Just when it seemed The Guardian couldn’t become even more biased on climate issues than it already was, it announced updates to its “style guide” to even more extreme language on the subject.
The British paper announced on May 17, it now prefers “climate emergency, crisis or breakdown” to the phrase “climate change.” It also said “‘global heating’ is favoured over ‘global warming,’” but did not ban the other phrases.
Editor-in-Chief Katherine Viner claimed, “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,” Viner added.
Unsurprisingly, the paper also decided to use the loaded, offensive term “climate science denier” instead of “climate sceptic,” citing the BBC’s lead. The BBC told staff in 2018: “You do not need a ‘denier’ to balance the debate.”
“Denier” is an intentionally loaded and offensive term because it is reminiscent of Holocaust deniers. It is also inaccurate, since it’s often applied to including scientists who disagree on various elements of the climate change debate, but who do not “deny” that the climate changes. Disagreement from actual scientists has included the severity of global warming’s consequences and the degree to which humans are involved, but those points of view are regularly censored and omitted from the liberal news media.
The media know this. In 2008, CBS anchor Scott Pelley was asked why he didn’t include skeptical scientists in his reporting. “If I do an interview with Elie Wiesel (a Holocaust survivor), am I required as a journalist to find a Holocaust denier?” Pelly asked.
AP explicitly rejected the use of climate denier and climate denialism phrasing in 2015. Taking into consideration the complaints on both side (including complaints that climate change deniers “has the pejorative ring of Holocaust denier,” AP preferred “climate change doubter and said to “avoid use of skeptics or deniers.”