Climate: The use of propaganda techniques

Climate: The use of propaganda techniques

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What began as “global warming” gradually changed to “climate change”. In the past few years, The Guardian led a movement to change that to “Climate Crisis” or “Climate Emergency” or “Global Heating” with a specific goal of frightening readers.

Now, the movement is refining the language further to “carbon pollution” or “climate pollution”.

The thinking is people will more closely identify with and fear “pollution” and thereby be influenced more strongly.

The intent is to persuade target audiences to adopt their climate change/climate crisis/climate pollution agenda:

This simple exercise helps explain the growing popularity of once-rare phrases like “carbon pollution” and “climate pollution” in place of “carbon emissions” or the older “greenhouse gases.” Connecting climate change with something visceral and dangerous brings more immediacy to a problem that’s often seen as unfolding far away or in the future, even though it’s causing suffering now. “Climate pollution” is becoming common on the websites of green groups and atop news stories. “Carbon pollution” has been adopted by the Biden administration, appearing on the Environmental Protection Agency’s site, in press releases about cleaning up manufacturing, and in speeches by the president.

Source: ‘It makes climate change real’: How carbon emissions got rebranded as ‘pollution’

The basic method of communications exhibited here is “fear” – as “carbon pollution”, as explained the article, sounds more immediate than “climate change” – and implies direct impact on your personal health.

This move risks confusing actual pollution with climate change – smoke from factory or chemical emissions from a flue pipe are not the same as “climate pollution”. Their argument is that today we over use “pollution” to describe nearly everything so it doesn’t matter.

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