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View Diary: Open thread for night owls: Paul Wellstone reflects on grassroots leadership in October 2002 (64 comments)

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    The Political Rhetoric Around Climate Change … Er, Global Warming

    Yale’s report echoed research by George W. Bush pollster Frank Luntz, who had argued that the Bush White House should use climate change instead of global warming because it sounded less scary. Polling also shows Democrats are more likely than Republicans to believe the Earth is warming and human activity is the main cause.

    So, why are Democrats using climate change more frequently? That’s a difficult question to answer, but part of it may be that they are trying to draw attention to the larger implications of a warming planet. Many people use the terms interchangeably, but climate change usually refers to the broader effects brought on by increased greenhouse gases, such as a rising ocean. That’s why NASA and the vast majority of the scientific literature uses the phrase.

    The idea of man-made global warming, on the other hand, may be more easily attacked from a rhetorical angle because it’s singular. One might use the logic, it’s cold outside, therefore global warming can’t possibly be happening. Inhofe followed this line of reasoning in January, when pointing out that the cold winter in the East (even as most of the planet was baking) was a sign that man-made warming is a hoax. He also pointed to political events about global warming that took place in cold weather. It’s more difficult to make that argument when we start talking about rising oceans.

    "The end of democracy and the defeat of the American Revolution will occur when government falls into the hands of lending institutions and moneyed incorporations." ~ Thomas Jefferson

    by Lefty Coaster on Thu Jun 05, 2014 at 10:46:14 PM PDT

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