Aww, EcoAmerica’s attempts to rewrite “global warming” lexicon accidentally emailed to media
Posted by danishova on May 2, 2009
Since this goes in the Orwell pile, I guess we could call it a man-made disaster. John Broder reports for the NYT:
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 extensive polling and focus group sessions conducted by ecoAmerica, a nonprofit environmental marketing and messaging firm in Washington.
Instead of grim warnings about global warming, the firm advises, talk about “our deteriorating atmosphere.” Drop discussions of carbon dioxide and bring up “moving away from the dirty fuels of the past.” Don’t confuse people with cap and trade; use terms like “cap and cash back” or “pollution reduction refund.”
EcoAmerica has been conducting research for the last several years to find new ways to frame environmental issues and so build public support for climate change legislation and other initiatives. A summary of the group’s latest findings and recommendations was accidentally sent by e-mail to a number of news organizations by someone who sat in this week on a briefing intended for government officials and environmental leaders.
Asked about the summary, ecoAmerica’s president and founder, Robert M. Perkowitz, requested that it not be reported until the formal release of the firm’s full paper later this month, but acknowledged that its wide distribution now made compliance with his request unlikely.
Hopefully his plan to call devastating carbon taxes a “pollution reduction refund” will not be complied with either. Other prematurely leaked Newspeak:
The answer, Mr. Perkowitz said in his presentation at the briefing, is to reframe the issue using different language. “Energy efficiency” makes people think of shivering in the dark. Instead, it is more effective to speak of “saving money for a more prosperous future.” In fact, the group’s surveys and focus groups found, it is time to drop the term “the environment” and talk about “the air we breathe, the water our children drink.”
“Another key finding: remember 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 technology,” said the e-mail account of the group’s study.
I guess its back to the drawing board to dream up a brand new list of words and phrases. Trying to reframe a plan that ensures nothing but ‘universal misery’ into a Utopia of rainbows and lollipops by using words like “freedom, prosperity, independence and self-sufficiency” is no easy task, but I don’t doubt they will keep on trying. After all, the end of capitalism is at stake, and that is job one.
1. Stop the ACLU snickers here.
2. JammieWearingFool guffaws here.