Climate change, language and politics: How should we talk about what's happening to the planet? - The Washington Post
In the middle of a winter’s night in 2017, Frank Luntz’s cellphone alerted him to a nearby wildfire. The longtime analyst of public opinion opened his bedroom curtains and saw, less than a mile away, flames chewing the dark sky over Los Angeles. Luntz — who specializes in how the public reacts to words — saw scary evidence of a threat that he once tried to neutralize with language. In 2001, he’d written a memo of environmental talking points for Republican politicians and instructed them to scrub their vocabulary of “global warming,” because it had “catastrophic connotations,” and rely on another term: “climate change,” which suggested “a more controllable and less emotional challenge.” Last month, with a revised script, Luntz appeared before the Senate Democrats’ Special Committee on the Climate Crisis. “I’m here before you to say that I was wrong in 2001,” Luntz said. Nearby was a colorful chart of vocabulary, developed since his polling in 2009 showed bipartisan support for climate legislation. He went on: “I’ve changed. And I will help you with messaging, if you wish to have it.”
Crafting environmental messages to affect social change – Please keep to the path
Messages focused on the economic costs or negative impacts to individuals were more effective than motivational messaging in gaining support from the public and reducing the psychological distance of an environmental issue.
From solar panels to changing your diet — 11 ways you can combat climate change - MarketWatch
Good, very concrete communications with examples of exactly how much of a difference an individual can make to prevent people from feeling overwhelmed and like they can't make a difference on the issue
Understanding how messaging is perceived by the public through a new theoretical model – Please keep to the path
The results lead to some useful messaging recommendations, such as active publics being more effectively moved to action through motivational frames, rather than diagnostic (i.e. problem-focused) or prognostic (i.e. solution-focused) frames.
Please don’t leave the path
A negatively framed message (i.e. which describes the behavior that should not be done) is more effective, at least in this context, than a positive framed message that describes the preferred behavior.