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Public Radio's Environmental News Magazine (follow us on Google News)

Global Weirding

Air Date: Week of

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Listeners suggest alternatives for the terms “global warming” and “climate change,” which are both common, but not quite correct. How about human consumption climate disruption?


CURWOOD: Coming up: the year of eating locally. Pass the beets and rhubarbs, please. Stay tuned to Living on Earth!

ANNOUNCER: Support for the environmental health desk at Living on Earth comes from the Cedar Tree Foundation. Support also comes from the Richard and Rhoda Goldman Fund for coverage of population and the environment. And from Gilman Ordway for coverage of conservation and environmental change. This is Living on Earth on PRI—Public Radio International.

CURWOOD: It’s an encore edition of Living on Earth. I'm Steve Curwood. And now, a few words from our listeners.


CURWOOD: Recently, we asked you if you could come up with better terms than "global warming" and "climate change." You certainly had some ideas:

IAN QUIRK: I think it should be climate imbalance, which implies some places are gonna get much hotter and some places are gonna get much colder, but either way we have no way of predicting how that's going to happen.

BONNIE BISHOP: What to call global warming instead of global warming? And from the beginning, I've said we should call it global trauma.

LEON FROM CHICAGO: The topic of the climate change, how it should be called – well, it should be called climate change.

MARTIN SLOVINSKY: Human consumption climate disruption; human consumption climate disruption

CURWOOD: Your e-mails also think 'global.' There was 'global life system instability' and 'global climate disruption,' 'global climate damage' and 'global climate melt-down.' One writer suggests 'global temperature destabilization,' noting that it's 'harder to say and spell, but more descriptive.' Also pretty hard to say is this offering – anthropogenic climate disruption. And still the phones kept ringing off the hook:

PETER WALE: In our household, when we run into difficulties with the terms global warming or climate change, we resort to a more technical term, ebbifluid acceleration.

AHMEEL MERRITT: How about we call it global abuse?

ANNA VON BILLINGEN: The new suggestion for what we're calling how we're trashing our planet would be global dumping.

CARBON INFUSION: I heard a good one. It sounds right to me – carbon infusion. Deadly carbon infusion.

CURWOOD: Many thanks to all who took the time to call and write, including Ian Quirk, Anita Schnee, Martin Slovinsky, Ahmeel Merritt, Bonnie Bishop, Jack Ciak, Peter Wale, Terry Watts, and Anna Von Billingen. We're always glad to hear from you. You can call our listener line any time at 800 218-9988. That's 800-218 99 88. Or you can always write to us at Living on Earth, 20 Holland Street, Somerville, Massachusetts 02144. Our e-mail address is comments at LOE dot org. Once again, comments at LOE dot org. And visit our web page at L-O-E dot O-R-G. That's L-O-E dot O-R-G.



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