Fires, floods, severe droughts, devastating storms — the impact of climate change is here now. Based on multiple rounds of in-depth national survey messaging research,* Climate Solutions for a Stronger America is a messaging guide for those determined to fight back against big oil and coal and move our country forward.

Our research identified three top-performing messages. Together, they form a persuasive narrative triangle.


Severe Weather / Children

“We can no longer ignore our strange and increasingly severe weather. We have a moral obligation to protect our children – this means preparing for and tackling climate change now.” THREAT TIPS & FACTS

Oil Companies' Stranglehold on Democracy

“Oil companies are spending billions of dollars to rig the system against clean energy solutions. We need to break their stranglehold on our democracy and put people, not oil companies, back in charge.” VILLAIN TIPS & FACTS


Taking Charge of Our Own Energy

"Investing in clean energy means investing in our own communities and taking charge of our own energy. Instead of subsidizing big oil, we must invest in wind turbines on farms, solar on our roofs, and schools that use less energy – creating local jobs, stronger communities and a more stable climate."


"Another must-read for those who, like me, believe in coherent narratives."

- Joe Romm, Climate Progress blogger, Author of How to Engage and Win the Conversation on Climate and Clean Energy

Why it works:

The triangle’s narrative structure includes:

  • THE THREAT.  Pointing to strange and severe weather and our responsibility to protect our kids underscores the urgency of the climate challenge.
  • THE VILLAIN.  Holding oil companies accountable for rigging the system against clean energy shows why progress to date has been delayed and demonstrates that there is a way forward to overcome the roadblocks they’ve placed in our path.
  • THE SOLUTION.  Demonstrating the benefits of action in our neighborhoods, cities, and states helps avoid partisan debates and shows that local, practical solutions are available and effective.

How To Use it:


Aim to use all three corners. The messaging is strongest when all three elements are used together, supported by key facts and local examples.

If you start the conversation: Here's how the storyline flows best:


If you are responding to someone else: Start at the most-related point, then move to the other two messages.

*Breakthrough Strategies & Solutions, LLC, commissioned a repeat national survey of likely voters to determine how leaders can successfully communicate on climate issues. Harstad Strategic Research, Inc., a leading national public opinion and research company, conducted a telephone survey of 1,205 likely 2014 voters– as a follow-up to the 2012 national survey and guide.