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Climate Communications
and Behavior Change
A Guide for Practitioners
Director, The Social Capital Project at The Climate Leadership Initiative
Director, The Resource Innovation Group & The Climate Leadership Initiative
Institute for a Sustainable Environment, University of Oregon
Project Coordinator, The Social Capital Project at The Climate Leadership Initiative
Director, The Social Capital Project at The Climate Leadership Initiative
Director, The Resource Innovation Group & The Climate Leadership Initiative
Institute for a Sustainable Environment, University of Oregon
Project Coordinator, The Social Capital Project at The Climate Leadership Initiative
Climate Communications and Behavior Change: A Guide for Practitioners
The Climate Leadership Initiative (2010)
Visit us online:
This guide was made possible thanks to a grant from the Quixote Foundation.
About the Climate Leadership Initiative and the Social Capital Project
CLI is a social science-based global climate change research, education and
technical assistance organization. CLI is jointly supported and administered by
T|e |esooce |ooovat|oo Cooo, ao |ooeoeooeot S0+(c)(3) ooo-oot aoo t|e
Institute for a Sustainable Environment at the University of Oregon.
CLIs Social Capital Project seeks to engage the public in addressing global
warming by building the capacity of climate leaders to communicate effectively
and develop outreach strategies that overcome barriers to behavior change.
Comments on the guide as well as additional information on best practices
are welcome and encouraged. Please contact Cara Pike, director of CLIs
Social Capital Project, at cara@thesocialcapitalproject.org.
5 Preface
6 Introduction
8 Part One: Tbe Role ot Tenslon, Ltcacy, ano 8enets ln tbe Global Warmlng Conversatlon
9 Step 1: Creatlng tbe Tenslon Requlreo to Motlvate People to Aooress Global Warmlng
16 Step 2: 8ullolng Ltcacy tor Aooresslng Global Warmlng
21 Speclal Toplc: 8ullolng Publlc Support tor Cllmate Pollcles
22 Step 3: 8ullolng tbe 8enets ot Aooresslng Global Warmlng
26 Speclal Toplc: Preparlng tor tbe |mpacts ot Cllmate Cbange
27 Framlng 8est Practlces
28 Part Two: Unoerstanolng ano Connectlng wltb Auolences
29 Tallorlng Strategles to Auolences' Stages ot Cbange
30 Reacblng People at Larly Stages ot Cbange
33 Amerlcans ln tbe Mloole
35 Tbe Actlon Stages ot Cbange
37 Targetlng Auolences ano Unoerstanolng tbelr values
48 values ano Narratlve
49 Conclusion
50 Appenol: A Woro about tbe Cllmate Sclence Debate
54 Sources
t lts beart, global warmlng ls a cognltlve ano bebavlor cbange cballenge. Public support
for taking action to address global warming is declining just as it is needed most to
implement emission reductions and climate preparedness programs and push for new
policies. Even if new climate policies are enacted, in the short term they are unlikely to stabilize
emissions due to their long ramp-up periods and many challenges involved with implementation.
This is particularly concerning given recent evidence that indicates global warming is ocurring more
quickly than originally projected. Carbon dioxide and other heat-trapping gas emissions must be
dramatically reduced as soon as possible.
To address global warming there must be a shift in thinking and behavior that motivates people and
organizations to engage in emissions reductions and climate preparedness activities and support
new policies. Mounting evidence shows that this shift is not only possible, but an important part of
a national strategy. Even simple actions taken at the household and organizational levels can rapidly
aoo s|o|caot| eooce caboo e|ss|oos.
Making these changes would buy time and build public
support for new policies that could spur greater reductions.
|n oroer to motlvate people to alter tbelr vlews ano bebavlors relateo to global warmlng,
leaoers wltbln all levels ot government, tbe prlvate sector, non-prots ano communltles must
become aware of and utilize the fundamentals of effective climate communications, outreach,
ano bebavloral cbange mecbanlsms.
