Monday, January 31, 2011

"Global Warming" or "Climate Change" which is it?

For years I've heard the Left Wing and Scientists talk about "Global Warming." Basically, human beings are causing the average temperature of the Earth to heat up. The argument is that the increase in temperature has caused the ice caps to melt and caused the temperature and the level of the seas to rise, among other things. The problem was, not everyone bought into "Global Warming," especially those on the Right. The argument wasn't that the planet was/wasn't warming but whether or not its problems were manmade.  The other argument that I heard the most was that a rise AND fall in temperature is normal and we shouldn't make too big a deal over it.

To be fair, I don't know all the ins-and-outs of "Global Warming." However, I understand the concept as it was explained to me. I understand that "Global Warming" describes the average global surface temperature increasing from human emissions of greenhouse gases. Got it! It makes sense that we will see a rise in hurricanes since the temperature is rising in large bodies of water. Here's the problem... perhaps in an attempt to 'dumb it down,' it seemed that EVERYTHING dealing with the environment was labeled "Global Warming." I'm sure environmental insiders and those "in the know" used many different terms and titles. But when talking to general public - myself included - everything was "Global Warming."

Katrina hits New Orleans - "Global Warming!" Volcanoes and Tsunamis - "Global Warming!" Everything was "Global Warming!" I think - in my humble opinion - that was part of the problem.

Most of you have seen or heard the MASSIVE - record breaking - amounts of snow that have hit the in East Coast the past couple of years. For the lay person, it is hard for them to wrap their mind around "Global Warming" when record levels of snow get dumped on them two to three times a year. Just since 2009, the East Coast has seen both a Snowpocalypse and a Snowmageddon literally shutting down the nation's capital.  The East Coast received close to 120 inches of snow - in 2010 alone. Is that normal in some places? Sure. Is it normal for Washington DC, Philly and New York? NO!!!  Even now, the Mid-West and the East Coast are bracing for yet ANOTHER record breaking winter storm! So when the folks - who don't spend everyday reading books on "Global Warming" - hear about "Global Warming" then look outside to see 4 feet of snow, for them, 2 + 2 doesn't add up. The planet is getting hotter, but the winters are getting worse! In my opinion, this disconnect has lead to a lack of interest and support for the "Global Warming" cause.

So, it appears that "Global Warming" advocates are trying to regroup to put the environmental debate back on the table. However, this time they are using the words "Climate Change." From a PR stand point, I can't really blame them. Again, to be fair, "Climate Change" may have always been in the vernacular of those WITHIN the environmental circles. Clearly "Global Warming" sounds much more menacing than "Climate Change." Perhaps that was the purpose to begin with. We all know that if you want Washington DC to notice something, you need a LARGE group of citizens in your corner and "Global Warming" scared more people than "Climate Change."  Who knows?!

But here's my problem; within the general public, "Global Warming" didn't add up. So now I hear the environmental community say "Climate Change" and I think to myself, isn't that convenient? When the weather wasn't supporting your PR initiative, you changed it up? Don't get me wrong, this doesn't mean that I don't believe/support your position, I just think it makes those that want to put "Climate Change" back on the national map look...weak. You sold most of us on "Global Warming" then we get record setting snow storms, and you then tell us "Well, it wasn't really Global Warming, it was really Climate Change..." Really? Some have even gone so far as to say the average person got it wrong.  They incorrectly called it "Global Warming."  REALLY TWO TIMES? The average person was saying what you (Mr/Mrs Environmentalist) told them to say! You said "Global Warming." The average person said, "Global Warming!"

Look, we all know the importance of educating the public, but this is one where the Captain Planet community failed to win the name recognition battle.  Plain and simple.  If "Climate Change" was really the issue and the fear of The Day After Tomorrow really coming true, then say that!  I hope they have more luck with "Climate Change" than they did with "Global Warming."  I guess at least now, when something freaky happens with the weather, it will be more in line with what's being said. 

Did anyone else question how we had Global Warming AND record breaking blizzards? Will the general public give the environmental community a second chance with Climate Change or has that ship sailed?
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