Green Room

Reframing Global Warming; the real story

posted at 9:22 am on May 3, 2009 by

I know, I know; not another piece on Global Warming! We’re sick and tired of this crap sandwich! Can’t we get just call this what it is and move on, we have bigger fish to fry…

Progressive Liberals have a tool in their tool chest that they use better than the rest of us. It’s called “relentless pressure.” Story after story after story, drive the talking points home until the targeted audience wilts from the relentless 24/7 pressure. Back in grade school, we simply referred to this tactic as “tell the lie long enough, and the teacher will eventually believe it.”

The New York Times has an article titled Seeking to Save the Planet, With a Thesaurus, written by John M. Broder, that illustrates how the Global Warming Debate will be reframed and remarketed.

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.

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.

“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 find the reminder to “speak in talking points” very interesting. I can’t help but to wonder just how sophisticated this program is within the progressive liberal movement. From the elementary class room, through high school and on to higher education establishments spread out across our nation, the liberal talking points are spread and enforced. Our children see the same talking points while watching children’s programming on TV. Our teenagers see the same talking points while watching MTV or chatting with friends at sites such as face book. This is a very personal issue in my home, for these reasons. My youngest son was cruising along through 11th grade, until he decided to buck the system and write a rebuttal to his teachers chosen topic for essay “Climate Change.” What followed is truly frightening to us, and should be to all parents with children in the public school system. A teacher entered into his car without permission, searching for something she could use against him. The principle called my son into his office, and told him that his parents must not be very good parents, and obviously don’t punish him enough. His teachers started telling him that he should just quit school and take the GED. One administrator told my son he should take the GED and join the military, maybe the National Guard would be good for him. In other words “join the military with the rest of the dummies, that’s where you belong.”  Talking points turned into mob rule when the student bucked the system. Follow our lead, or we will destroy you! Any of this look familiar as we watch this administration operate?

More on this story (plot) from Andrew C, Revkin, Global Heating, Atmosphere Cancer, Pollution Death. What’s in a Name?

In 2006, Seth Godin, a popular marketing expert, examined the climate communications challenge from from vantage point of a pitchman:

Is the lack of outrage because of the population’s decision that this is bad science or perhaps a thoughtful reading of the existing data?

Actually, the vast majority of the population hasn’t even thought about the issue. The muted reaction to our impending disaster comes down to two things:

1. the name.

Global is good.
Warm is good.
Even greenhouses are good places.

How can “global warming” be bad?

I’m not being facetious. If the problem were called “Atmosphere cancer” or “Pollution death” the entire conversation would be framed in a different way.

2. the pace and the images.

One degree every few years doesn’t make good TV. Because activists have been unable to tell their story with vivid images about immediate actions, it’s just human nature to avoid the issue. Why give up something we enjoy now to make an infintesimal change in something that is going to happen far in the future?

We’ve explored the limits of language in situations like this, but it’s worth pushing on this some more. What framing or phrasing do you see capturing peoples’ attention in a way that might stick?

What strikes me as offensive and frightening, is the size and scope of this agenda. From the back rooms of Congress and the White House, to the liberal think tanks, on to the media, on to the classrooms…

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You make a great argument for home schooling and teachers who are out of control but protected by more worthless unions. How much does Obama owe the teachers union?

Progressive Liberals have a tool in their tool chest that they use better than the rest of us. It’s called “relentless pressure

No, it’s now called brainwashing, pure and simple, but I’m not sure it’s really working and may even be backfiring, even with some progressives. How can you argue with the fact that the past two winters have been unusually cold and snowy?

I’m just an average joe, but I’ve read dozens of books on hurricanes, and even for someone like me, it’s easy to connect the dots and come to the conclusion that weather patterns are cyclical, especially hurricanes. And since our new Administration wants to now make nice with Cuba and open up relations with them again, I’d love to hear their take on one of the biggest scams ever to be perpetrated on the American people or the world for that matter.

The Cubans were instrumental in the development of tracking weather patterns all the back to early 1900’s and I’d really like to know if they’re buying into this hype?

