Story at a glance

  • The publication joined a slew of other outlets, including the Columbia Journalism Review and The Guardian, in its statement regarding the change in posture.
  • “Why ‘emergency?’ Because words matter,” Fischetti said.
  • Fischetti said pandemic related reporting over the past year shows how effective urgent coverage of the climate crisis could be.

Scientific American Magazine announced  Monday that it will begin using the term “climate emergency” instead of “climate change” when referring to the challenges of global warming, saying its task is to accurately report the news. 

The publication joined a slew of other outlets, including the Columbia Journalism Review and The Guardian, in its statement regarding the change in posture, Yahoo News reported. Scientific American’s senior editor Mark Fischetti noted in the post that the update is part of the journalistic duty to “reflect what the science says: the climate emergency is here.”  

“Why ‘emergency?’ Because words matter. To preserve a livable planet, humanity must take action immediately,” Fischetti wrote. “Failure to slash the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere will make the extraordinary heat, storms, wildfires and ice melt of 2020 routine and could ‘render a significant portion of the Earth uninhabitable.’”

"A hurricane blasts Florida. A California dam bursts because floods have piled water high up behind it. A sudden, record-setting cold snap cuts power to the entire state of Texas," Fischetti wrote. "These are also emergencies that require immediate action. Multiply these situations worldwide, and you have the biggest environmental emergency to beset the earth in millennia: climate change.”


America is changing faster than ever! Add Changing America to your Facebook or Twitter feed to stay on top of the news.


Even amid a pandemic, which has paused travel plans and reduced economic activities, scientists found that the earth’s atmosphere has continued to rise, according to The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Yahoo reported. The agency announced last week that carbon dioxide and methane levels are the highest they have been in 3.6 million years. The earth was 7 degrees warmer and sea levels were 78 feet higher at that time. 

Fischetti said pandemic-related reporting over the past year shows how effective urgent coverage of the climate crisis could be and called on organizations across the country to step up their efforts. 

“Guided by science, journalists have described the pandemic as an emergency, chronicled its devastating impacts, called out disinformation and told audiences how to protect themselves,” Fischetti wrote. “We need the same commitment to the climate story.” 


READ MORE STORIES FROM CHANGING AMERICA


SCIENTISTS SAY ‘UNIMAGINABLE AMOUNTS’ OF WATER WILL POUR INTO OCEANS IF ICE SHELVES COLLAPSE AMID GLOBAL HEATING

NEW STUDY SAYS THE EARTH COULD SEE SIX MONTH-LONG SUMMERS

SURPRISING STUDY FINDS SHARKS ARE KEY TO RESTORING DAMAGED HABITATS, FIGHTING CLIMATE CHANGE

SCIENTISTS BLOW UP DECADES OF THINKING ON WHY HURRICANES ARE BECOMING MORE DEADLY

SURPRISING REPORT FINDS US CAN REACH NET-ZERO EMISSIONS BY 2050 FOR JUST $1 PER PERSON PER DAY

Published on Apr 13, 2021