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What is wrong with the term climate change

Where is language, there is also Subtext. Especially where language is political. For the analysis of these Subtexts is well established in the research in the past few years, the concept of framing. Framing refers to an Association, and thus the interpretation of the framework for terms: Who listens to lemon, for example, probably thinks of "sour" or "yellow". This can be politically exploited. Frames often define a Problem and provide, at least implicitly, the right solution. In the case of a term such as "refugee flow" you will see in the mind's eye is probably large masses of people pre-noise – a force of Nature and a threat scenario. What defines the supposed solution is "foreclosure".

Also, the term "climate change" is geframt and to distract from some crucial facts.

Who uses the term:

"climate change" is a common term in the political and social debate. It is used as a matter of course by all – from the climate activists and climate skeptics, from politicians to scientists. He finds himself in the title of many government documents. Germany and Austria have developed, for example, "strategies for adapting to climate change".

What the term suggests:

The term "climate change" suggests a natural process. Five billion years five billion years, climate change the history of the earth . Warm periods come and go – as well as the ice age; also they come and go. The climate of the earth has changed. This is a normal, natural process. As a natural process of climate change appears to be unstoppable.

The term "change" is also usually a slow and linear process. One speaks of the change of the times, and to say that things change over long periods of time uniformly. It is a slow process, it is expected, however, usually not a particularly painful impact.

How the controls perception:

The term "climate change" depoliticized, because it obscures the cause of the urgency and the sometimes political nature of the problem. This happens in three ways.

Because the term suggests a natural process, is the importance of the people in it, almost invisible. Climate change suggests that the human climate changes may cause. The only nature can. Can't stop the man the climate change accordingly. According to estimates by the world climate Council, the proportion of people in the temperature rise but by far the most important factor. It is veiled, moreover, that emission reductions (of greenhouse gases) to slow down climate Change and stop it. In short: It is superimposed on that of the climate change is also a political Problem.

"climate change" means more than two or three degrees of global warming. For some, it means losing your home. Here: Tuvalu. Image: Keystone

The term "climate change" suggests a linear process of thinking. To a process with a slow and uniform speed can adapt to people. Thus, the term is glossed over, that the temperature accelerated and faster, the impact will increase as assumed for a long time: the thawing of The Permafrost releases, for example, methane, a potent greenhouse gas, the climate changes are more accelerated. The destruction of the Amazon rain forest is another example: about the massive amounts of carbon it stores, by fires than carbon dioxide, the heating of the climate. These so-called tipping points thus act as a fire accelerant, which can increase the speed of the climate changes suddenly, exponentially.

The term "climate change" suggests, finally, a few painful Changes in the climate. Two or three degrees more would not be, perhaps, not bad, you might think, and certainly in Central Europe. But it shows that small Changes in global average temperature, a large mean Changes in certain regions. These regional Changes can not only have a drastic impact on these areas, but to the entire earth. The melting of the Greenland ice sheet is an example of a regional event with drastic global impact.

The sprawling and self-evident use of the term "climate change" is an important Framing victory for those that have no interest in the required emission reductions. It is no wonder that, with this Framing, neither citizens nor policy to reduce emissions to a sufficient extent.

What would be a suitable term:

"climate crisis" or "Overheating of the earth" are more precise terms. You make the cause and urgency of the problem more clearly. In other policy areas, we take the term "crisis" quickly in the mouth – the Euro crisis or a refugee crisis, to avoid him but, when we talk about basic faults of our planetary system. That says a lot about the political importance of the different policy fields. The framework Convention on climate change of the United Nations should be better "is the name of the United Nations Convention for the prevention of the climate crisis" or "the Convention for the prevention of global Overheating". Today it is called "the United Nations framework Convention on climate change" – a sign of the success of the belittling framing. (Tages-Anzeiger)

Created: 17.12.2018, 12:18 PM

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