NEW HAVEN–Yale University used a new term for a cohort of students at the Jackson School of Global Affairs: practitioner.
Normally reserved for the fields of medicine and religion, Yale’s use of “practitioner” signifies a not-too-small shift in the context of the term “climate” as well.
The Fellowship that Yale is offering is “an opportunity for 16 young climate and clean energy practitioners from across the Global South to broaden their technical skills, deepen their professional networks, and exchange views with top global clean energy and climate change leaders.”
Merriam-Webster dictionary states, “Definition of practitioner – 1: one who practices especially: one who practices a profession. 2: Christian Science – an authorized healer.”
Yale appears, based on Webster’s definitions, to be promoting the idea of climate as a practice. Or perhaps more succinctly, “climate healing.” This term would then suggest that the climate has been injured; it even suggests the personification of the climate itself.
If in fact Yale is suggesting a “climate healer” term, perhaps it would not be a far stretch to say “climate shaman” or “climate medicine man”. To tie this idea into the paragraph above: forces of nature, in many mythologies, were thought to be personified into gods: thunder, rain, crops, etc.
In our modern world, Yale’s selected students, Fellows as they are called (perhaps Fellow practitioners?), number less than twenty. These Fellows will be trained by other climate and clean energy “practitioners”.
Whatever the speculative reason(s) for using the term, “practitioner” next to “climate” is unusual.
Source article: Here