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Changing the world with words? Euphemisms in climate change issues
Ecological Economics  (IF5.389),  Pub Date : 2021-12-06, DOI: 10.1016/j.ecolecon.2021.107307
Gilles Grolleau, Naoufel Mzoughi, Deborah Peterson, Marjorie Tendero

Words matter when talking about climate change. They influence thinking and ultimately behaviors. We contend that certain kinds of words frequently used in climate change communication, namely euphemisms, can undermine the objectives of raising climate change awareness and changing behaviors to reduce emissions. We characterize euphemisms related to climate change issues and show how they are often manipulated to serve vested interests opposing climate change action. In particular, we highlight euphemistic names of astroturfing organizations that aim to persuade consumers or citizens. We conclude by suggesting some practical ways to prevent or avoid detrimental consequences associated with euphemisms and draw several policy implications.