the Air Vent

Because the world needs another opinion

The Climate Change Buzzword War

Posted by Jeff Id on October 2, 2008

We who are skeptical of the science behind man made clmate change are at a big disadvantage in the AGW debate. They have the world stage, they have the billions of dollars and the ear of the politicians.

We are comprised of scientists and individuals who understand the science and are almost completely unfunded through government grants. There is little voice for a paper demostrating the non-linear temp response of trees or mollusk sphincters. Even smaller voice for demonstrations of statistical manipulation.

What is worse we are loosing on a simpler front as well, —- The war of the buzzword.

Take a minute to think about some of these:

Temperature anomaly

Global warming

Climate change

Hockey Stick

Climate Model

Carbon footprint

Carbon budget

Green energy

Clean energy



What do skeptics discuss.

Solar forcing.


Temperature Proxies


Natural Variation

Non-linear temperature proxies

Strip bark and hardwood series

Speliothum isotopes

Weather stations

Like most of us who are skeptics, I am involved in science. We don’t have the support of press oriented people who look for ways to market our ideas. We don’t have the ear of the mainstream media. Yet it is critical that our buzzwords improve just to achieve some balance in this discussion — It is a strange world.

I have one suggestion which we could adopt – “Solar anomaly”. In reference to the variation from the mean sunspot number.

Perhaps we could say Normalized Temperature or TNorm instead of temperature anomaly.

Instead of reporting a temperature anomaly of 0.4 we can report a TNorm of 0.4. Sounds a bit different yet doesn’t change the science.

Anyway, the point of this article is to have more creative people than myself add to my list above and give some better and badly needed buzzwords.

This is a clear requirement and if we are smart enough it could change the sound of the debate.

14 Responses to “The Climate Change Buzzword War”

  1. Bobby Lane said

    Temperature anomaly – to – Temperature Variation(s) or T-Vars or TVs. Why? Anomaly sounds unexpected or unusual, even dangerous. Variations sound normal and expected. Plus, it’s TV. Who doesn’t watch TV?!

    Global warming – to – Warming Cycle. Again, a cycle provides the notion that there is another half to this, that it is not unnatural, unexpected, and that it will at some point end in a non-catastrophic way. In like manner, Global Cooling should be called the Cooling Cycle.

    Climate change – to – Climate Adjustment. Why? The Earth is a complex mathematical model, but as Newton said, for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. Again, normal and expected with less-than-catostrophic and even opposite possible outcomes. Change has been made to sound catastrophic and irreversible. An adjustment has a start and stop period, and is not catastrophic.

    Hockey Stick – to – Stat Fraud. Speaks for itself. Michael Mann’s Stat Fraud Stick. We want just the stats, Mann, and nothing but the stats!

    Climate Model – to – the Climate Matrix. Why? Capitalizing off the Matrix movies series, this is a great way to show how these try to simulate the real world but there is plenty wrong with them too, and plenty of bad motives in the ways these are made. Just as in the movie Matrix. One note of caution: the plural, matrices, should always have in parentheses beside it (the plural of matrix).

    Carbon footprint – to – Carbon foundation. Why? Because it’s true. Carbon and carbon dioxide are the building blocks for life as we know it. A footprint is lacking something real too – the foot that made it. Sounds criminal. A foundation sounds like the start or something beneficial, like a building.

    Carbon budget – to – Carbon growth plan. Again, it is important for the public to understand that plants (and animals, including us) need carbon (and CO2) to live. Growth plan puts a positive spin on it and gives it forward momentum, something to build up on now look down at. Plan sounds regular but not as scary as budget. A plan can be changed and its failure is not necessarily a bad thing. Not so with a budget.

    Green energy – to – Expensive (or subsidized) alternatives. Why? Solar-derived and wind-derived are very expensive and cannot be operated cost-effectively without government subsidies (i.e., taxypayer monies). It must always be emphasized how these will increase prices for the common person, regardless of how it is styled.

