Thursday, February 18, 2021

#49 / What's In A Name?

I was pleased to see that Bernie Sanders and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (pictured) have introduced legislation to recognize what they are calling a "climate change emergency." I learned that on Monday, February 8, 2021, from a news article with the following headline: "AOC and Bernie Are Teaming Up to Get Biden to Declare Climate Change a National Emergency."

I promptly posted the article on my Facebook page, to bring what I consider to be good news to the attention of my Facebook friends. I did feel compelled, however, to add a brief comment:

I, personally, prefer to use the term "Global Warming," rather than "Climate Change." Global Warming is the cause, and Climate Change is the effect. Still, I'll take an emergency declaration however it's denominated. A genuine emergency it is!
Talking about "climate change," instead of "global warming," has always rubbed me the wrong way, and for the reason just outlined. In thinking more about it, I realized that there is an even more significant reason to be clear that "global warming" is the fundamental problem. 

Human-caused global warming - "anthropogenic global warming," to use a more fancy name for it - is what is helping to put our human civilization in peril, and to drive what is being called the "Sixth Extinction." Part of the problem, of course, is related to "climate change." However, the phrase "global warming" puts the focus on those human activities that are causing the emergency, while speaking of "climate change" puts the focus on the inconveniences that affect us. When we use the term "climate change," then, the emergency is being measured not by what we are doing, but by how by how we are being affected. It's a way for us to escape thinking about our own personal responsibility, and to bemoan, instead, the problems that our changing climate is causing us.

It is "all about us," but we need to accept responsibility, not complain about the problems as though we were the victims, instead of the executioners. 

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