From the administration that brought you “man-caused disaster” and “overseas contingency operation,” another terminology change is in the pipeline.
The White House wants the public to start using the term “global climate disruption” in place of “global warming” — fearing the latter term oversimplifies the problem and makes it sound less dangerous than it really is.
White House science adviser John Holdren urged people to start using the phrase during a speech last week in Oslo, echoing a plea he made three years earlier. Holdren said global warming is a “dangerous misnomer” for a problem far more complicated than a rise in temperature.
The call comes as Congress prepares to adjourn for the season without completing work on a stalled climate bill. The term global warming has long been criticized as inaccurate, and the new push could be an attempt to re-shape climate messaging for next year's legislative session.
“They’re trying to come up with more politically palatable ways to sell some of this stuff,” said Republican pollster Adam Geller, noting that Democrats also rolled out a new logo and now refer to the Bush tax cuts as “middle-class tax cuts.”
He said the climate change change-up likely derives from flagging public support for their bill to regulate emissions. He said the term “global warming” makes the cause easy to ridicule whenever there’s a snowstorm.
“Every time we’re digging our cars out — what global warming?” he said. “(Global climate disruption is) more of a sort of generic blanket term, I guess, that can apply in all weather conditions.”