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Terms & CommunicationRSS

Terms & Communication

Alternatives to climate science jargon, definitions, synonyms for "global warming," effective climate communication.

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An honest skeptic can be persuaded by facts....

"Skepticism is invaluable to the scientific method. But an honest skeptic can be persuaded by facts. These deniers are largely impervious to facts — at least facts that contradict their worldview."

Scientist to write plain English?  Like asking cat to bark

"It should be possible to write about science in plain English, though asking a scientist to do that is like asking a cat to bark."— Dr. Richard Somerville, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, Coordinating Lead Author of the IPCC's Fourth Assessment Report.

Replace "ands" with "buts" and "therefores

Replace your "ands" with "buts" or "therefores." It makes for better writing —Trey Parker, writer of South Park, on the art of storytelling.

"Global Warming is a misnomer..."—John Holdren

"The popular term 'global warming' is a misnomer. It implies something uniform, gradual, mainly about tempera­ture, and quite possibly benign. What is happening to global climate is none of those."

To change the world, first change the story—Andy Goodman

"If you want to change the world for the better, first you have to change the story."

Skepticism vs. Denial

Skepticism = looking at all the evidence before drawing a conclusion. Denial = rejecting any evidence that does not support your preferred, predetermined conclusion.

Tattooed advocates will win Washington - Bill Clinton

"The more people with visible tattoos who advocate for clean energy, the more success it will have in Washington. You win the tattooed vote and we’ll have the damnedest environmental policy anybody ever saw."—Bill Clinton

Nobody ever marched on Washington because of a pie chart

"Numbers numb, jargon jars, and nobody ever marched on Washington because of a pie chart. Stories get stored. And when you can change the story, you can change the world." — Andy Goodman, a nationally recognized author, speaker, and consultant in the field of public interest communications.

It’s stories, not science, which persuades people

“Science is not what persuades people. It’s the stories they hear from the people they trust.” – George Marshall, the founder of the Climate Outreach and Information Network, based in Oxford, England.

Gateway fact: 97% of climate scientists think human-caused climate change is real

“Based on the evidence, more than 97% of climate experts are convinced that human-caused climate change is happening.” – Edward Maibach, Teresa Myers, & Anthony Leiserowitz, of George Mason & Yale Universities.