Frank Luntz is a word master. He came with the phrase, “Death Tax.” He came up with the Republican playbook to defeat health care reform. He’s the one on Fox News whenever there’s a dial poll. I have never agreed with Frank Luntz…until now. See, it is his belief that in order to achieve any meaningful climate change legislation, we need to stop talking about climate change.
Luntz suggests less talk of dying polar bears and more emphasis on how legislation will create jobs, make the planet healthier and decrease US dependence on foreign oil. Advocates should emphasize words like "cleaner," "healthier," and "safer"; scrap "green jobs" in favor of "American jobs," and ditch terms like "sustainability" and "carbon neutral" altogether. "It doesn't matter if there is or isn't climate change," he said. "It's still in America's best interest to develop new sources of energy that are clean, reliable, efficient and safe."
I couldn’t agree more. I have argued several times that until you are able to make people see climate change in tangible terms, they will never get behind it. Yeah, you can tell them that the polar ice caps are melting, and that New York will one day look like Atlantis, but until people actually see it, they will never believe it. People do not think of climate change when it’s cold outside. They certainly don’t think of it when it’s 73 and sunny. People do understand their wallet and they do understand that they need jobs. Saving the planet is just the icing.
Therefore, let’s stop talking about what could happen to the climate in the future and start talking about creating jobs and saving money. Base needs are what regular folks understand.