Guardian style guide update tells reporters to drop 'climate change' for 'climate crisis' in push for stronger language on environment

Guardian style guide update tells reporters to drop 'climate change' for 'climate crisis' in push for stronger language on environment


The Guardian has changed its reporting guidelines on issues facing the environment, encouraging journalists to use phrases stronger than “climate change”.

Reporters at the title will now be expected to refer to climate change as the “climate emergency, crisis or breakdown” in line with its updated style guide.

The Guardian also said “global heating” will be preferred to “global warming”, while “climate science denier” will replace “climate sceptic”.

However none of the original phrases have been banned outright by the paper.

In April the Guardian added the global carbon dioxide level to its weather page in the newspaper, alongside year-on-year comparisons, in the hope this will “maintain attention” on the issue.

Guardian editor-in-chief Katharine Viner said today: “We want to ensure that we are being scientifically precise, while also communicating clearly with readers on this very important issue.

“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 organisations from the UN to the Met Office are changing their terminology, and using stronger language to describe the situation we’re in.”

Met Office Professor Richard Betts told the UN climate summit in December last year that the phrase global heating is “technically more correct”, the Guardian reported.

The UN has also taken to using the phrase “climate emergency”, as seen in a March article by Secretary-General Antonio Guterres.

The newspaper’s updated style guide also takes aim at woolly phrases around the issue.

The guidelines ask for “wildlife” to be used instead of “biodiversity” and “fish populations” over “fish stocks”.

Changes to the newspaper’s style guide follow several high-profile warnings about climate change.

Parliament declared a climate emergency earlier this month after Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn put a motion before the Commons.

It came in the wake of a UN report warning that global emissions had to be halved by 2030 to stop the risk of some natural disasters rising.

Picture: Reuters/Stephen Lam



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8 thoughts on “Guardian style guide update tells reporters to drop 'climate change' for 'climate crisis' in push for stronger language on environment”

  1. Its true. The events such as the Paris document have enough issues getting heard. Then in a yr the governments go away to figure out how to progress only the daily media chat using dramatic words that already lead then the public who perhaps haven’t read all the huge science feel confused.
    We get so much right wing popularism and then using examples from past as reasons why not to be like that. U see I can’t even clearly say what I need to for lack of knowledge. But quite clearly how we are towards life has to change. Really it is scientifically proven by study of how simply the university that created a eco system using fish solar and chickens producing food works. Its not to be feared it should be embraced as a create way to resolve poverty. As ever all environment is key to all and everything .

  2. Maybe.or that in nature the side has in itselve only us to relybon to protect it. If you leave a price of land in the end it may be overtaken by brambles chokers such that binds and tears.
    If a land is nurtured and allowed to be healed loved and encouraged it then may flourish.
    Its about balance.
    Here we need to agree we have issues resulting from exploiting oil coal and looking perhaps to manmade problems. Rather than just saying that wind out there we can harness…a bit like the original horse being tamed. You see no one denies planes are great. Its just let’s develop a less polluting way to get there… You see there is always those incredible misnomer s unless we try globally what is the use?

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