Climate Change requires a more impact-ful phrase

Global Warming was evocative and conveyed the idea of warming of the planet due to Green House gases. It also projected a situation where the earth was being cooked. Unfortunately while the warming is the cause of the climate change, the effect is different in different locations, with more snowfall or rain and cold in some areas causing the knuckleheads to declare that there is no such thing as “Global Warming”.  The phrase Climate Change doesn’t have the same evocative kick to it. I propose that we try some other phrases to convey detrimental human impact to the climate. Here are a few of my choices. Just like “Global Warming” and “Climate Change”, I believe the phrase needs to be either 2 or 3 words, preferably two.

  • Climate Decay – This one is more evocative than Climate Change. One of the definition of decay is “a gradual falling into an inferior condition; progressive decline”. That very succinctly describes the worsening of the climate that is happening. The only detraction from the phrase would be the “animalification” (yes a made up word that for me means projecting animal characteristics on inanimate) of climate. Also it doesn’t convey human agency, and makes it sound more like a naturally occurring process which it is not.
  • Climate Contusion: Evokes human bluntness on climate – a strong impact in a short period, also is an alliteration which adds to the charm.
  • Climate Distress: Evokes the pain of human footprint on the climate.
  • Climate Mutilation: Shows the aggressiveness of the human impact on the climate.
  • Climate Abuse: This might be the best off all.

It is important to recapture the human imagination as to the situation of Climate change, and a name change might be the best way to go about starting that. What would be your best way to do that?


Skeptic’s critique of Skepticism: Science Ed

Today I heard a very compelling argument of being a Skeptic of Skepticism by Science Punk Frank Swain. This was part of the WestMinster Skeptics in the Pub. You can hear it as a podcast @ Pod Delusion.

What I gathered from Frank’s argument is that if trying to promote scientific method and scientific learning, leaning only on the facts is not going to work. To connect, there needs to be a good story and an appeal to emotions. The story needs to be told in a way that touches people. That’s why series like RadioLab are so popular and are absolutely brilliant in their ability to promote the science.

They focus on individuals, add humor which includes slapstick, create tension of opposing view points – essentially keeping the attention  without straying away from the latest scientific knowledge. And the best thing about it is that it is one of the few podcasts that my wife would listen along with me (and enjoy it as much as I do).

Sometimes looking at the question from different perspectives as RadioLab does is just what is required for things to move forward beyond the usual “I am right because I know the facts as science tells me and you are an ignorant idiot who still believes in fairy tales” and at least have a basis of engagement that would be good for all. RadioLab tells stories as we all love to listen, science just intertwines through them – naturally. I would leave you with the first RadioLab that I listened to.

Visiting NJ made sexy by Science Friday

Never thought I would say this, but I wouldn’t mind visiting NJ – the town of Franklin some day to see the beautiful “Rock Stars“, some of them as old as the Rolling Stones .

In 1968, the New Jersey Senate decreed the town of Franklin a geological wonder: “The Fluorescent Mineral Capital of the World.” Over 350 different minerals have been found in the area, ninety of which glow brilliantly under ultraviolet light. There are two mineral museums devoted to fluorescing rocks, the region’s unusual geology and its zinc mining history.