Climate Crisis

Helena Bennett
Climate Justice and Policy Advocate

The framing with which we assign something is imperative to better understand its true meaning. Good phrasing can conjure emotional responses to phenomena, which in turn affects how we experience certain terms.

‘Climate change’ is a phrase given to the physical phenomenon we’re currently experiencing; that is, the human activities of burning fossil fuels and degrading the natural environment.

It’s led to an acceleration of atmospheric heating, causing countless dramatic and damaging effects that are distorting the planet’s natural cycles and ecosystems, and wreaking havoc on millions of people across the globe.

Given its impacts, the terminology of climate change has morphed into ‘climate crisis’ and ‘climate emergency’ in recent years to evoke the sense of urgency with which we should be treating it. It’s now a commonly used phrase amongst not only activists, but the media and politicians as well.

The word crisis induces connections to catastrophe, disaster, tragedy (Cambridge Dictionary) – words which aptly capture the immensity of climate change and its devastating nature.

Climate Crisis Pamela EA Climate Words

Record-breaking rains overflow the rivers of the Lacandona Rainforest, leaving knee-deep mud lingering for weeks. Chiapas, Mexico, 2020.
Photography By Pamela EA