The muted reaction to our impending disaster comes down to two things:
1. The name.
Global is good.
Warm is good.
Even greenhouses are good places.
How can "global warming" be bad?
He suggests that a different framing like 'atmospheric cancer' or 'pollution death' would be more catchy. Those with a tendency to denial, which to some degree is all of us, may tend to dismiss concern based on the non-threatening name on first impression.
I use the term global warming because that is the dominant search term in the genre. That's what people type in when they are looking for information on the phenomena. While current global warming is the effect of man-made greenhouse gas build up in the atmosphere, its own consequence is rapid climate change. That's the term I would prefer to frame the discussion with. We would be be giving the problem more attention. People at large don't like change, and rapid climate change sounds very unsettling. But my logs show me that the search term climate change appears half the rate of global warming. Hence Global Warming Watch!
If the term global warming is like the long, slow, gradual, initial incline up to the top of a roller coaster then rapid climate change is the Oh-Jesus-stomach-in-the-mouth-drop, the loop-the-loop, and the dives, twists and jinks. We are still on the slow incline, and that is why global warming is more accurate and will be the preferred term for denialists and skeptics to frame the discussion around, but those interested in moving the discussion on should brand it rapid climate change. There is less room for doubt than with global warming, and less room for the public debate which has been undermined by a disinformation campaign mounted by vested interests in cheap fossil fuel energy.The term has urgency, focuses the mind on averting outcomes and we should use it well before we get to the Oh-Jesus drop. Or we may get ourselves trapped on this rollercoaster ride. Permanently.
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