Stop Climate Change Misinformation


Target: Roger Ailes, president of Fox News Channel

Goal: Stop confusing the public about the evidence for climate change by referring to it as “global warming”

Fox News has been using the cold weather front that recently hit most of the U.S. as “evidence” that global climate change is a hoax. The biggest problem with this is the terminology they use. “Global warming” was the original phrase used to describe anthropogenic climate change, because it will eventually result in an overall warmer planet. However the appropriate and more up-to-date phrase for this phenomenon is “global climate change,” because although temperatures will rise on average, the theory states that there will be more extreme weather patterns of all kinds, not just warmer weather.

The entire scientific community switched to the phrase “global climate change” years ago, and any respectable news organization would have adapted to that change by now. Fox News Channel, on the other hand, continues to intentionally use a misnomer because it makes the theory sound weaker. It is one thing for an individual politician, or even an entire political party, to deny climate change without evidence, but for a so-called “news organization” to claim that the theory is invalid because of its outdated name is just downright irresponsible.

What’s more, the recent blast of extreme cold weather that hit the continental U.S. is actually very strong evidence that climate change is happening. Many states hit temperature records for this time of year, continuing the trend of increasing extremes and unpredictability in our weather, which is precisely what the climate change theory predicts. So Fox News is using evidence for climate change as evidence against it, simply because they can get away with inappropriate terminology. Sign the petition to demand that Fox News replace the phrase “global warming” with “global climate change” in every single newscast, and to demand that Fox News apologize for intentionally misleading their viewers.


Dear Mr. Ailes,

During the recent cold weather front that hit most of the U.S., several of your newscasters claimed that the cold was “evidence” that “global warming” is a hoax. There are two very large problems with this claim. First, “global warming” is a misnomer for the theory it refers to, and for years now scientists have referred to the phenomenon as “global climate change.” It is simply bad journalism to continue using the outdated term, especially when you use that term as a way to weaken public perception of the theory.

Second, the recent cold weather front was actually, undeniably, very strong evidence that global climate change is happening. The theory predicts that weather patterns will become more extreme and erratic, and the fact that this cold front broke records all over the country fits in exactly with this theory. The “warming” part of “global warming” is only supposed to refer to the overall, planet-wide trend of increasing temperatures, and anyone in a position of authority at your news channel should understand that. Please stop using the outdated phrase “global warming,” replace it with “global climate change” every time the theory is discussed on air, and also apologize for intentionally misleading your viewers.


[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: woodleywonderworks via Flickr

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