To address this need, the Social Capital Project of the Climate Leadership Initiative has developed
this guidebook, which draws on extensive global warming, behavior change and communications
research completed by our organization and others as well as from practitioner expertise. The
guide distills this information into tools and recommendations that climate leaders can easily apply.
It includes talking points that have been tested with the public as well as quotes from focus group
oat|c|oaots t|at eect t|e att|tooes o ao /e|caos aboot |oba| .a|o.
The guide is organized into two sections:
Part One: Tbe Role ot Tenslon, Ltcacy, ano 8enets ln tbe Global Warmlng Conversatlon
This section illustrates the challenges with existing climate communication efforts and
provides tips on how to frame and deliver outreach efforts in a way that motivates changes
in thinking and behavior.
Part Two: Unoerstanolng ano Connectlng wltb Auolences
This section offers detailed advice and tips on how to frame global warming communications
and promote behavior change in ways that resonate with a range of audience segments.
1 Dietz, T., Gardner, G. T., et al. (2009). Household actions can provide a behavioral wedge to rapidly reduce U.S. carbon emissions.
|oceeo|os o t|e |at|ooa| /caoe o Sc|eoces
f you close your eyes and think about global warming, it is hard to picture. We cant see carbon
dioxide and other heat-trapping gases building up in the atmosphere. Carbon comes from
endless sources, not just the obvious places that come to mind when we think about pollution
such as smoke stacks. We hear the term global warming yet there are freak snowstorms and
record low temperatures in places not expected. How can we get our head around a problem that
we cant see, touch or feel yet involves major risks to life on Earth as we know it?
You really can't put a tace on lt ano wben you say 'global' lt's llke ob my gosb, lt's all
over tbe worlo. Llttle olo me ls not golng to bave any blg ettect on tbat.
Dealing with risk is something people do all the time. Peoples perception of risk is not just based
oo actoa| oata bot oo t|e| va|oes aoo .o|ov|e.s. /s a eso|t, t|e .as |o .||c| |s's ae aeo
aoo |o. oeoo|e .|t||o oo soc|a| oet.o's esooo to t|ose aes eat| |ooeoce t|e oec|s|oo
to act. Framing is not simply messaging; it is a conceptual exercise that involves tying ideas together
into a comprehensive picture that makes it easier for people to organize information and sort
out its relevance to their lives. When it comes to global warming, framing requires fundamentally
rethinking how we live and the resources necessary to power those lifestyles.
This is no small task. /t oeseot, oo soc|et |s
operating within what can be called a Take-Make-
Waste economic system. We take resources from
the earth, use them to power our economy and
convert them to goods and services for our use.
Massive amounts of often toxic wasteincluding
carbon emissionsare then dumped back into the
same resource base we rely on for our sustenance
without considering the negative consequences for
the overall system. The Take-Make-Waste system
made sense when it emerged at the dawn of
the industrial revolution because resources were
plentiful and there were few people. Today, however,
the rapid speed of global warming and related
economic and social consequences make clear that
a new economic model driven by thinking about the
links between the environment, economy and social
wellbeing is needed.
Addressing global warming calls for changes
in beliefs, assumptions and thinking about the
environment, economy and our well-being.
We now need to move to what can be called a
8orrow-Use-Replenlsb economic model. In this
system, raw materials are extracted from the
Earth, those materials are converted into energy,
goods and services for human use and the by-
products of this system are either returned to
the economy for future use or returned back
to nature as nutrients for further use without
degrading the structure and functions of the
climate or natural environment. The closed-loop
Borrow-Use-Replenish model should not be
seen as a major departure from our current
economic system. To the contrary, it is already
emerging because it is the next logical step in
thinking that incorporates social and ecological
well-being into our core assumptions and beliefs.
In addition to re-envisioning our economic
model, we also need to re-evaluate some of
oo .o|ov|e.s. T|e a,o|t o /e|caos a
accept that global warming is occurring yet they
are increasingly fatalistic about their own lives,
let alone our ability to address global warming.