    Clean energy – to – Unreliable energy. Why? It’s true. Wind and solar are intermittent. The wind does not always blow, the sun does not always shine. These methods of energy generation are unreliable at best.

    Deniers – to – Differing Opinions. Why? Denying something makes it sound like its a fact someone refuses to accept. True science never declares anything is absolute. Opinions simply differ, even if based on scientific research. It happens in the scientific community all the time. Opinions can differ. Facts cannot.

    I would still change some of the skeptical terms too.

    Biosphere – to – Nature or Earth or Planet. Much less threatening and less artificial.

    Solar forcing – to – Solar Input. Why? Still gives the idea that the Sun contributes without the harsh connotations of force.

    Sunspots – to – well, if it needs a change: solar activity that is magnetic or SAM. “SAM numbers” sounds good right? And they do go surface-to-air. Plus, why would you not use anomaly in one place and use it here? That’s inconsistent.

    Temperature Proxies – to – Historical Witness(es). A proxy tells you or something that happened when you were not there, and usually a long time ago. So does the term historical witness. Real history, real events, real science.

    Albedo – to Reflection Range. Albedo basically means the reflection of light. And most things have a range, especially ice due to varying natural conditions. Plus, nice alliteration!

    Natural Variation – sounds good to me! The only NV that is a good thing! Ha!

    Non-linear temperature proxies – to – Widely Variable Witness (WVW)

    Strip bark and hardwood series – Tales of the Trees (TOTs) Like Tolkien often noted, tales often harken back to things that were necessary to know in an earlier day. A tale isn’t untrue. We just were not there to see it ourselves. Good for alliteration and for camping too!

    Speliothum isotopes – to – mineral deposit(s) in caves(s). That’s what they are after all. Stalactites and Stalagmites are clumsy words. Use “hanging,” “climbing,” “flowing,” or “joined” deposit. A straw, drapery, and stalactite are hanging. A stalagmite is climbing. Flowstone is flowing. A column is where two deposits have joined.

    Weather stations – to – Weather Outpost(s). Why? A station sounds reliable, immutable, and permanent. They are anything but that. Outpost might be a better terminology. They are planted and left there by a “mother organization.” So that fits. We’ve been invaded by aaaaaaaliens! LOL So much fun.

    PS – AGW Skeptic is too much like Anti-Federalist. It spotlights the opposition too much. We agree it is changing, just not as to why, how much, and what it means. We need a new and friendlier name that conveys a sense of positive purpose. Hmmm…

    How about an acronym? HUMON (hyoo-mon). Man is not a bad creature. He is part of nature, and yet not at the same time. He is human. And we are pro-HUMON. How’s that sound?

    HUMON stands for:

    Historical: based on long-term measurements, not just recent ones.

    Universal: based not just on the globe, but on the functions and influence of the universe as a whole (e.g., cosmic rays). We see the bigger picture.

    Manageable: Whatever changes do come, we can adjust. They will NOT spell our doom. They are not the end of the world.

    Observable: theories must be verified through real-world observations, not just simulations. Reality is the ultimate arbiter of how accurate our math is.

    Natural: centered upon the natural world, in which man HAS a place, and within which context ALL changes or variations must be discussed. It is not just man himself that is the cause. There are many systems with many causes.

    PPS – If I could get paid to do this, even part-time pay, I would love it. Press officer? Ha! Hope this helps.

  2. Jeff,
    All scientists are skeptics. In other words, if you’re not skeptical, you’re not a scientist (AL GORE).

  3. Jeff,
    “All scientists are skeptics. In other words, if you’re not skeptical, you’re not a scientist (AL GORE).”

    That statement doesn’t look right. I meant to say “AL GORE – take heed”

  4. Jeff Id said


    You should be right but Mann has never seen an upward proxy curve he didn’t like. Over on Tamino’s blog there are a whole group of people who won’t seriously consider that infilling data is an obvious problem.

