Right now, the fossil fuel industry lobbyists are so successful in cleverly manipulating how the world should think about global warming that it even has many environmental groups unknowingly helping to do its dirty work.

A "climate change" terminology change is needed because the words we use do have real influence power. Words can be used to frame a discussion fairly or unfairly, to limit and even control how people can think about the concepts and issues presented, and how they behave. 

Framing can be done fairly, as in a teacher carefully explaining the larger context and ramifications of the matter at hand.  Or, framing can be done unfairly, which is known as "marketing" in the business world and "propaganda" when it comes from governments.

There are powerful reasons why we must stop using the fossil fuel industry-sponsored term and phrase, "climate change" and replace it with a new phrase

Reason 1: The first reason is exceedingly simple. We need to use terms that most reflect the actual reality of our current climate and global heating condition. Unfortunately, the term "climate change" does not do that or even come close.

The term "climate change" must be seen as the clever marketing and deliberate fossil fuel industry propaganda term that it is. "Climate change" should be retired from global heating educational use starting now!

Instead, a more accurate, though cumbersome, description of our true situation would be the RUNAWAY GLOBAL HEATING EXTINCTION EMERGENCY. We know, it's not a quick shorthand meme, but it is a super-accurate reflecting current climate reality. 

Let's break this new five-word phrase down to see clearly why it is so painfully accurate: 

RUNAWAY: Using the term RUNAWAY with the GLOBAL HEATING EXTINCTiON EMERGENCY far more accurately reflects the reality of our current climate condition. This is because we are in runaway global heating because we have already crossed critical amplifying climate feedback loops and climate tipping points, creating the beginning stages of runaway global heating. 

According to James Hansen, the respected NASA climate scientist, we first entered runaway global heating when we passed the atmospheric carbon (CO2) level of around carbon 386 parts per million (ppm) in 2015. (As of March of 2022, we are now at Carbon 421 ppm.)

If you imagined runaway global heating like a train without brakes rolling down a mountain that is getting steeper and steeper, you would have a good idea about the seriousness of runaway global heating consequences and how they will keep increasing in severity, frequency, and scale over time.

You can see our current runaway global warming in the atmospheric CO2 carbon graph below. As atmospheric carbon rises faster and faster (the steepening dotted line), so does global heating in lockstep.



GLOBAL: This should be obvious. Weather extremes are increasing dramatically everywhere, oceans are rising everywhere, heatwaves, water shortages, and droughts are killing people and already forcing millions to migrate for survival. The Syrian civil war erupted after 2-3 years of devastating drought. It pushed several million destitute families into cities looking for work and food.

Also, notice how often "hundred-year" events are now occurring. The way we have understood the risk of such extremes is obsolete due to the speed of changes related to GLOBAL HEATING. A list of this year's environmental disasters alone could fill pages, and these consequences of 420 ppm are steadily and quickly increasing. 

HEATING: For the past 2,000 years, global surface temperatures stayed relatively constant until an unprecedented rate of warming began in the mid-20th century. Global heating began to rise rapidly with the advent of the Industrial Revolution and its necessary burning of fossil fuels.

If you look at the steep rise in temperature since 1991 below, it is not hard to understand that with "business as usual," we are on course to raise the global average temperature 3 degrees Celsius and beyond within just a few decades.

The above historical temperature data came from paleoclimate archives, and recent observations are direct measurements. Shading shows 5% and 95% confidence intervals for historical measurements. In 2021, the planet’s temperature was 1.09°C (0.95°C to 1.20°C) above what it was in 1850–1900. (Credit: Jenessa Duncombe. Source: IPCC [2021])

EXTINCTION: We are at risk of losing half of the HUMAN population by mid-century, and significantly more after that, if nothing is done NOW to shift this course. Again, this means nearly 4 Billion people will die premature deaths in horrific mass suffering events. Unlike previous mass extinctions, humans are the ones causing the 6th Mass Extinction of NON-HUMAN life and themselves

EMERGENCY: Noun, "a serious and dangerous situation requiring immediate action."  The window for action sufficient to avoid these horrific outcomes is closing rapidly. Click here to see why we have only from 2025 to 2031 to make the needed global fossil fuel reductions.

Now, do you see why we need to change the terminology "Climate change?" No. "RUNAWAY GLOBAL HEATING EXTINCTiON EMERGENCY?" Yes, to correctly educate the public to the real danger?


Reason 2: There is no current and credible scientific consensus of doubt that we are currently experiencing global heating caused by humans burning fossil fuels. (See the global heating explanation link on this page.)