Even people who already care have a hard time
imagining how they can make a dent in such
a massive global challenge and they question
governments ability to do the same.
To increase public support for taking action
on global warming, the publics role in creating
change must be reframed by tapping into
peoples basic need to feel that their lives have
meaning. Successful public engagement in global
warming requires connecting people to one
another through a shared sense of purpose.
Common Sustainable Thinking Blunders
To change beliefs, assumptions and thoughts
related to the environment, economy
and our well-being, a number of common
blunders must be overcome.
1 Conrmatlon
Most people look
for evidence that
coos e|st|o
beliefs and tend to
reject contradictory
2 Mlsplaceo
It is easy to assume
the future will be
similar to the past,
a'|o |t o|co|t to
identify mistakes and
alter behavior when
conditions change.
3 Wlsbtul
We tend to believe
favorable outcomes
are more likely
to happen than
undesirable ones.
4 8ellet
Many choose to
associate only with
people who share
their views.
ow do changes in thinking and behavior come about? What does it take for individuals,
organizations or society to shift their practices? Despite their common use, guilt, fear,
and shame do not often motivate people to change their behavior and support effective
policies. If these tactics dont work, what does?
The behavior of each one of us is shaped by deeply held core beliefs and assumptions about how
t|e .o|o .o's aoo oo o|ace |o |t. |ao oeoo|e be||eve t|at oatoe |as ao |oo|te caoac|t to
provide resources for humans and an unlimited capacity to absorb waste, which has helped to
deeply embed the Take-Make-Waste model in our culture. People who hold this view automatically
respond to information that appears contradictory by ignoring, denying, or challenging it and
continue doing what they are doing such as emitting carbon, even if it is self-destructive.
To help people, organizations, and societies challenge their automatic thoughts and behaviors,
outreach strategies must incorporate three fundamental elements of change. From smoking
cessation to promoting corporate sustainability, successful behavior change programs illustrate that
t|ee ost be soc|eot teos|oo, ecac, aoo beoets oeseot to a'e oeeo-seateo s||ts.
PART ONE: The Role of
Iens|on, E|0cocy, ond
8ene0ts |n the G|obo|
Warming Conversation
Step 1: Creating the Tension
Required to Motivate
People to Address Global
eneral concern about global warming is not enough. For people, organizations or society
as a .|o|e to ta'e eao|oo| act|oo, t|e ost ee| soc|eot 'teos|oo' (o|ssooaoce)
between some deeply held goals or values and their current condition. For example,
oeoo|e ost be soc|eot| .o|eo t|at |oba| .a|o t|eateos t|e| ,obs, a|||es, cooo|t|es,
or other things they deeply care about. Taking personal action or supporting policies to address the
issue becomes consistent with their values and helps to resolve the tension. Social Capital Project
research points to a number of cognitive challenges that block the public from feeling a sense of
tension around global warming. These challenges illustrate common pitfalls in outreach and framing
Six Challenges in Building Tension for Action
1. The Terrarium Challenge
You watch those commercials (about polar bears), and I cry when I see them.
| ,.st :ot stoo tc see te stt c te 'tt'e :e (ce tot .seo tc !e
Greenland and now its two ice cubes in the middle of the ocean.
When most people think about the environment, they think about nature or plants and animals,
rather than the broader system we are a part of that is foundational to our existence. Most
/e|caos ooo't see |o. c|aoes |o t|e eov|ooeot cao aect t|e aoo as a eso|t, t|e
prioritize issues with clear direct impacts, such as jobs and health care. When people think about
global warming, they think about the image of a polar bear on a shrinking iceberg, not how it will
o|soot t|e ||ves o t|e aveae /e|cao.
2. The Weather Challenge
You cant do anything about the weather.
Most people focus on day-to-day changes in the weather and do not understand the relationship
between these changes and the larger climate patterns that play out over time. In addition, the
a,o|t o /e|caos |ac' a bas|c oooestaoo|o o t|e ec|ao|ss o |oba| .a|o aoo as a eso|t
oo |t |ao to be||eve t|at |oaos cao |oact t|e .eat|e.



