Guardian: No Climate Skeptics, Only ‘Deniers’

An arrangment of Guardian newspapers is photographed in an office in London on January 26, 2016. The Guardian newspaper is to cut running costs by 20 percent over three years and may begin charging for some online content following a 25-percent plunge in print advertising, British media reported Tuesday. / …

The Guardian newspaper has declared that it will no longer refer to those who question reigning beliefs regarding anthropogenic climate change as “climate skeptics” but will attempt to discredit them with the label “climate deniers.”

In an article Friday, the Guardian explained it had updated its official in-house style guide to turn up the heat on its climate change rhetoric, adopting new terminology meant to alarm readers and motivate them to action.

“Instead of ‘climate change’ the preferred terms are ‘climate emergency, crisis or breakdown’ and ‘global heating’ is favoured over ‘global warming,’ although the original terms are not banned,” the article stated.

“The phrase ‘climate change,’ for example, sounds rather passive and gentle when what scientists are talking about is a catastrophe for humanity,” said Katharine Viner, the Guardian’s editor-in-chief and a firm believer in the impending climate apocalypse.

“Increasingly, climate scientists and organisations from the UN to the Met Office are changing their terminology, and using stronger language to describe the situation we’re in,” she said.

The new Guardian style guide updates a number of other terms as well, and editors will now use “wildlife” in place of “biodiversity,” “fish populations” instead of “fish stocks,” and “climate science denier” in place of “climate sceptic.”

Citing the BBC, the Guardian declared: “You do not need a ‘denier’ to balance the debate” and those who dare question the accepted climate groupthink deserve no place at the table.

The Guardian’s adoption of climate “newspeak” follows on a series of similar efforts to scare people into supporting anti-climate change measures.

In late April, a team of advertising consultants from SPARK Neuro published the results of a study suggesting that the expressions “global warming” and “climate change” do not frighten people enough, whereas a shift in vocabulary  to “climate crisis” or “environmental collapse” produced a significantly stronger emotional response.

The expression “climate crisis,” for instance, got “a 60 percent greater emotional response from listeners” than “climate change,” the study found.

In its research, SPARK Neuro measured physiological data such as brain activity and palm sweat to quantify people’s emotional reactions to stimuli.

The team fixed electroencephalography (EEG) devices to the heads of 120 volunteers to gauge the electrical activity coming from their brains. At the same time, a webcam monitored their facial expressions and sensors on their fingers recorded the sweat produced by heightened emotions.

Of six different options, “global warming” and “climate change” performed the worst, beaten handily by “climate crisis,” “environmental destruction,” “weather destabilization,” and “environmental collapse.”

The CEO of SPARK Neuro, Spencer Gerrol, said that “global warming” and “climate change” are both neutral phrases with nothing “inherently negative or positive” about the words themselves, which could help explain why they elicit such a feeble emotional response.

Furthermore, both global warming and climate change are “incredibly worn out,” Gerrol said, and no longer produce the reaction they might have once.


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