ABC on Climate Change: Be Careful of Your Phrasology…

I mostly agree with the gist of what is said in this piece from ABC. One thing that is slightly troubling is the use of “certainty” and “consensus”, if only because it opens the door for the fringe deniers to attack the mainstream science and further the confusion of the public. The very problem highlighted in the video.

As I discussed back in December, there is always some uncertainty in science. Scientists are still testing Einstein’s theory of gravity and relativity. And that’s the point, working a theory with continued testing is how we make it better and more reliable – but never 100% certain.

This isn’t new, it’s how science is done. But the semantics of “certainty” and “consensus” is the weapon that skeptics and deniers use to keep the public off balance on the issue and thus hinder real and substantive progress in dealing with it.


Thomas Schueneman
Thomas Schueneman
Tom is the founder and managing editor of and the PlanetWatch Group. His work appears in Triple Pundit, Slate, Cleantechnia, Planetsave, Earth911, and several other sustainability-focused publications. Tom is a member of the Society of Environmental Journalists.

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