3. The Warming Challenge
People are talking about global
warming. Its freezing outside.
For many, global warming is thought of as a slight
rise in average temperatures, rather than as a
fundamental destabilization of the Earths climate
system. This makes it easy to caricature global
warming and dismiss its importance. When there
are record snowfalls, for example, people have a
hard time believing in global warming.
4. The Someday Challenge
Its a tough problem. We need those green jobs that theyre talking about to invent
technologies that havent been invented yet.
3ecaose /e|caos ae otoe-o|eoteo aoo oot||st|c, |a|o a t|e .|eo .e .||| |ave c|eao
energy, electric cars, smart houses, and clean skies is not hard to do. Yet, most people dont think
that these solutions are ready or that they can be taken to a large enough scale. While talking
about a clean energy future offers a positive vision of progress, positions the United States as a
world leader, and counters frames of environmentalism as anti-progress, it can also diminish a sense
of urgency about global warming. When energy solutions are associated with the future, they are
forever distant and the path to them unclear.
5. The Technology Will Save Us Challenge
I dont remember exactly what it was, but they talked about putting the CO2 back
into the ground and storing it. I think theyve started doing that in Germany.
|veo | |t |s |o t|e otoe, ao /e|caos be||eve t|at eoets .||| eveotoa|| coe oo .|t|
technological solutions to global warming. This reduces the need for changes in behavior or
the enactment of new policies now. This is not surprising given the rapid pace of technological
oeve|ooeot t|at /e|caos |ave eoe|eoceo aoo t|e beoets o t|at oeve|ooeot ost |ave
experienced. The problem is that this notion reduces the sense that we need to make lifestyle and
systemic changes in our culture.

6. The Long List of Impacts Challenge
Highlighting a lot of examples of frightening global warming impacts does not increase issue
urgency. In fact, a long list of impacts can seem exaggerated or disconnected from peoples daily
lives. For some, it can be overwhelming to the point that they check out or become defensive of
t|e coeot /e|cao ||est|e, oat|co|a| | so|ot|oos o aooess|o |oacts ae |et oot o t|e
The Need to Build Awareness of Larger Climate Impacts
\|||e soe /e|caosa|o| sc|eot|sts aoo |||| eoocateo oeoo|eesoooo
oe avoab| to t|e te 'c||ate c|aoe,' ost /e|caos ae oe a|||a .|t|
the term global warming.
Unfortunately, neither term is ideal. Global warming sounds serious and something that
could be caused by human activities, yet it leads to the warming problem mentioned above.
Climate change is a more accurate term and is motivating for those who understand
climate systems. Yet for many others, climate change lacks a sense of speed or urgency,
sounding more like a natural, gradual cycle.
Communicators can take advantage of how common a term global warming has
become, but at the same time there is a need to build awareness of impacts beyond
The following terms are not common with the public, yet Social Capital Project
research shows they resonate well and help create tension around global warming:
Rapid climate shift
Climate disruption
Climate shock
Climate breakdown
Climate failure
More work is needed to determine which of these terms has the greatest potential to
build proper understanding of the issue.


o motivate people to alter their
thinking and behavior, global warming
must be better understood and made
more relevant to peoples lives and the things
they deeply care about. The following framing
approaches have proven effective in adding
tension to the global warming conversation.
Illustrate what it means for the climate to 1.
Leverage the idea of too much carbon. 2.
Clarify the relationship between energy 3.
production and consumption and global
Emphasize that we are facing a moment of 4.
1. Illustrate What It Means For
the Climate to Change
Global warming provides an opportunity to
change the environmental frame from one of
protecting a separate nature to one of people
working together to improve their quality of life.
Global warming touches upon health, national
security, the economy, energy, etc. and reminds
us that we are part of and reliant on nature and
on each other.
To take advantage of this opportunity, it is
important to go beyond the idea that global
warming just involves a gradual temperature
increase and to begin to convey how our lives
are dependent on a stable climate.
Talking Points:
Global warmlng lsn't just about
temperature it is about the ba-
slc weatber patterns tbat make
up our cllmate, lncluolng wlno ano
ralntall patterns ano storms.
Tbe cllmate ls tbe very tounoatlon
ot our llves. |t ls llke tbe grouno
under our feet, and if the climate
sbltts, lt ls llke tbe grouno sblttlng
wltb very oramatlc consequences.
Lvery aspect ot our llves oepenos
on a stable cllmate. For eample,
we count on water supplies that
only elst ln a certaln klno ot cll-
mate. Our agrlculture oepenos on
partlcular ranges ot temperature
and rainfall and we build near the
sbore epectlng sea levels to stay
tbe same.
Weatber patterns attect just
about everytblng ln our llves
tbe capaclty to grow tbe tooo we
eat, tbe klnos ot lntectlous ols-
eases and pests that can thrive in
our reglon ano attect our bealtb,
tbe ablllty to keep our bomes
and families safe from extreme
weatber, etc.
Creating the Tension Required to Motivate
People to Address Global Warming
2. Leverage the Idea of Too
Much Carbon
While there are a number of greenhouse gases
contributing to global warming, carbon dioxide
|s t|e ost |ootaot s|o|e coot|boto. /s a
result, start the awareness building process with
the simple idea that humans are putting too
much carbon into the atmosphere/air. Using
too much carbon allows people to get a
handle on the (deeply counterintuitive) idea of
global warming and provides a conceptual link
to most climate policies.
Use Simple Terms such as:
Carbon Overloao - reters to tbe
ecess ot carbon belng put lnto tbe
atmospbere (or otber contalners
sucb as tor ests, topsoll, or ocean).
Carbon Loao - reters to tbe
amount of carbon stored in the
atmo spbere (or otber contalner).
8ullo on too mucb carbon to
teacb otber global warmlng baslcs.
The idea of too much carbon can be a building
block for creating a deeper understanding of
the carbon cycle and easily integrates with
another fundamental conceptthe idea that
global warming happens because heat is being
trapped by a layer of carbon. This idea can be
conveyed through an anal ogy with a thickening
'b|ao'et'a te/|ae oseo |o t|e st
Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change
(IPCC) report that has become more common
over time.
Use too mucb carbon ano tbe
loea ot carbon management to re-
crult buoget tblnklng.
By giving global warming a sense of mass or
.e||t, t|e o|ase 'too oc| caboo' ooaot|es
the problem and shifts it from something that
is unmanagable to something that can be
counted and reduced. This works well because
the human brain is wired to economize. The
power of budget-making is clear in a wide
variety of contexts, for ex ample in the success
(and effectiveness) of the Weight Watchers
Focus the conversation on the
reouctlon ot carbon.
By clarifying that the problem is one of too
much carbon, then the solution is to deal
with excess carbon, by reducing or capturing
emissions, versus being distracted by pseudo-
solutions or by thinking there is nothing that can
be done. Too much carbon also challenges
the dominant Take-Make-Waste frame that
positions carbon as an inevitable by-product of
our economic system, rather than something
that can and should be managed.
Talking Points:
Global warmlng bappens wben
we overload the atmosphere
wltb carbon. We're puttlng too
mucb carbon wbere lt ooesn't
Slmply put, we're puttlng too mucb
carbon lnto tbe atmospbere, by
burnlng tossll tuels sucb as coal tor
energy. Tbe gooo news ls tbat we
can deal with our carbon problem
wltb solutlons tbat elst tooay.
Talking Point:
As we continue to put carbon in
tbe alr (by burnlng tossll tuels) we
are creatlng a tblckenlng layer ln tbe
atmospbere tbat ls trapplng ln beat
arouno tbe globe.


