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Why We Must Replace the term “Global Warming” with “Climate Destabilization” in Climate Debates and the Media

Submitted by TheAdmin on

Farmers in Africa’s Sahel region have planted trees on 5 million hectares of degraded land, since 1975

"How we frame the climate conversation matters --- it matters a lot."    Andrew Guzman on NPR Radio

More non-profit environmental groups, responsible media, NGOs, enlightened corporations and governments are beginning to abandon the terms climate change and global warming for the new terms or phrases "global warming and its consequent climate destabilization," climate destabilization, catastrophic climate destabilization, irreversible climate destabilization and extinction level climate destabilization. (If you have not yet read the full and concise definition of what climate destabilization is, click here.)

If we are ever going to create the necessary awareness within the public to lessen and slowdown global warming and hope to eventually ever resolve it, it is imperative that we stop using the term global warming by itself and we stop using the term climate change. The terms global warming by itself and climate change are often confusing to the general public.  They are also simply not accurate enough in describing the real climate emergency that humanity now faces. 

The term global warming used by itself is problematic for several reasons. First of all, it leads people to believe that the whole world will be getting warmer. Yet as the average temperature of the planet increases, certain places will actually become colder. 

With global warming we'll also be dealing with more frequent and more severe storms, which will take new pathways never seen before. Flooding will increase in certain places while desertification will be the issue in others.

Global warming used alone hides the truth that the end result of global warming is global climate destabilization and this climate destabilization then creates a whole chain off much worse global and national consequences than just “it's getting a little warmer and I will have to use my air-conditioner more.”

Climate change as it term is so vague it is all but useless to reflect what's really going on. It also should not be used in part, because we live our lives with ever changing weather. Changing weather is so normal we give it little attention or concern unless we are warned it's going to be severe and it will affect our specific plans.

Climate change is also a term used most often by fossil fuel industry paid lobbyists, think tanks and media to control the climate discussion’s framing and confuse us about what is really happening to our global climate. The global climate isn't just changing--it is destabilizing and its searching for a new equilibrium level that will most likely be very unfriendly to our well-being.  Because of the before mentioned, climate change should never be used by informed individuals who understand the climate destabilization issues.

Thus the phrases, “global warming and its consequent climate destabilization” or “climate destabilization” by itself are the first terms to use. We also suggest you use the terms catastrophic climate destabilization, irreversible climate destabilization and extinction-level climate destabilization as the conversation gets going! All of the preceding terms more accurately reflect what is already happening with our current climate and it is what will continue to happen in the near future with increasing severity, scale, and frequency.

Please use the above new climate terms in every climate conversation you have and watch how the conversation evolves to a richer, more informative, and transformative process when you do. Keep in mind that accurate climate destabilization fear is not a bad thing. It is an critical evolutionary mechanism used to mobilize the resources of the body and mind to better resolve a real threat relating to accurate fears.

Additionally and worth repeating:

1.) It has now become public knowledge that lobbyists, think tanks and PR firms on the payroll of the fossil fuel industry have been working behind the scenes to very intentionally, and with great concerted effort, use their power to replace the term global warming with the far more nebulous, benign and confusing term climate change. They are doing this at every level in the local, regional, national and even international discussions of the climate crisis; you will find both the media and government using climate change where they used to use global warming. Even large environmental organizations have unconsciously been duped by the clever fossil fuel PR firms and lobbyists and have started using the confusing and crisis-diminishing language embodied in the term climate change.

2.) The clever fossil fuel PR firms knew that redefining global warming into climate change was brilliant. It completely reframed the way you  interpret what you are hearing. Again, ecause the climate is always changing in our daily experience of our weather, there is no big deal or implied importance within such an innocent term as climate change! This makes the climate change term meaninglessly and benign, and it certainly would not alarm anyone or call him or her to action, even when action and alarm is appropriate.

The Terms Global Warming and Climate Change Does Not Reflect the Seriousness of the Challenge We Face in Our Future:

The terms global warming and climate change has been confusing to the general public's personal experience of the ever-changing global weather. Global warming or climate change is also not accurate enough to describe the current climate conditions that humanity now faces since the idea of global warming was first introduced to the public in the 1970's.

We will soon be dealing with rising sea levels (possibly up to 2 to as many as 8 meters before the end of the century), causing storm surges like the planet has not seen in tens of thousands of years.

Global warming and its consequent climate destabilization, climate destabilization, catastrophic climate destabilization, irreversible and extinction level climate destabilization are also the new terms of art, because they are far more accurate and useful in reflecting what is already happening or what will continue to happen with increasing severity, scale and frequency --- unless we take effective planet-wide action immediately! (Extinction level here is defined as the projected potential extinction of approximately half or more of the species on earth and most (60-90% if not all, of humanity. Irreversible, whenever used, is defined as severe climate destabilization consequences that could take hundreds or even thousands of years to correct or rebalance or may never be corrected or rebalanced.)

Destabilization is a more accurate term, because the global climate is being destabilized from a relatively stable post ice age state toward a much hotter state resembling an  earlier time in the planet's fiery evolution. Destabilization reflects what will happen to our economic, political and social systems as increasing human-caused carbon pollution accelerates climate destabilization.

If we do not take action and solve this challenge, catastrophic, irreversible and extinction level climate destabilization is the perfect way to describe what will probably lead to the eventual catastrophic reduction or extinction of the human population from almost 8 billion to several hundred million people forced to live near the poles.

Using the terms global warming with its consequent climate destabilization, climate destabilization, or catastrophic, irreversible and extinction level climate destabilization conveys the true urgency of the situation. They reframe and redefine the climate discussion toward the real problems and rapidly escalating catastrophic consequences of the issue rather than toward vague or misleading descriptions that promote ambiguity..

If you’re a farmer, and you lose your annual crop to a climate destabilization-caused drought, that's a catastrophe with urgency! If you’re a home owner, and you lose your home to climate destabilization-caused floods or wildfires, that's a catastrophe with real urgency! If you’re a consumer, and your food prices keep going up because of climate destabilization-caused droughts and shortages, and you cannot afford enough food to eat, that's an urgent, serious potential extinction problem and, at the least, a catastrophe in the making for billions of people -- just like you and me.

If climate destabilization goes out of control to its potential projected maximums and 7.8 billion people die, that is the ultimate catastrophe. It will be the extinction or near extinction of the human species, and many other species will go with us. This growing loss of species is already being called the sixth great mass extinction event.

Bringing up the subject of the climate cliff and catastrophic or irreversible climate destabilization with others also engenders a whole new level of reaction and engagement. It sounds bad -- is bad -- and can convincingly be argued that it is the most important single issue related to our species' survival and our descending environmental quality of life in the 21st century.

Simply put, resolving the climate cliff and climate destabilization has become the single most important task in all of human history. Continuing to use older, confusing and vague terms such as global warming and climate change hides the real consequences and the criticalness of the problem to all of humanity.

"The greatest fear for the future of humanity is the still unknown critical tipping points involved in today's accelerating catastrophic climate destabilization. Without discovering these quickly, we could find ourselves facing complete extinction as a species without even knowing that we had passed the climate tipping points of no return (or reasonable recovery,) until it was too late to do anything about it. No other fear or human problem today matches the destructive scope, probability and immediacy of this climate destabilization challenge.

Catastrophic, Irreversible and Extinction Level Climate Destabilization should be thought of in the same scope of potential global destructiveness as a massive asteroid on a direct, certain and imminent collision course with earth. You certainly would not sit idle in that situation without demanding more and better information from your leaders on arrival dates, consequences and necessary preparations. Why aren't we collectively doing this now for catastrophic climate destabilization?"    Lawrence Wollersheim

Please stop using the confusing, misleading and non-specific terms global warming and climate change, and start using global warming with its consequent climate destabilization, climate destabilization or catastrophic, irreversible and extinction level climate destabilization, and watch what happens. From an evolutionary perspective, we have not evolved to adapt effectively to non-specific and vague threats to our survival. We need to communicate a real and specific danger to mobilize our common adaptation abilities and resolve the climate cliff and climate destabilization challenges.

The older non-specific, confusing and misleading global warming and climate change conversation has been going on for over 30 years with little success. Please encourage individuals and organizations to help change the climate conversation by using more specific, accurate and useful terms climate cliff, climate destabilization, catastrophic climate destabilization, and irreversible and extinction level climate destabilization.

This is something simple and easy that everyone of us can do. This long overdue, appropriate and more accurate re-framing of this issue alone will do a tremendous amount to move us closer to its resolution. Or as the Buddhists might say "right speech (words,) leads to right action."

If you know of any environmental organizations, media or government branches still using the fossil fuel industry’s misleading and misdirecting term climate change, please forward this information to them as soon as possible. Please ask them to stop using climate change and start using climate destabilization, and keep asking them until they do. Let's get the attention of the Public Will focused on a real, serious and now unfolding challenge to our global, national, regional and local well-being.

To learn what global warming-caused climate destabilization is, click here.

To learn what you can do to reverse global warming and climate destabilization, click here.

Please note, the term climate destabilization appears to have been first used by Greg Craven in his book, What's the Worst that Could Happen? A rational response to the climate change debate.

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