Recommended reading:

Issac’s Storm by Erik Larsen
Storm of the Century by Willie Drye

Knucklehead on May 3, 2009 at 11:03 AM

The point I’m trying to focus on here is this:

Cap & Trade, carbon taxation; what ever they call it today, is constantly being polled, debated behind closed doors, and ran through think tanks. According to recent polling data, the American people now have Global Warming way down the list of issues to be concerned with. The Obama administration is going to reshape & recreate the talking points now, in order to push through the billions of dollars he has in his budget for this sham of a scam.

Look for the new talking points to be spread repeatedly by our politicians, our media, Liberal bloggers, teachers and professors across the country.

What is Cap and Trade? (through their eyes – the sale)

The goal: To steadily reduce carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gas emissions economy-wide in a cost-effective manner.

The cap: Each large-scale emitter, or company, will have a limit on the amount of greenhouse gas that it can emit. The firm must have an “emissions permit” for every ton of carbon dioxide it releases into the atmosphere. These permits set an enforceable limit, or cap, on the amount of greenhouse gas pollution that the company is allowed to emit. Over time, the limits become stricter, allowing less and less pollution, until the ultimate reduction goal is met. This is similar to the cap and trade program enacted by the Clean Air Act of 1990, which reduced the sulfur emissions that cause acid rain, and it met the goals at a much lower cost than industry or government predicted.

The trade: It will be relatively cheaper or easier for some companies to reduce their emissions below their required limit than others. These more efficient companies, who emit less than their allowance, can sell their extra permits to companies that are not able to make reductions as easily. This creates a system that guarantees a set level of overall reductions, while rewarding the most efficient companies and ensuring that the cap can be met at the lowest possible cost to the economy.

The profits: If the federal government auctions the emissions permits to the companies required to reduce their emissions, it would create a large and dependable revenue stream. These financial resources could be used to achieve critical public policy objectives related to climate change mitigation and economic development. The federal government can also choose to “grandfather” allowances to the polluting firms by handing them out free based on historic or projected emissions. This would give the most benefits to those companies with higher baseline emissions that have historically done the least to reduce their pollution.

Keemo on May 3, 2009 at 11:55 AM

I’ve always thought if they wanted to get more people to go along, they needed to make it more personalized and tell us what good would come of not using so much. Forecasting death and destruction of the world just makes me want to waste more.

PS Can you write just a whole post on what happened to your son and what happened? That’s scary. It’s a far cry from his situation, but I’m pretty sure the reason my senior portfolio was dropped a grade (and so was the other conservative guy’s) is because I submitted a satire about affirmative action.

amkun on May 3, 2009 at 12:05 PM

More on that below…

I’ll elaborate more on my sons story here in the comment section if you wish.

Keemo on May 3, 2009 at 12:15 PM

Keemo on May 3, 2009 at 12:15 PM

I read your post and comments in that link. Good that your son was strong enough to fight back. What happened in the end? Did you put that teacher in jail for b&e and get the principal fired? (wishful thinking, yes)

Thanks in advance. Have to go to sleep.

amkun on May 3, 2009 at 12:28 PM

The anti-global warming/climate change groups need to push the little known link of the cap and trade proposal and the energy “tax hikes” of up to $258 for a family with the climate change issue. The MSM and progressives shy away from this linkage. The media is also still ignoring the huge tax hike in 1/1/11 when the Bush tax cuts expire. I know, the site’s commenters and readers, that you will just love paying thousands more in taxes.

The Tea Parties concentrated on spending, but much higher taxes are just around the corner that have nothing to do with covering our massive indebtedness; these new taxes will just allow more new spending. Get used to it, if you already haven’t.

amr on May 3, 2009 at 12:42 PM

It has only become worse over the past month. The faculty tried to use a back door method to fail him out of the 11th grade. We sought out the help of a local watch dog organization created specifically for these type of cases. Wonderful lawyers donating their time for free for the sole purpose of protecting our kids from out of control teachers and administrators.