Hlgb scbool stuoents ln Cobasset, MA sbow tbe slze
of one ton of carbon dioxide. www.energyrace.com
Use too mucb carbon to connect
global warmlng to torests ano
When we give global warming a sense of
weightiness, people can begin to understand
that overloading the oceans with carbon
damages ma rine life, and that forests store
carbon and should be preserved for that reason.
3. Convey the link
between energy and global
Not everyone naturally makes the mental leap
between global warming and energy production
aoo coosoot|oo. |ao /e|caos oo oot 'oo.
how energy is produced and do not associate
their energy use with having an environmental
Make tbe connectlons between
energy, carbon ano global warmlng
so that the issue is not confused
wltb general loeas about pollutlon.
Clarlty wbat ls meant by clean
energy ano bow a glven approacb
aooresses global warmlng. Avolo
tuzzy terms sucb as green energy
ano sustalnable energy because
tbey tall to convey tbe type ot
solutlons tbat are neeoeo. Use
terms sucb as carbon-tree to belp
clarlty wbat ls meant by clean or
green energy.
Take aovantage ot bow people
associate renewable energy
wltb solar, wlno ano geotbermal
sources. 8e sure to empbaslze
the successful use of renewable
energy tecbnologles so publlc
perceptions that these alternatives
are not yet reaoy to be put to use
can be overcome. Wben lt comes
to biofuels, clarlty bow tbey are
proouceo (loeally trom agrlcultural
waste or useo vegetable oll ratber
tban corn-baseo etbanol).
Talking Point:
8urnlng carbon-baseo tuels lsn't just
causlng global warmlng. Tbe carbon
tbat talls back oown lnto tbe ocean
makes tbe water more aclolc. Hlgber
aclolty oamages anytblng wltb a sbell
trom tlny organlsms tbat are baslc
to the food chain to more familiar
creatures sucb as sbellsb ano coral.
Talking Point:
8urnlng tossll tuels ls wbat puts
carbon into the atmo sphere
wbetber lt's tor tuel tor our cars or
to keep tbe llgbts on. For eample,
most ot our electrlclty comes trom
burnlng coal.
Most Amerlcans tblnk uslng less
energy ls a gooo loea. |llustrate
the opportunities associated with
energy efBciency as a way
to overcome tbe term's lack ot
power ano urgency. For eample,
otter concrete eamples ot pollcy
cbange to promote etclency sucb
as strengtbenlng energy cooes tor
new bullolngs, enbanclng energy
etclency stanoaros tor appllances
or provlolng ta lncentlves tor
homes and businesses that use
energy more etclently.
4. Emphasize That We Are At a
|ao /e|caos cae aboot |oba| .a|o bot
believe that addressing it can wait compared
to job creation and economic recovery.
Conversations about global warming should be
framed in a way that emphasizes the need to
take concrete, immediate steps.
Conveying the idea of being at a crossroads
is more effective than outreach that simply
urges people to act. By emphasizing a moment
of choice, we are in a position of being
accountable for not acting. Rather than coasting
along, we are jolted out of default mode so that
inaction becomes irresponsible, shortsighted,
and not prudent.
|llustrate bow lgnorlng global
warmlng wlll let tbe problem get
worse, leaolng to more oamage
ano costs over tlme. Talk about
bow taklng smart ano responslble
steps now is the common sense
Focus on the need for immediate
actlon, ratber tban empbaslzlng
a tuture transtor matlon. For
eample, a clean energy tuture may
souno vlslon ary ano motlvatlng, but
not necessarlly urgent.
Talking Points:
As many leaoers bave salo, tbe tlme
tor argulng ano oelaylng ls past. We
are at a crossroads, with a choice
between responslbly aooresslng tbe
problem now, or oeallng wltb severe
consequences later.
Global warmlng ls an urgent
problem, llke termltes eatlng away at
tbe tounoatlon ot your bouse. |t you
lgnore tbe problem, tbe result wlll
be serlous structural oamage.
