After conducting "focus groups, a phone survey, an online survey" and other public opinion research, the PR firm ecoAmerica released a report on effective talking points "for speaking with the American public about energy climate change, climate solutions, renewable energy and carbon based fuels." As the New York Times noted previously, ecoAmerica's "research directly parallels marketing studies conducted by oil companies, utilities and coal mining concerns that are trying to 'green' their images." The difference is that ecoAmerica and the Natural Resources Defense Council, which helped fund the report, are trying to promote environmentally-friendly policies. EcoAmerica's report suggests using the phrase "our deteriorating atmosphere," instead of "global warming" or "climate crisis," to appeal to "environmental agnostics." It's also critical of the phrase "cap-and-trade," floating "Clean Energy Dividend," "Clean Energy Cash-Back," "Pollution Penalty" or "Pollution Reduction Refund" as alternatives. "Stay away from debating weather ... science or specific policies," the report cautions. Instead, use "values-oriented language," appealing to "American exceptionalism, American ingenuity," energy independence, jobs and "freedom."
By Diane Farsetta on June 16, 2009