It’s a crisis, not just a change of the weather. Language matters. People are more inclined to take something serious when it is described as a crisis.
And Climate Crisis is a more accurate depiction of what we face. Just think of the recent catastrophes taking place due to human impact, particularly fossil fuels, on the planet. And these catastrophes will only increase… particularly if we do nothing.
Climate scientists and many news outlets are changing their phrasing to climate crisis for this reason.
The Guardian changed their phrasing several years ago. Here’s why they made the switch:
“We want to ensure that we are being scientifically precise, while also communicating clearly with readers on this very important issue,” said the editor-in-chief, Katharine Viner. “The phrase ‘climate change’, for example, sounds rather passive and gentle when what scientists are talking about is a catastrophe for humanity.”
One thing I hate about the way Earth Day is framed is as though it’s a childish issue. Like, it’s “cute” to care about the planet. Have you noticed this? Little heart shaped cartoon earths smiling. (Instagram’s Earth Day image 2022.) Or in the video Vice President Kamala Harris posted with cutesy music in the background talking to kids about not throwing trash on the ground. This isn’t a new thing: Anecdotally, it appears it’s been framed as a childish thing for a long time and it takes away from the severity of the issue.
Our world is burning. We need systemic change and we need corporations, the fossil fuel industry and billionaires to pay up for the damage they’ve caused. We need politicians to actually create real change. The things VP Harris mentions in her caption from her video are something, (electrify school buses, remove lead pipes and improve air quality) but it’s not enough. It’s more lip service than anything.
Politicians need to implement emergency, long lasting POLICY. We need to phase out the fossil fuel industry completely as fast as possible and replace it with renewable energy sources.
We the people need to get angry. We need to fight for a livable planet. Now. We need to support scientists and activists like Peter Kalmus, who went viral recently (on Instagram he goes by climate human.) We need to demand passage of the Green New Deal and we need to protest in the streets.
As I say this, hot wind is raging around my apartment at 7:45pm and fires are raging near my hometown. There is literally no time to waste. The International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) issued a report saying it’s now or never if we are going to stave off disaster. The UN states we are “firmly on track toward an unlivable world.” This isn’t a joke and it certainly isn’t a cute issue. But by all means, bring on the cute heart shaped earths and let just buy more t-shirts that say earthy things.
Its already too late. But we still must take action now. Because it’s a question of not if, but how fast and just how bad we’ll allow it to get.
If you know of protests going on around where you live, message me.