“Was not their mistake once more bred of the life of slavery that they had been living?—a life which was always looking upon everything, except mankind, animate and inanimate—‘nature,’ as people used to call it—as one thing, and mankind as another, it was natural to people thinking in this way, that they should try to make ‘nature’ their slave, since they thought ‘nature’ was something outside them” — William Morris

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Thank You Frank Luntz You Just Proved My Point

...just in time for the copy edit of Hyperobjects, which is happening literally this next fortnight.

As you may know I'm using the term global warming not climate change in my book, because I think it's like saying "change in living conditions" rather than "Holocaust." It's not the metonymy ("climate change" means "climate change as a result of global warming") but the idea of a substitution that bothers me, immensely. 

With thanks to Cliff Gerrish!


...it is conservatives who typically change the names of things, as in refusing to say “Democratic” but only “Democrat” and insisting on “death tax” rather than “estate tax,” even though only big estates are taxed, not death.
That latter switch was championed by the GOP’s spinmaster, Frank Luntz, who, as it turns out, also championed switching from ‘global warming’ to ‘climate change’ in 2003. Scientists, environmentalists, progressives, and frankly the whole darn planet have always used both terms — hence the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, established in 1988.
In a confidential 2003 memo, Luntz asserted that the Administration and conservatives should stop using the term “global warming” because it was too frightening:
It’s time for us to start talking about “climate change” instead of global warming and “conservation” instead of preservation.  1) “Climate change” is less frightening than “global warming”. As one focus group participant noted, climate change “sounds like you’re going from Pittsburgh to Fort Lauderdale.” While global warming has catastrophic connotations attached to it, climate change suggests a more controllable and less emotional challenge.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Nice! Global warming so much more frightening.... People get paid bigass cash to change words instead of practices.