Newspaper updates style: Climate change now ‘climate emergency, crisis or breakdown’


The British newspaper The Guardian is changing its style guidelines to no longer recommend the use of the phrases “climate change” and “global warning.”

The Guardian will instead use “climate emergency, crisis or breakdown” instead of “climate change” and “global heating” instead of “global warming” although the other phrases won’t be prohibited. The paper will also stop using “climate skeptic,” opting instead for “climate science denier.”

“Wildlife” will be used instead of “biodiversity” and “fish stocks” will also change to “fish populations.”

“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 a Friday Guardian article explaining the change. “The phrase ‘climate change’, for example, sounds rather passive and gentle when what scientists are talking about is a catastrophe for humanity.”

“Increasingly, climate scientists and organizations from the UN to the Met Office are changing their terminology, and using stronger language to describe the situation we’re in,” she added.

The article notes that  United Nations secretary general António Guterres has used the phrase “climate crisis,” as does climate scientist Prof Hans Joachim Schellnhuber, who has advised German Chancellor Angela Merkel, the EU and the pope