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Is it time to retire ‘climate change’ for ‘climate crisis’?

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I spent a lot of time reflecting on this article on Climate crisis and how the emotive language surrounding climate change and other environmental topics is being altered increasingly within media reports. 

In respect of the global IA climate change community, what struck me most was not the language we use in EIS or Environmental Reports but whether our own behaviours as a professional community within Impact Assessment bodies such as IEMA and the IAIA has failed to alert others to the significance of what our words are conveying.  If it takes Greta Thunberg, a 16 year old Swedish student two years to activate the global population on the crisis we face regarding carbon emissions, then it is only fair that we hold up a mirror to our own activities and ask ourselves – ‘What have we been doing individually and collectively for the last 3 decades in comparison?’     

Whilst I am not advocating the use of such emotive language in our work or debates with society, perhaps our resolve to lead on climate change in our work, how we communicate or emphasis our views within the institutions we support, and how we could have placed greater emphasis on EIA Leadership – challenging substandard polies, plans and programmes needs greater consideration and to become part of a more general debate on professional leadership traits within our IA standards of conduct. 

If we as IA professionals agree it is a global crisis, then surely the first steps for that community in general is for others to see that we are treating it as a ‘crisis’ in our work and words.  I would value your insights, views and feedback?

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