AlterNet: What’s in a name? According to a recent Yale University Poll, quite a bit. In fact, the poll found that the public greatly prefers the term “global warming” over “climate change” when referring to the world’s epic climate shift.
The pollsters found that the term “global warming” is associated with “greater public understanding, emotional engagement, and support for personal and national action than the term ‘climate change.'”
And not only is the term “global warming” preferential, the term “climate change” appears have been a bad public-relations shift for scientists and environmentalists, at least in the short term.
“[T]he use of the term “climate change” appears to actually reduce issue engagement by Democrats, Independents, liberals, and moderates, as well as a variety of subgroups within American society, including men, women, minorities, different generations, and across political and partisan lines,” the poll found. “Within the Weather category, global warming generates a higher percentage of associations to “extreme weather” than does climate change, which generates more associations to general weather patterns.” [Continue reading…]