|Ngram Viewer for the terms "climate change" and "weather forecast"|
The distinction between climate science and weather forecasting is a language game. If catastrophic climate change had been sold as radical weather forecasts, we’d never have believed a word of it. Even politicians might have been reluctant to engage in such an obviously flaky game.
How much difference would it have made :-
If climate change had been called radical weather trends.
If global warming had been called warmer weather.
If catastrophic global warming had been called much warmer weather.
If climate scientists had been called radical weather forecasters.
If wind turbines were justified by radical ultra-long weather forecasts.
I’m not being entirely serious here of course. We are where we are and we are stuck with the dominant language games, but in my view the point still has some merit. It is still possible to see the apocalyptic climate narrative as a language game and note with interest how players choose to use language in tackling a recalcitrant climate.
After all, language games and political radicalism are hardly unusual bedfellows. Social and political games promoted by manipulating the words we use, the phrases we are persuaded to imitate.
So it is easy enough to see how misleading the terms climate, climate science and climate scientist are compared to weather, weather forecasting and weather forecasters. Maybe in the early eighties it was seen as important to take the climate narrative into more authoritative territory. Maybe we are just too familiar with weather forecasters and their forecasts.
This may also explain why the weird weather narrative isn’t pushed as hard as it might be. Too many people might tie climate change to weather forecasting and that would never do.