest of his party to use the term “climate change” instead of “global warming”. Climate change sounded “less frightening”, he pointed out, “like you’re going from Pittsburgh to Fort Lauderdale”.
Caleb Redlener is an undergraduate studying public policy and communications at the Ohio State University and a summer intern at Columbia University’s National Center for Disaster Preparedness
Charlotte Jenkins is a master’s of public health candidate at the Mailman School of Public Health at Columbia and a graduate research assistant at Columbia’s National Center for Disaster Preparedness
Irwin Redlener directs Columbia’s National Center for Disaster Preparedness and is a professor at the Mailman School of Public Health at Columbia
As the crisis escalates… [The Grauniad needs your money]
“first term as presidency”WTF?
Did they really write that?
I just love it when a bunch of Liberal Arts idiots write write something so stupid, that the SkepSci kids can shoot it down…
Both Terms Have Long Been Used
The argument “they changed the name” suggests that the term ‘global warming’ was previously the norm, and the widespread use of the term ‘climate change’ is now. However, this is simply untrue. For example, a seminal climate science work is Gilbert Plass’ 1956 study ‘The Carbon Dioxide Theory of Climatic Change‘ (which coincidentally estimated the climate sensitivity to a doubling of atmospheric carbon dioxide at 3.6°C, not far off from today’s widely accepted most likely value of 3°C). Barrett and Gast published a letter in Science in 1971 entitled simply ‘Climate Change’. The journal ‘Climatic Change’was created in 1977 (and is still published today). The IPCC was formed in 1988, and of course the ‘CC’ is ‘climate change’, not ‘global warming’. There are many, many other examples of the use of the term ‘climate change’ many decades ago. There is nothing new whatsoever about the usage of the term.
In fact, according to Google Books, the usage of both terms in books published in the United States has increased at similar rates over the past 40 years:SkepSci
Apart from being totally wrong about almost everything… SkepSci wasn’t even stupid enough to blame the name game on Republicans.
2: WTF Did Beto Say?
Robinson Meyer, a 20-something year old music major, is The Atlantic’s resident climate scientist. His expertise rivals that of shark expert Rob Riggle… (Eat, Prey, Chum is hilarious!)
Climate Change Can’t Be Left to the Scientists
Steve Bullock just wasn’t right.
JUL 31, 2019
Amid the fireworks of Tuesday night’s Democratic primary debate, there was a moderately interesting exchange about the inherently political task of dealing with climate change. It happened among the not-so-killer B’s: the moderates Steve Bullock, Beto O’Rourke, and Pete Buttigieg.
Bullock, the governor of Montana, began by addressing Senator Bernie Sanders, asking, “Are we going to actually address climate change? … Or are we going to give people a better shot at a better life?” Bullock then added: “You can do both.” (This insight did not come as a surprise to Sanders, no matter what you think of his politics. The Vermont senator has endorsed the Green New Deal, which deliberately ties climate policy to several allegedly life-bettering policies, including universal health care and a job guarantee.)
Then Bullock attempted to depoliticize climate change: to make it a purely technical issue best left to professionals. “Let’s actually have the scientists drive this,” he said. “Let’s not just talk about plans that are written for press releases that will go nowhere else if we can’t even get a Republican to acknowledge that the climate is changing.”
The moderators then called on O’Rourke, the former Texas congressman, who replied to this point in a somewhat garbled way.
“I listen to scientists on this, and they are very clear. We don’t have more than 10 years to get this right,” he said, before pivoting: “And we won’t meet that challenge with half steps or half measures or only half the country. We’ve got to bring everyone in.” Then he listed a number of archetypes of Americans—Texans and residents of Flint, Michigan, and college students in New Mexico—who needed to be brought into the climate solution.
Maybe this wasn’t his point—and it wasn’t much of a point in the first place—but Beto seemed to suggest that the scientists can tell us only the scale of the climate problem. They can’t actually marshal resources to address it.
Then Buttigieg, who so often cites his young age (and exposure to climate risk) as a major reason for his candidacy, started talking about Trump’s alleged bone spurs. For all the lip service that some politicians pay to climate change, lots of them just don’t know that much about it.The Atlantic
So… If the politicians are too stupid and the scientists too impotent… Just who in the Hell can climate change be left to? At least Robbie didn’t call it a “climate crisis.”
I just realized I didn’t use any geological puns… Even though both articles were nothing but horst schist… 😉
The Columbia University’s National Center for Disaster Preparedness crew earns a triple Billy Madison…
Robbie Meyer earns a Wile E. Coyote bidirectional non sequitur trophy…