Tags: global warming | vs | climate change | believers

Global Warming vs. Climate Change: Which Do Believers Prefer?

By    |   Wednesday, 19 November 2014 03:38 PM

In choosing between using the terms "global warming" vs. "climate change,” those who believe the phenomenon is a serious problem tend to describe it as "climate change."

Though people often use the phrases interchangeably, climate change and global warming mean two different things. NASA defines global warming as the increase the Earth has seen in its average surface temperatures due to rising levels of greenhouse gases. The agency says climate change is long-term change of the climate of the Earth or of one of its regions.

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Republican leaders, who have historically sought to downplay the existence and/or threat of global warming, began more frequently using the term "climate change" in 2002 after pollster and strategist Frank Luntz recommended the move in a secret memo to the George W. Bush administration, according to a Yale report. They considered the term less threatening than "global warming."

But the Yale report, which was published in 2014, suggests the political atmosphere regarding use of the phrases has since flipped, with more recent research indicating conservative think tanks trying to downplay the threat have more commonly used the term “global warming” while liberal think tanks – which are more likely to involve global warming believers — have more frequently used “climate change.”

The report also indicated Democrats were more likely than Republicans to be global warming believers.

The phrase "climate change" has also been used far more often in Congressional debate by Democrats, according to figures compiled by the Sunlight Foundation’s Capitol Words website. Capitol Words tracks the number of times words or phrases are used in the Congressional record and by which party.

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Since the Obama presidency began in January 2009, Democrats have mentioned climate change 3,584 times and global warming 865 times.

For some believers, the debate over use of the phrases appears to be more about getting away from “global warming” than in supporting “climate change.” White House science adviser John Holdren recommended in 2010 that people replace the term “global warming” with the less catchy phrase “global climate disruption.” He said he thought “global warming” oversimplified the problem and made it sound less dangerous than it really was.

Believers may be trying to distance themselves from the phrase "global warming" because it's an easy target for ridicule in times of wintry weather, Republican pollster Adam Geller told Fox News.

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In choosing between using the terms "global warming" vs. "climate change," those who believe the phenomenon is a serious problem tend to describe it as "climate change."
global warming, vs, climate change, believers
Wednesday, 19 November 2014 03:38 PM
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