Sblttlng away trom tbe carbon-
baseo tossll tuels tbat cause global
warmlng wlll create gooo new jobs
tor mllllons ot Amerlcans. Tbe U.S.
can eltber leao ano take aovantage
of this shift, or miss the boat as
otber countrles act more swlttly. For
eample, Cblna ls worklng baro to
be tbe worlo's leaoer ln electrlc cars
yet we contlnue to lag beblno.
Talking Points:
We neeo to use energy more etclently,
so tbat we burn less coal, oll ano gas.
8ullolng more energy-etclent bouses,
bullolngs, ano appllances wlll reouce
costs, get Amerlcans back to work ano
aooress global warmlng at tbe same


tip tip
|||e esseot|a|, teos|oo a|ooe |s |osoc|eot to ot|vate oeoo|e to a|te t|e| t||o'|o o
behavior around global warming and in fact can actually produce the opposite effect
of denial and disinterest. The second key to change is that people must believe that
they personally, and society at large, have the know-how, skills and tools to address the problem
aoo eooce t|e teos|oo. |ost /e|caos oo oot |ave a c|ea seose o |o. to tac'|e |oba| .a|o
or that the actions that they have been asked to support will work.
To motivate people to engage in activities that can reduce global warming, climate leaders must
bo||o oeoo|e's seose o ecac. 3o||o|o ecac |ovo|ves cooo|cat|o ea|-.o|o eao|es o
actions and policies that are successfully reducing carbon emissions. Climate leaders must also show
how individuals can make a difference and that taking action will help people live according to their
Soc|a| Cao|ta| |o,ect eseac| aoo oact|t|ooe eoe|eoce |ave |e|oeo |oeot| ve a|o easoos
.| t|e oob||c ooes oot |ave a seose o ecac aoooo |oba| .a|o. Ta'|o eots to c|ose
t|ese aos |o coooeoce |s esseot|a| so t|at oeoo|e .|o cae aboot |oba| .a|o oo oot
become overwhelmed by the issue.
1. The Kitchen Sink Environmentalism Challenge
I believe we are all working on it: you with your recycling; me with not using
pesticides; you with community planning. We are all doing something because
that all affects global warming.
When global warming becomes about everything, it becomes about nothing and people dont
know what to think about it or what solutions to support. The issue becomes murky and falls
into the general category of pollution, which is the default for all bad environmental impacts. If
pollution is the problem, than the solution is to clean it up, rather than focusing on reducing carbon
emissions. Concepts such as clean coal can sound appealing and lead to confusion about what
should be done.
2. The Leaders Are Taking Care of It Challenge
Surely lots of scientists and technical types, who can actually make a difference,
are working on this issue.
|veo | oeoo|e |ave acceoteo t|e eoo|t o t|e oob|e o |oba| .a|o, |t |s oteo o|co|t
to see what individuals can do to address it and even incongruous that theyre being asked to
oea| .|t| |t. \|||e ao /e|caos oo oot tost |o oveoeot to oo t|e ||t t||o, t|ee |s
nonetheless a deeply held conviction that the government and other experts should be the ones
acting to address threats of this scale. When the public do not perceive leaders to be acting, then
it is an indication that the problem is not as serious or urgent to address as some say, or that
solutions are just not available.
Step 2: 8u||d|ng E|0cocy |or
Addressing Global Warming
F|ve Cho||enges |n 8u||d|ng E|0cocy

3. The Little Things Make a Difference Challenge
Im just a little person that does a little bit. If a lot of people did a little bit, then it
would add up.
Individual behavior change is a critical component of addressing global warming. Yet at the same time,
if not done well, emphasizing changes in peoples daily lives can distract from the need for collective
action through policy change and community efforts. People either think that they are doing their
part by changing light bulbs and stop there or they feel that taking these steps are meaningless given
the scale of the challenge. Making the connections between smaller actions and broader changes is
critical as well as emphasizing the need for collective action.
