“George W Bush swapped the term climate change for global warming in 2002, on the advice of the Republican political consultant, Frank Luntz.

In a secret memo before the mid-term elections, Luntz warned Republicans – and Bush in particular – were singularly weak on the environment. He advised a strategy of disputing climate science, and of avoiding the term “global warming’ because of its highly negative connotations.”

The ignorance of the American people is astonishing. Recent polling in Kentucky shows strong public opposition to “obamacare,” yet shows strong public support for “kynect” – the state-run exchange for the Affordable Care Act (a.k.a “obamacare”).


via Americans care deeply about ‘global warming’ – but not ‘climate change’ | Environment | theguardian.com.

Yale researchers have found that the two terms, often used interchangeably, generate very different responses

Ice melt in Antarctica Researchers found that the term ‘global warming’ resonates far more powerfully, triggering images of ice melt and catastrophe. Photo: Peter McBride /Barcroft

Barack Obama, scientists and campaigners have all looked at how to engage Americans more powerfully on the environment. Now researchers have come up with one critical piece of advice: do say “global warming”, don’t say “climate change”.

New research released on Tuesday found Americans care more deeply when the term “global warming” is used to describe the major environmental challenge. “Climate change”, in contrast, leaves them relatively cold.

The two terms are often used interchangeably but they generate very different responses, the researchers from…

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3 thoughts on “Americans care deeply about ‘global warming’ – but not ‘climate change’

  1. That’s interesting. It’s sad that people don’t realize that global warming and climate change mean the same thing. I’ll make sure to say global warming from now on when I write about it. I actually thought the term climate change would help people to understand that global warming doesn’t necessarily mean that local weather is getting hotter. I guess some people wil be confused no matter what!


  2. I had no idea Bush was responsible for the name change. New Zealand is highly influenced by the US political scene, so we call it climate change here, as well. Without having any idea where it came from.


    • The right-wing propaganda machine is undoubtedly effective. I began studying climate change in the late 1960’s when it was known as “the greenhouse effect.” The other monikers (“global warming” et al) came later.


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