The Language of Climate Reporting Is Heating Up, Too

This Mother Jones article discusses the way the news is talking about climate change. At one newspaper, “climate change” is out. “Climate crisis” is in.

A confidential memo written for the president’s reelection campaign by a top Republican strategist, obtained by Mother Jones, makes a stark concession: The president and his party have “lost the environmental communications battle,” the memo says. “The scientific debate is closing against us.”

The bombshell memo’s acknowledgment, circulated among White House officials and party insiders, includes a tactical tip: Instead of changing policy, just change words. Avoid “frightening” phrases like “global warming” on the campaign trail, and instead use “less emotional” ones that go down easier with voters and conceal the right’s most “vulnerable” weak spot: science. “While ‘global warming’ has catastrophic communications attached to it, ‘climate change’ sounds a more controllable and less emotional challenge,” the memo says. “A compelling story, even if factually inaccurate, can be more emotionally compelling than a dry recitation of the truth.”

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