The Guardian has amended its official style guide addressing climate change in order to highlight what they say is the severity of the crisis, the British newspaper announced to readers Friday.
In the piece, environmental editor Damian Carrington explained that going forward the paper would use “climate emergency, crisis or breakdown” as a preferred term instead of “climate change” and “global heating” over “global warming.” Carrington also said the paper would take a less charitable view of those who continued to cast doubt on the science of climate change, updating “climate sceptic” to the considerably harsher “climate science denier.”
“We want to ensure that we are being scientifically precise, while also communicating clearly with readers on this very important issue,” editor-in-chief, Katharine Viner, said in the piece. “The phrase ‘climate change’, for example, sounds rather passive and gentle when what scientists are talking about is a catastrophe for humanity.”
The news was announced to Guardian staffers in an internal email Friday by Viner, who said the older terms could still be used in certain circumstances.
“The original terms are not banned, but do think twice before using them,” she said in the email.
The move by the Guardian is a forceful step that reflects the longtime consensus from climate scientists that the world is heating up as a result of human-directed carbon dioxide emissions into the atmosphere. Despite the facts, scientists and lawmakers — particularly in the United States — have often struggled to communicate what they say is the seriousness of the threat.