    If I run into evidence that these proxies are temp, I promise to admit I was wrong and change my mind. These guys cannot say the same. They will be knee deep in snow on the Hawaiian islands, before Gavin Schmidt realizes he was potentially wrong.

  5. Jeff,
    I’m working on a paper discussing the contradictions with “Anthropogenic Climate Change”, emphasizing the science without dealing with the statistics, since I’m not a statistician. I will post parts of it on my web-site and provide a link to the full paper as I “finish” it. I hope to get some comments that will improve the paper.

    I don’t know that I’ll try to continue with the blog I started since I’m not much of a blog author and I have other obligations that take a lot of time (such as 7 grandchildren). I am enjoying your site and several others (such as climateaudit, coyoteblog, wattsupwiththat, climate-skeptic, etc.) Keep up the good work and I’ll try to provide comments from time to time.


  6. Jeff Id said

    I would like to check out your paper when you feel the time is right to see if I can do a post on it. Bringing some of the science closer to the public is one thing I hope to do.

  7. D.J. said

    Jeff Id,
    Bringing some of the science closer to the public is one thing I hope to do.

    Jeff, with this statement, I do not think it is a problem. Just for the fact that you HAVE a Web Site showing, telling and explaining YOUR beliefs towards something as important as this, is evidence you are doing the best you can do.

    You have to remember most of the Media Base today is Lieberal Biased…Alarmists to the 10th degree. We need someone with Notority and Respect to support Our cause….A Person that is recognizable! Like Walter Cronkite for an example…He was and still is! That is with the older Generation. Someone with that standing! Another would be Ronald Reagan. See what I am saying?

    I will say this, the Internet is a very Powerful Tool to use as We all know..Who knows where this Subject on AGW would be if it wasn’t around but I have a feeling with this Tool, we are keeping this at check! Keep at it Jeff. I see your comments at CA and I now have your Site on My Favorites…Us Deniers have to stick together..


  8. Jeff Id said


    Your right we have to stick together, but my point is I reject the term denier. I don’t deny the fact that climate could possibly be affected by humans, there’s no point because there’s no proof either way.

    The evidence for AGW is shaky for sure, and certainly not strong enough to cap carbon emissions or other stupid money making, control giving massive government policies.

    How about instead of denier we say Naturalists.

    I am a climate naturalist. – Sounds simple enough for the public, it has a pretty green feel, I like it.

  9. Araucan said

    Im not native speaker but could I propose some wordings ?

    Solar forcing = solar anomaly or solar crisis ?

    Sunspots = solar symptom

    Temperature Proxies = temperatures indicators (very consistant with UN langage)

    Albedo = Calculate B=(1-Albado) and say Solar warming capture indice or constant

    Natural Variation = Climatic disorder records

    Non-linear temperature proxies = Stock exchange like Temperature indicators

    Strip bark and hardwood series = Terrestrial biological temperatures indicators

    Speleothum isotopes = geologic temperatures indicators

    Weather stations = Climate monitoring and early warning record centers.

    Sur you can improve them !

    Speliothum isotopes

    Weather stations

  10. Araucan said

    NB : the previous proposal is if you want to improve your success for funds and into medias…

  11. D.J. said

    Jeff ID,

    How about Climate Realist! One’s Belief in the Reality of Real Climate! Belief that All Complexities should be involved for any absolute Decision and Direction for the Purpose of Climate and Mankind….

  12. Luke Warmer said

    The one that always gets me is “pre-industrial” especially when you can see graphs showing that pre-“pre-industrial” temperatures and CO2 have been higher (and not necessarily at the same time).

    The other weasel word is “unprecedented” when usually this means in the last 100, 1000 or 400,000 years ignoring the billenia and the same is clearly true for “since records began”.

  13. Diogenes said

    I prefer AGW Blasphemer to Denier.

    It is nicely self depreciating and emphasises the faith based nature of the AGW community.

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