Reason 3: The fossil fuel industry and its lobbyists have successfully re-framed the real RUNAWAY GLOBAL HEATING EXTINCTiON EMERGENCY into the widespread use of the vague and non-threatening term called "climate change." Unfortunately, this clever re-framing of our current extinction-triggering global heating as "climate change" has dramatically hindered the public's ability to think accurately about the absolute urgency and severity of the runaway global heating extinction threat.



Well-funded fossil fuel lobbyists have invisibly re-framed the RUNAWAY GLOBAL HEATING EXTINCTiON EMERGENCY by getting governments, worldwide media, and even many unwitting environmental groups to use the innocuous, vague, and relatively calming "climate change" term. This "climate change" propaganda was intentionally designed to redefine or confuse the ordinary meaning of words and their concepts to control the target's ability to think about those concepts or, even hold specific "undesirable" concepts in their minds, which the source of propaganda (the fossil fuel industry) does not want to be considered.

This terminology re-framing technique is how the 28 trillion dollar-a-year fossil fuel industry and its lobbyists have successfully redefined the truth and power of what we are facing. As a result, the fossil fuel industry has redirected the mass public's attention away from the urgency of the real threat to something that the average citizen does not see as a threat or problem, the mushy "climate change" idea and term.

This sleight-of-hand terminology twist has turned a scary and honest runaway global heating extinction truth that needs to be dealt with on an urgent and emergency basis into the nebulous and benign concept in the average citizen's mind. In the average citizen's mind, "climate change" looks like the ideas that, "the climate (the weather) is always changing. and it is changing exactly how it has customarily and always behaved during my lifetime."

Because of this intentional misdirection and climate condition terminology reframing, people falsely feel safe. They then believe that nothing much needs to be done (or is done) to deal with the "ever-changing natural and seasonal processes of the climate in change. Unfortunately, nothing could be farther from the truth!

Reason 4: We are genuinely in an extinction emergency and a fight for the very survival of humanity. Reframing the RUNAWAY GLOBAL HEATING EXTINCTiON EMERGENCY into "climate change" was not the only clever propaganda terminology manipulation by the fossil fuel lobbyists. 

Those lobbyists also have the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) of the United Nations (as well as worldwide media and our governments) telling us that "climate change" is an "existential threat" (at some yet unknown or unspoken date in our future.)

When you say something is an existential threat to someone, watch their eyes roll in a wave of general confusion or glass over as they try to figure out precisely what you mean.



Many scientists, activists, and even some politicians around the world also have "taken the bait" and are calling this crisis an "existential threat." Those politicians are typically the leaders of small, poor countries already experiencing mass destruction of the places they live by the force of nature unleashed by our RUNAWAY GLOBAL HEATING EXTINCTION EMERGENCY.

These politicians in small countries use the term "existential crisis" to try to convey the magnitude of this disaster, now, urgently, to those in the richer world that can ACT NOW for change. It's a cry of desperation. 

But their use of the term "existential threat" doesn't translate well to many people, with the true gravitas (seriousness) it deserves. It's unfamiliar, vague, and doesn't clearly say to the masses that "most of us are at risk of dying very soon.

Additionally, there are other issues with telling people there is an existential threat sometime off in an unknown future:

1. If you did a survey of which is worse, or which do I need to pay attention to and then you asked people would it be climate change or a RUNAWAY GLOBAL HEATING EXTINCTION EMERGENCY, the overwhelming reaction would be to the second term.

2. The majority of the human population has so little idea of what the word existential means that some would even wonder if it was relating to the existential philosophy of Soren Kierkegaard? Even if they look existential up, they get the definition of "relating to existence."

That also could mean a lot of vague things and not be experienced as anything close to what we are now facing, which is a rapidly accelerating RUNAWAY GLOBAL HEATING EXTINCTiON EMERGENCY. (Behind this new phrase is the extinction by mid-century of about half of humanity and around 2050 - 2080 the extinction of much of the rest of humanity.)

I think you can see why we have to stop feeding our fellow citizens vagueness by using the term "existential" threat. Runaway global heating is not a vague or low probability threat. (This link will take you to a deeper understanding of how runaway global heating has now become a full-on extinction emergency.

Furthermore, we now have to get the IPCC, our media, and our governments to use the correct terms for our current climate condition, which average people can understand, and that will motivate them into immediate action. Imagine once again what needed changes could happen if billions of citizens realized that their extinction from runaway global heating is just a few decades away or sooner.

It is time to do something about this hidden theft of our collective ability to think correctly about the RUNAWAY GLOBAL HEATING EXTINCTiON EMERGENCY! It is time to start using more accurate climate terms and change how the world thinks about what is going on with our climate and its runaway global heating.

Take a moment and imagine what would happen next if every time the news person or a politician would have said "climate change" now says the RUNAWAY GLOBAL HEATING EXTINCTiON EMERGENCY... 

