Words that Work … Rebranding ‘Global Warming’

Ken’s Take: While contexted around the global warming debate, there’s an important lesson re: ,essaging using “words that work.”

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According to the NY Times:

Environmental issues consistently rate near the bottom of public worry, according to many public opinion polls. A Pew Research Center poll released in January found global warming last among 20 voter concerns; it trailed issues like addressing moral decline and decreasing the influence of lobbyists.

Why? Well, the problem with global warming, some environmentalists believe, is “global warming.”

The term turns people off, fostering images of shaggy-haired liberals, economic sacrifice and complex scientific disputes

According to the messaging group EcoAmerica; “We know why it’s lowest … When someone thinks of global warming, they think of a politicized, polarized argument. When you say ‘global warming,’ a certain group of Americans think that’s a code word for progressive liberals, gay marriage and other such issues.”

The answer … is to speak in TALKING POINTS aspirational language about shared American ideals, like freedom, prosperity, independence and self-sufficiency while avoiding jargon and details about policy, science, economics or technologyis …  and to  reframe the issue using different language.

For example:

Global Warming becomes Climate Crisis or Deteriorating Atmosphere

Cap & Trade becomes Pollution Reduction Refund

Carbon becomes Pollution

From: “Seeking to Save the Planet, With a Thesaurus”,
May 2, 2009
http://www.nytimes.com/2009/05/02/us/politics/02enviro.html?_r=1&sq=EcoAmerica%20&st=cse&scp=1&pagewanted=print

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