This watch dog group has now taken over this case and is making good progress for my son and his legal rights. Our motive is not to sue for money or any of that, we simply want our son to receive his credits before we get him out of that school. Only (3) weeks remain in this semester. This school has approximately 35 students total, and they have (2) law suits against them right now for very similar charges.

Here’s the deal. We fought this battle in California, and now we fight the same battle here in Montana. We have learned that we can’t run from this problem by relocating from state to state. Liberals run our education system, and are abusing their power. I resent teachers (perfect strangers) forcing their ideology upon my children. I don’t want a stranger teaching my kids about sex, family values, or several other subjects that I feel are very private lessons that are up to the parents to teach rather than a stranger calling itself a teacher.

We will likely have our son complete HS by way of home schooling…

Thanks for your interest…

Keemo on May 3, 2009 at 12:47 PM

After reading that article, it’s no wonder people have stopped reading the New York Times.

nazo311 on May 3, 2009 at 2:20 PM

“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.”

“What strikes me as offensive and frightening, is the size and scope of this agenda. From the back rooms of Congress and the White House, to the liberal think tanks, on to the media, on to the classrooms…”

Those two statements should send a very cold chill up your spine if you weren’t already aware of what is going on behind the scenes while the average American is just trying to live…………

……… all the while, our tax dollars paying for organizations in a covert operation of “social engineering”. Kinda reminds me of the Community Reinvestment Act.

Look how well that turned out…………

Seven Percent Solution on May 3, 2009 at 5:53 PM

Seven Percent Solution on May 3, 2009 at 5:53 PM

Exactly!! I’ve got the creeps like never before. I’m convinced that what we are seeing right now has been in the planning for decades. It’s up to us to slow this down, so that we can put a stop to it in 2010.

Keemo on May 3, 2009 at 7:05 PM

To me, planning is probably too strong a word. Vision, ideal, animating spirit…yes.

The left is highly opportunistic. And it stems from a simple minded urge that the federal government is the answer. They will ratchet up their power as the conditions allow.

Several years ago I saw a video clip from the 70’s with a bunch of “reporters” asking Gerald Ford questions. One of them asked (something like) “why are you against spending more money for education”…and so it goes.

Unfortunately the “conservative” principles are opaque to “reporters”. Imagine if we had “reporters” asking Leftists, why are you against local control of schools.

Polite company has rules…we are all supposed to be “for” distributing money (and rules) across school districts to make education more equal. Despite whatever evidence to the contrary we are to believe in simple paradigms.

Invest in education, green jobs, etc. etc. etc. The language of the Left shows their own unpopularity. The pro-life movement really picked up steam when they used that “frame”…and remember how bitter the “pro-choice” people were. We need many many many more re-languageings.

r keller on May 3, 2009 at 9:41 PM

Orwellian newspeak is a propaganda tactic the communists had perfected long before Orwell named it, and the left has been practicing it for ages. Their greatest coup in redefining terms was when they co-opted the name “liberal” for their own movement from the few enlightened souls who were erstwhile defending freedom from encroachment by the conservatives, progressives, fascists, and socialists.

Conservatives are getting better at propaganda-through-abuse-of-language, though–they did, after all, call it the “Defense of Marriage Act” and not the “Smear the Queers Pogrom.”

hicsuget on May 3, 2009 at 10:57 PM

I heard Romney/Bush talking at the pizza place on their listening tour.

Actually used Feudal, Monarchist to describe “liberals” and the R’s were revolutionaries.

warmed my heart. faster, please

r keller on May 4, 2009 at 1:36 AM

I write all my essays as a typical libtard, get the A, make my teacher think I am another of her brainwashed children, and then get the hell out of there. sad to see even in montana that the educational system is controlled by libtards.

zbunde on May 4, 2009 at 10:36 AM

zbunde on May 4, 2009 at 10:36 AM

That’s about what it takes in this country today. Don’t dare let on that you’re not a Liberal, or pay a price of some kind. Mob rule…

Keemo on May 4, 2009 at 4:11 PM