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6 European phrases you must know to understand the climate crisis

6 European phrases you must know to understand the climate crisis

Do you know what gritini means? What about Ilmastohumpp? Or Colapsistas?

Our collective climate vocabulary has grown rapidly over the past few years.

From net zero to environmental concern, countless previously unused terms have entered popular use.

But these are all English Expressions Climate change is a global issue.

Different languages ​​have different ways of describing the problems of the global warming crisis, from environmental concern to extreme weather. Many of these do not have a direct English language equivalent.

But help is at hand. To help the global debate on the climate crisis, language learning platform Babylon He compiled a list of European phrases related to Climate crisis.

Here are six of the most important things you should know.

6 – La Subrette (France)

This French word loosely translates to “restraint.”

It denotes an environmentally friendly lifestyle and policy choice, explains Pauline Bureau, a PhD student in applied linguistics.

“The term was popularized by philosopher Pierre Rabhi through the compound la sobriété heureuse, which refers to a value system organized around living a ‘simpler’ life in order to reduce one’s impact on the environment,” she says.

It is being used today in political discussions to encourage people to reduce energy In order to avoid energy shortages, while also presenting it as a tool to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

France has unveiled a range of “sober” measures, such as restriction Role And office heating up to a maximum of 19 degrees Celsius is prohibited lit ad Overnight, and prevent heated/air-conditioned buildings from keeping their doors open. Through these measures, the country aims to reduce energy consumption by 10 percent by 2024.

5 – Ilmastohump (Finland)

This Finnish word translates as “oompah climate”.

It may sound flattering — but climate skeptics are actually using it to disparage environmental activists, explains Jari Lyytimäki, principal investigator at the Finnish Environment Institute.

Referring to traditional Finnish folk dance and music similar to the foxtrot, humpa, critics of those calling for measures to address Climate changewho think that making changes to address the climate crisis is nonsense,” he explains.

In short, it’s a term favored by those who think about climate activists They make a song and dance to nothing.

4 – Gritini (Italy)

Gretini – which translates as “follower of Greta” – is another negative term.

It combines Swedish environmental scientist Greta Thunberg’s name with an Italian insult, explains Simone Borghese, FSR director for climate at the European University Institute.

“[This term is an] Sarcastic and pejorative talk [new word] Used (especially by climate change deniers) to refer to Greta Followers of Thunberg,” she says.

“The term is a hype of the word cretino (cretinos, idiot, stupid) and is used as a synonym for this, but in the context of climate change.”

Thunberg She was catapulted to fame in 2018 after being passed over The school Every Friday to hold a weekly vigil outside the Swedish Parliament.

Her one-man protest sparked a wave of school strikes, with millions of children taking part in protests around the world. The schoolgirl became a source of criticism for climate deniers, who accused her of hysteria.

Thunberg has repeatedly hit back at these critics, calling them “campaigns of hate and conspiracy”.

3 – Oljescam and Flyskam (Norway)

These Norwegian terms translate to “Oil shame‘ And the ‘shame trip Straight.

In many ways, Norway is an environmental leader. Nearly 95 percent of its electricity is provided by hydropower, and it has the highest per capita use of electric vehicles in the world.

However, oil and gas account for about half of the country’s exports. In 2021, Norway exported 1.2 million barrels of oil Crude oil per day to other European countries.

The oil shame points to the guilt some Norwegians experience about their subsequent carbon footprint, explains Andreas Ytterstad, professor of media and communication studies at Oslo Metropolitan University.

“Flying Shame” actually grew up nearby Sweden. It was popularized by Greta Thunberg, who publicly announced that she would stop flying to reduce her carbon footprint. It is now widely used throughout Scandinavia.

2. Colapsistas and Tecno-Optimistas (Spain)

The vast majority of people would agree that we need solutions to the climate crisis. But what form should these solutions take?

Many activists argue that reducing consumption is the only way to prevent climate collapse. This means keeping oil and gas in the ground, limiting meat intake, and quickly avoiding overconsumption fashion.

In Spain, those who advocate these major lifestyle changes are called “Colapsistas”.

“Colapsistas is not a term favored by those who fall into this category, preferring the term decrecentistas, which in essence means ‘those who believe in reducing consumption as the main way to solve the climate crisis’,” says Maria Gema Alonso, Professor at the Faculty of Information and Communication Sciences at Complutense University. Madrid.

Others view technology, rather than behavioral change, as the main way to tackle climate change.

These people are called “Tecno-Optistas,” Alonso explains.

“This is a label referring to those who believe that with technology, [such as] With renewable energy and hydrogen batteries, we can find a solution to the climate crisis without having to change our lifestyle.”

Oil and gas companies can perhaps be described as techno-optimistic. these Fossil fuels Giant corporations often tout new technologies such as carbon capture as a solution to climate change. Unlike keeping oil in the ground, this will not reduce their profit margins.

These are not absolute poles in a binary debate, where most people think we should implement a combination of these solutions. But they are often presented as opposites.

These two terms are often used in The media Debates to pit one side over the other,” says Alonso.

1 – Debresia Climaticzna (Poland)

The climate crisis can be overwhelming. The news is full of images of natural disasters and dire statistics of “irreversible” warming. This has a mental effect. In English, we have the term “eco-anxiety– The pervasive fear that the earth is doomed.

In Polish, the term is Depresja klimatyczna, or ‘climate depression’, says Marta Kwaśniewska, a linguistics doctoral student specializing in climate change communications at Jan Kochanowski University.

“It’s a term that helps emphasize the fact that anyone can be seriously affected by climate Crisis, and it can cause serious and real consequences for people.

“This is especially important for people who are downplaying the climate crisis because for them its consequences are not tangible.”

Many languages ​​contain similar concepts. In Spanish, one term is “solastalgia” or “ecoansiedad” – stress caused by the environment.


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