Today I attended a workshop on climate change at Aquarium of the Pacific. It’s a pretty serious topic with consequences for everyone and everything on the planet. But instead of doom and gloom, the message today was about a simple change in terminology.
Apparently a lot of people don’t really understand climate change. Some people think it has to do with the ozone layer and others think it only involves the polar ice caps. It seems that many people are tripped up by the terms greenhouse gas and greenhouse effect. (Dear Al Gore, there are a lot of folks out there who have never seen a greenhouse, let alone understand how one works.) So now the greenhouse effect is out, and the heat-trapping blanket is in.
Here’s how it works:
Human activity (driving, running A/C, burning coal) releases carbon dioxide.
Carbon dioxide builds in the atmosphere, forming a blanket.
Carbon dioxide blanket traps heat, preventing its release from Earth.
Bad things happen, such as polar ice caps melt and sea levels rise.
Everyone can understand how a heat-trapping blanket works. I like it. Well, I like the wordage, not the heat-trapping blanket.