The Moral Imperative
Climate change is no longer an abstract future threat; it is here now. We are experiencing it in our daily lives, as fires, floods, severe droughts, and storms damage our communities and drain our public budgets as the need for costly disaster response grows. The impact of climate change is hitting far sooner and much closer to home than many of us ever imagined. We have a moral obligation to protect our children. By cutting our carbon pollution and investing in clean energy and efficiency solutions in our communities, we can start building a safer and stronger America today.
Americans are ready – and hungry – for straight talk and real solutions on climate change. In a 2018 national survey, strong majorities believed that the U.S. Congress and President should be doing more to address global warming, and over three-quarters supported U.S. participation in the Paris Climate Agreement.
Over 80% supported a range of policies that advance clean energy and reduce carbon pollution. Over three times as many people believed that protecting the environment improves economic growth and provides new jobs than believed the opposite. The majority (including a large majority of Democrats) would vote for a candidate because of their position on global warming.(i)
Yet media discourse and policy proposals have not kept pace with public opinion or the scientific consensus regarding the urgency of the problem. This is largely due to fossil fuel-backed media campaigns designed to confuse the public, and electoral spending aimed at stifling political leadership and stalling progress on solutions -- and worsened currently by the federal appointments of many people with direct ties to the fossil fuel industry.(ii) With solutions now widely available and affordable, there is enormous opportunity both for our communities and our leaders who have the courage to confront the climate change with confidence and conviction.
The Political Opportunity
Climate Solutions for a Stronger America is for leaders and citizens determined to push back against fossil fuel’s tight grip on American energy policy and to move our country forward – to catalyze leadership and action toward a clean energy future and a safer climate. First developed in 2012, this message guide has been used as the foundation for a wide range of high-profile communications on climate and energy. Now fully updated, based on new original research, it features a slightly revised messaging triangle as well as updated supporting facts and suggested responses to anticipated attacks.
This guide draws on Americans’ optimism and can-do spirit in the face of big challenges. Those who say nothing can be done about climate change forget what America is capable of – and underestimate what is already happening to transform our energy economy. Use it, give us feedback, and help spark the kind of citizen action and political leadership we urgently need to ensure strong communities and a safer future.
An Updated Guide
Betsy Taylor & Kathy Washienko
Breakthrough Strategies & Solutions, Inc.