January 1, 2018

Word: How to talk about climate change and weather

Marhall Shepherd, Forbes - The key thing to convey to that skeptical uncle or vociferous social media friend is that "weather is mood, climate is personality." My University of Georgia colleague Dr. John Knox mentioned this a few years ago, and it has been one of my favorite techniques to use while dealing with this pesky climate communication challenge for the public.  Weekly or daily weather patterns tell you nothing about longer-term climate change (and that goes for the warm days too). Climate is defined as the statistical properties of the atmosphere: averages, extremes, frequency of occurrence, deviations from normal, and so forth. The clothes that you have on today do not describe what you have in your closet but rather how you dressed for today's weather. In reality, your closest is likely packed with coats, swimsuits, t-shirts, rain boots, and gloves. In other words, what's in your closet is a representation of "climate."

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Or, weather is dinner, climate is diet.