climate porn
n. Extreme or alarmist language or images used to describe the current or future effects of man-made climate change. Also: climate pornography.

Example Citations:
Recently, a left-leaning think tank in Great Britain came up with a good way to describe the hysterical rhetoric used by many environmentalists, media and politicians to hype the threat of global warming.

After analyzing hundreds of media articles, news clips and television ads on the issue, the Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR) dubbed it "climate porn." This means using apocalyptic language to describe the challenges posed by climate change.

Climate porn, the IPPR argued, amounts to a "counsel of despair," making the public feel helpless and insignificant.
—Lorrie Goldstein, "The new pornographers," The Toronto Sun, January 7, 2007

"Sadly, all the biggest science stories of 2006 were scare stories," says Fiona Fox, of the Science Media Centre (SMC).

"Obviously, climate change was a huge story and, in many ways, this year saw the debate move beyond the sterile argument over whether climate change is actually happening to a more constructive one on how science and technology can help us adapt to the worst impacts.

"The Stern Report in the autumn laid out the huge economic costs to governments of mitigation and adaptation to climate change. However some experts criticised the media for exaggerating the worst aspects of climate change and indulging in 'climate porn'.

"The Tyndall Centre [for Climate Change Research] and the Institute for Public Policy Research both criticised the media for sensationalising the worst case scenario and thus running the risk that the public will feel that it is too late to act."
—Ian Johnston, "Climate of fear as science has a bad news year," The Scotsman, December 23, 2006

Earliest Citation:
Parental warning: Better lock down the Discovery channel along with the Playboy channel next Thursday unless you want to subject your kids to hours of climate porn and scenes of polar bears being killed off by the evil legacy of the industrial revolution and human addiction to speed, technology, power, drugs and rock 'n' roll.
—Terence Corcoran, "Climate gurus," Financial Post, April 15, 2004

Related Words:

Categories: