Attacks & Responses
The narrative triangle makes it easier to respond to opponent attacks and to redirect the conversation back to its values-based messages. After starting with the most relevant entry point, it’s most powerful to pivot to the two other messages to complete the triangle. Responses include a relevant supporting fact or two, but focus on the values.
The Villain: Don’t believe the oil and coal industries’ claims that they know what’s best for families and local businesses — they care about profits, not people. So they spread climate misinformation in the news media and even in our public schools to confuse and divide us.(x) And spend millions to influence energy policy in our city halls and state capitols while using scare tactics about prices to stall our progress toward clean energy solutions.
The Threat: But as we’re seeing, the cost to our communities, our families, and our economy from all the strange and severe weather we’ve been experiencing is rising quickly — and will only get worse unless we act. We have a duty to protect our children.
The Solution: So, instead of subsidizing big oil, how about we take charge of our own energy choices by investing in clean energy in our communities? The good news is that the solutions are ready now. The share of U.S. electricity from renewables has doubled in the last decade, even as the percent of consumer spending on electricity hit record lows.(xvi) And the cost of wind and solar has come down dramatically. This is clean, abundant energy we produce right here, in communities across America. These investments create good local jobs, increase efficiency, and provide more choices for consumers— and help create a more stable climate for our children.
These policies will raise electricity prices and prices at the pump and hurt consumers and small businesses.
The Solution: Clean energy solutions are proven and ready to go—and ramping up fast. As of 2018, more than 80 cities, nine counties, and two states, including California, have committed to using 100% renewable energy by 2050.(xxi) And so far, we’ve barely scratched the surface when it comes to American clean energy. We have abundant renewable energy potential in the U.S., including wind across much of the country and solar in every state.
The Villain: But oil and coal corporations are spending millions to influence elections, spread misinformation in the media and even in our public schools, and control our energy policies in order to stop progress on clean energy solutions. They keep a stranglehold on our democracy to protect their profits. Instead of subsidizing big oil and coal, we can take charge of our own energy and transition to solutions that benefit people, not polluters.
The Threat: Because we all know we’re seeing more and more strange and severe weather hitting communities across the country. We owe it to our kids to do something now to protect them against the dangers of a damaged climate.
Clean energy sounds good but it’s not realistic to rely on solar panels and windmills to fuel the country.
The Threat: Subsidizing big oil and coal—the richest companies in the history of the world—may keep fossil fuel prices artificially low for now, but only because we’re not including the much higher price we’re paying for the damage that pollution is doing to our health and our climate. We are already paying for the damage caused by the strange and severe weather already striking communities across the country, and things will only get worse unless we act. We owe it to our kids to protect them.
The Solution: The good news is that proven clean energy solutions are ready now, and when we invest in clean energy, we’re investing in our local communities and in creating good jobs here at home. These are jobs that can’t be outsourced. In 2016, nearly 374,000 Americans worked in solar, over twice the number working in fossil fuel electrical generation.(xvi) Today, we have the opportunity to take charge of our own energy by investing in solutions that benefit people, not polluters.
The Villain: We now know that Exxon scientists told company leaders decades ago that burning fossil fuels could lead to catastrophic climate change.(xiv) But instead of developing clean energy sources, oil and coal companies put profits ahead of everything. They spent millions to influence elections, lobby elected officials, stall progress on clean energy solutions, and mislead the public. We need to break big oil’s stranglehold on our democracy so we can move forward with climate solutions, and do what’s right for our kids.
Producing fossil fuel energy in the U.S. keeps gas and electricity costs down.
We need to be energy independent and to get there we should tap domestic coal and natural gas.
The Villain: To protect their profits, big oil and coal and the shadow groups they fund spread misinformation in the news media and even in our public schools.(x) They keep a stranglehold on our democracy by spending millions to rig the system against clean energy solutions. In fact, the Koch Brothers, two big oil billionaires, have promised to spend up to $400 million to influence the 2018 mid-term elections in their favor.(xii)
The Solution: We are far better off when we free our communities from their control and take charge of our own energy choices. Instead of subsidizing big oil and coal, we can put wind turbines on local farms, solar panels on our roofs, and make our homes and schools more efficient — all using technologies that are ready to go today. When we invest in clean energy, we invest in ourselves — creating local jobs, stronger communities and a more stable climate.
The Threat: Because let’s face it; we can no longer ignore the strange and severe weather we’ve been seeing across the country. We have a duty to protect our children; that means tackling climate change now.
The Villain: The fossil fuel industry has no credibility whatsoever when it claims to be a voice for the poor. Whether it’s spreading climate misinformation in the news media or rigging our political system to control energy policy, big oil and coal will do what it takes to protect their profits and block clean energy solutions.
The Threat: The truth is, pollution and climate impacts often hurt low-income people the hardest. But oil and coal companies will always put their profits ahead of people. To protect all of our communities and our children from the increasingly strange and severe weather we’ve been experiencing, we need to tackle climate change now.
The Solution: To do that, we need to break oil and coal’s stranglehold on our democracy and put people back in charge. Instead of subsidizing the fossil fuel industry, we can invest in clean energy projects that help local people by creating good jobs right here at home. Because efficient, cost-effective clean energy technologies are ready to go, now is the time to implement local solutions that benefit people, not polluters.
Prices will skyrocket and punish the poorest families.
The Villain: Big oil and coal will do what it takes to protect their profits, keep their subsidies, and block clean energy solutions. They spend millions to spread misinformation in the news media and control our energy policies. And their reach extends outside of DC, into our own communities. Groups funded by fossil fuel money continue to attack state renewable energy standards and other popular clean power incentives, despite bipartisan support for these policies.(xxii) And, in Washington state, for example, out-of-state multinational oil companies have already contributed over $11 million to try to defeat a citizen’s initiative to put a fee on carbon pollution and invest in wind and solar.(xxiii)
The Solution: The truth is the price of wind and solar has fallen dramatically in recent years and continues to drop, and we have abundant renewable energy potential across the U.S. that we’ve only scratched the surface of. Wind turbines on farms, solar panels on our roofs, and schools and houses that use less energy — these clean energy solutions create good local jobs, stronger communities, and a more stable climate.
The Threat: Because we can’t ignore the strange and severe weather we’ve experienced the past few years. We know things will only get worse if we fail to act — and we owe it to our children to take steps now to protect them. It’s time to tackle climate change by taking charge of our own energy and putting people ahead of oil company profits.
Clean energy costs too much.
The Villain: Big oil companies have spent hundreds of millions of dollars to make people think climate science is uncertain, even targeting teachers and schoolchildren with misinformation, as they outlined in the American Petroleum Institute’s Global Climate Science Communications Plan.(x) And new evidence shows that, decades ago, Exxon scientists told company leaders that fossil fuels could lead to catastrophic climate change.(xiv) But instead of leading the way in developing new energy sources, they’ve focused on spreading climate misinformation and blocking progress.
The Threat: Now we’re seeing what damage to the climate looks like — more and more strange and severe weather across the country and the world. The role of fossil fuels in climate change is well understood by scientists, and we owe it to our children to protect them by transitioning to clean energy now.
The Solution: The good news is that from wind turbines on farms, to solar panels on our roofs, and houses and schools that use less energy, these solutions are ready to go. Even better: When we invest in clean energy, we are investing in our families and our communities. These investments create good local jobs, build strong communities, cut climate-damaging pollution, and they put us back in charge of our own energy.