When did “Global Warming” become “Climate Change”?


July was a difficult month personally, with a family crisis (still ongoing) and an extremely busy work schedule  But no complaints here.  If I’m going to continue to blog, I better get used to doing it in the face of some stiff time constraints, as work and family life are not likely to become any less demanding in the near future, as far as I can see.

To start things rolling again, I thought I’d do something short and fun.

Anyone who has been following the “Global Warming”, er, “Climate Change” debate for any length of time now has probably noticed that the former moniker seems to be losing ground in favour of the latter. But when exactly did it happen?

To answer this question, I decided to compare the number of times the terms “Global Warming” and “Climate Change” appear in news articles indexed by Google News since 2000. Here are the results:

Looks like the two terms stayed pretty much in lock-step up to 2007 when perhaps the release of the IPCC AR4 helped turn the tide in favour of “Climate Change”.  Whatever the reason, it has been pretty much downhill since then for “Global Warming.”

To be honest, for the AGW proponents and those seeking government restrictions on CO2 emissions, the re-branding of “Global Warming” as “Climate Change” just makes good sense.  After all, the range of environmental changes that can be reasonably described as instances of “climate change” is a lot broader than the range of changes that can be considered part of  “global warming”, so with a simple change in nomenclature, unscrupulous activists and science writers have been able to dramatically increase the scope of environmental problems that can be blamed on human activity, regardless of whether it makes sense or not.  See my previous blog entry on the media reports regarding Lake Udaipur here for an example of this.

– Dave

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