Climate Crisis and Climate Change

The comedian George Carlin has a great bit where he gives examples of ‘soft language’ that softens the original meaning of words: senior citizens instead of old people, and the landfill instead of the dump.

Another example of ‘soft language’ is climate change - a term that was manufactured by Frank Luntz (who has since reversed his view on the climate crisis), a political advisor to George Bush, to sound very soft in comparison to the existential threat that the climate crisis actually is:

In May, The Guardian announced it would stop using the terms climate change and global warming in favor of the terms climate crisis and global heating. From their 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.”

This week I built a chrome extension that swaps all instances of the phrase climate change to climate crisis and all instances of the phrase global warming to global heating.

I built it for myself to get used to seeing the correct words associated with the climate crisis and train my brain to use them more often instead of ‘climate change’ and ‘global warming’. I hope it’s useful to you as well!

You can add it to chrome here: