Global Warming Renamed Again: Now It’s ‘Global Climate Disruption’

by Greg Pollowitz

President Obama’s science adviser, John Holdren, thinks we should change the name of “climate change,” which was formerly known as “global warming,” to ”global climate disruption.” Via ScienceInsider:

First there was “global warming.” Then many researchers suggested “climate change” was a better term. Now, White House science adviser John Holdren is renewing his call for a new nomenclature to describe the end result of dumping vast quantities of carbon dioxide and other heat-trapping gases into Earth’s atmosphere: “global climate disruption.”

“I’ve always thought that the phrase ‘global warming’ was something of a misnomer because it suggests that the phenomenon is something that is uniform around the world, that it’s all about temperature, and that it’s gradual,” Holdren said yesterday at the annual AAAS Forum on Science and Technology Policy in Washington, D.C. (AAAS publishes ScienceInsider.) “What could be wrong with that?”

Instead, he said, “we should call it ‘global climate disruption.’ Although the rising average global surface temperature is an indicator of the degree of disruption that we have imposed on the global climate system, what’s actually happening involves changes in circulation patterns, changes in precipitation patterns, and changes in extremes. And those are very different in different places.”

Holdren has made similar calls before, apparently with limited effect on the public’s vocabulary. This time, the remarks came in the context of a brief preview Holdren gave of a new climate report that the Obama administration is scheduled to release next week. The document will, in part, spell out the potential disruptions the United States faces as a result of a changing climate, perhaps giving Holdren’s idea some currency.

Why not just defend “global warming?” In Holdren’s own definition of “global climate disruption” above, he cites “rising average global surface temperature.” Um, that’s called “global warming.” And the reason for the name change isn’t to clear up any “misnomers,” it’s an attempt to find language that will finally convince voters that the president’s environmental policies should be enacted. 

Well, to quote President Obama from 2008, “You know, you can put lipstick on a pig, but it’s still a pig.”

Environmental loons can call warming hysteria and its associated apocalyptic predictions whatever they want. But it’s still a pig.