The ‘Climate Name Change’ campaign


Environmental groups tend to be a bit grim-faced, since they’re constantly confronting industrial uglies that range somewhere between awful and apocalyptic. So it’s a treat when one of them turns impishly playful, as a group of climate change activists called 350 Action recently did.

In an act of “serious fun,” this bunch has launched an online petition calling on the World Meteorology Organization to alter slightly the way it names hurricanes. Instead of the generic “Bob” or “Juanita,” 350 Action wants the more-numerous and more-powerful storms we’ve been getting for the past several seasons to be named after head-in-the-sand politicos who — in mindless defiance of science — are climate change deniers.

Thus, we’d have Hurricane Boehner, in honor of the House Speaker who goes to extremes to derail regulations that would stop profiteering polluters from wreaking havoc on the globe’s climate. In standing against needed policy changes, Boehner has been like a rock — only dumber. So he deserves to have a particularly destructive hurricane branded with his name.

Also, since the Weather Channel now attaches monikers to other big weather events, opportunities abound for tagging scientifically challenged politicians with public accountability for their irresponsibility. It would be a useful learning experience, for example, for people to see the damage done by Tornado “Oops” Perry, or to witness the unusually severe flooding caused by the Michele Bachmann Unstable Air Mass over Minnesota. And Sen. Jim Inhofe of Oklahoma, who constantly huffs that climate change is a “hoax,” should be credited with the Inhofe Drought of Biblical Proportions presently parching the Southwest and Great Plains.

For more on the Climate Name Change campaign, go to

Respond: This opinion column does not necessarily reflect the views of Boulder Weekly.