Please forward this article to anyone you know in environmental and climate education organizations. Especially deliver it to youth-focused global heating education leaders in groups like XR rebellion, Greta Thunberg's group, Fridays for the Future, the Sunrise Movement, and Youth vs. Apocalypse, etc.

We have very little time left to make the radical global fossil fuel reductions needed to prevent the near-total extinction of humanity (only until about 2025-2031). Only by having billions of the world's youth demanding their governments save them from the RUNAWAY GLOBAL HEATING EXTINCTiON EMERGENCY will we have any remaining practical hope left to prevent our near-total extinction within decades.

Words have power. Start using the power of accurate words to make a better world.

To see the documentation and verification links mentioned above, click the links below.

To learn more about why runaway global heating is a true extinction emergency, see this link.

To learn more about the leading global heating extinction-accelerating tipping points and why we have only until 2025-2031 to prevent our near-total extinction, see this link.

To see credible science on the existence of global heating, see this link.

To make this critical terminology change into a personal pledge please click here.

For those who hesitate using an appropriate and accurate fear of the runaway global heating extinction emergency 

At this dangerous juncture in the evolution of survival of humanity, it is wholly appropriate as well as critically necessary to educate about real runaway global heating extinction fears as an educational tactic. When fear is generalized, fear can paralyze, but when fear is specific and straightforward with a honest solutions offered, there are powerful positive evolutionary reasons for why the emotion of fear exists. 

The positive use of fear exists for those rare times when there are REAL threats to your survival. This positive use and triggering of fear super-mobilizes the observant and wise to act before it is too late! And isn't that precisely what we need right now with our RUNAWAY GLOBAL HEATING EXTINCTiON EMERGENCY?

Fear is also one of the two most powerful emotions that evolution has given us. Those who tell you not to use fear (or do not themselves use fear to convey the accurate runaway global heating extinction threat) insult and patronize their audience. They treat them disrespectfully like a child who must be protected from the reality of mature adult matters.

At Job One, we always treat our audience as mature adults who want to know the climate facts to manage them before it is too late to fix them.

Whenever our organization uses fear to motivate action on the RUNAWAY GLOBAL HEATING EXTINCTiON EMERGENCY, we ALWAYS refer the target audience to the effective and practical steps they can take to manage and remove that fear and threat. (Click here to see many areas of practical actions to choose from on the Job One for Humanity Climate and Runaway Global Heating Resilience Plan.)

Additionally, we have so little time left to radically reduce our global fossil fuel use that it is for beyond the time where we must tell the profound and shocking truth.

Those that are ready or close to hearing climate truth will get it. Those that are a long way away from understanding our RUNAWAY GLOBAL HEATING EXTINCTiON EMERGENCY will bounce off it, but it will stick in many of their minds. Eventually, for those not ready, it will later provide a new and more accurate framework for the next time they view runaway global heating consequences worsening. (Please read this page to fully grasp the urgency of the RUNAWAY GLOBAL HEATING EXTINCTiON EMERGENCY.)

And finally, never forget inappropriate and inaccurate fear has been generously used by governments, employers, and even your parents to control you for far less important issues than saving us all from near-total extinction. It is time to shake the sleepwalking world out of its distracted stupor because the sleepers must awaken.

The Job One Research Team

PS The Job One for Humanity organization does occasionally use the term "climate change" on our website, but only to guide people to our website on the Internet using the current still dominant "climate change" search term. 

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  • Lawrence Wollersheim
    commented 2022-05-19 12:50:38 -0700
    Hi Neil, While I understand your concerns, we have so little time left to make radical changes to our fossil fuel use that it is time to tell the deep shocking truth. Those that are ready or close, will get it. Those that are a long way away from understanding our emergency, will bounce off it, but it will stick in many of their minds and provide a new and more accurate framework for the next time they view runaway global heating consequences worsening. Also, I suggest you read this page to fully grasp the true urgency of the runaway global heating extinction emergency:
  • Neil Olonoff
    commented 2022-05-19 03:50:39 -0700
    I agree with the need for reframing and re-labelling the issue and the terms of the public debate, I believe your lengthy 5 word formulation* to replace “climate change” is, while accurate, neither memorable nor effective. (*runaway global heating extinction emergency) At this point, many in the public are conditioned to reject extreme statements. (Part of your thesis.) I think we need a strong, yet pithy and short statement that does not trigger an extreme negative reaction. But even more importantly, the label needs to invite those who are not already convinced to learn more about the topic through informed, accurate sources. Essentially, the dynamic/ dualism might be put this way: Would you rather see: “We’re all doomed!” or “Learn how YOU can help save the planet and yourself!”
  • Lawrence Wollersheim
    published this page in Blog 2022-05-18 10:07:45 -0700
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