“The American publicâ€¦ just like your teenage kids, arenâ€™t acting in a way that they should act. The American public has to really understand in their core how important this issue is.â€
In case you havenâ€™t heard, that was Secretary of Energy Steven Chu discussing your ability to curb greenhouse gas emissions. As long as weâ€™re acting like teenagers, we might as well be treated like them. According to the Obama administration, we canâ€™t understand what greenhouse gases are, so weâ€™ll use the terms â€œcarbon pollutionâ€ or â€œheat-trapping emissionsâ€ instead. From Lauren Morello, E&E reporter:
“We know that our planetâ€™s future depends on a global commitment to permanently reduce greenhouse gas pollution,â€ President Obama said yesterday at the U.N. Summit on Climate Change in New York, one of several references to â€œgreenhouse gas pollutionâ€ and â€œcarbon pollutionâ€ sprinkled throughout his speech. The president also referred to â€œcarbon pollutionâ€ in April, during a much-publicized speech to the National Academy of Sciences, and again in June, in a press conference just before the House voted to pass a broad climate and energy bill.
And heâ€™s not alone. Top Obama administration science officials, including Energy Secretary Steven Chu and U.S. EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson, have also adopted similar vocabulary, a subtle linguistic shift in the ongoing climate debate. In fact, during an hour long June briefing to launch a major government climate change report, a panel that included White House science adviser John Holdren and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration chief Jane Lubchenco mentioned greenhouse gases just once â€” instead warning about the perils of â€œheat-trapping gasesâ€ or â€œheat-trapping pollutants.â€