4. The Perfection Challenge
.e tese :c,o:t (.ces:et 't
bulbs that were using today that were
saying are so wonderful, they have a
certain amount of mercury in them. They
have a certain amount of bad chemicals
and the phosphors that allow the
(.ces:et 'ts tc .c'
/e|caos .|o o||o. o ae act|ve| |ovo|veo |o
environmental issues can become paralyzed by
their knowledge and thus apt to criticize proposed
solutions for not being green enough. While a certain
amount of skepticism can be a good thing, it can also
lead to a reluctance to embrace any solution that is
not perfect, thus leaving them and everyone else
stuck in the status quo.
5. The Environmental Overload Challenge
Green is now a buzzword being used by everyone to sell everything. The public is getting competing
aoo soet|es coo|ct|o |ooat|oo aboot t|e eov|ooeot o bos|oess, oveoeot aoo
ooooots. |ost ooo't 'oo. .|o to tost o |o. to sot oot eov|ooeota| c|a|s. \|eo |t
comes to prioritizing environmental issues, people may think that global warming is the most
pressing issue but they are not sure.
/s a eso|t o t||s ove|oao, oeoo|e ooo't .aot aoot|e ||st o t|e teo t||os t|at t|e cao oo to
ootect t|e eov|ooeot o stoo |oba| .a|o. |ost /e|caos cae bot ae oesseo o t|e aoo
money. They want to know the one or two things they can do that will make the biggest difference.




1. Connect Global
Warming to Other
Priority Issues
Connect global warming to concerns that people
already have, rather than asking people to care
about yet another issue,
Provide people with a sense that
there are actionable solutions to
aooress global warmlng ano clearly
illustrate the roles individuals can
play even wben tbe ask lncluoes
pollcy cbange.
2. Avoid Pollution as a
Leading Idea
While a familiar term, using pollution to describe
the cause of global warming does not help
people make the connection between carbon-
based energy use and other causes of global
warming. Other ideas, such as the role of too
oc| caboo,' s|oo|o be estab||s|eo st.
Refer to the carbon pollution that
causes global warmlng wblcb lls ln
tbe mlsslng lntormatlon tbat we are
oeallng wltb a problem ot too mucb
carbon ln tbe atmospbere.
Four woys to bu||d o sense o| e|0cocy oround our
ability to address global warming
Talklng Polnts:
We bave to connect tbe oots
between our own lives and the
climate that surrounds and supports
our quallty ot llte. Ano tbat starts
by connectlng tbe work eacb ot us
ls alreaoy oolng wltb tbe lssue tbat
llnks us all - global warmlng.
Latlng tooo grown locally cuts
down on fossil fuels used for
transportatlon ano belps brlng oown
our overall carbon emissions that
create global warmlng. So wbetber
you love garoenlng, cooklng or
eatlng, tbere ls a lot tbat you can oo
every oay tbat can make a oltterence.
We all care about lmprovlng our
communities, cities, states and
natlon. Wltb smarter oeclslons
about development, we can cut
oown on long-olstance commutes,
save fuel and cut the carbon
emissions that surround the earth
and trap in heat that leads to
olsruptlons ln tbe cllmate we rely
upon. Wltb enougb pressure trom
cltlzens, we can brlng carbon-tree
energy, sucb as solar ano wlno
power, rlgbt bere.
8u||d|ng o Sense o| E|0cocy
he challenge of global warming must be part of the narrative on global warming. However,
the challenge needs to be matched with hope for a better life and explicit examples of
soccesso| act|oos t|at cao be ta'eo. C||ate |eaoes ost bo||o coooeoce |o t|e ab|||t o
people, organizations and the nation as a whole to reduce global warming and enhance their faith
that new practices and policies will make a difference. They need to help the public visualize spe-
c|c, tao|b|e st|oes to.ao |o t|e oob|e aoo ao oot coocete act|oos steos t|at cao aoo
need to be taken.
3. Focus on Solutions
Make solutions tangible rather than leaving
them as an afterthought. While some
solutions require particular framing strategies
to be successful, there are several general
communications practices that apply to all
climate solutions.
Illustrate how ideas help solve
tbe problem by uslng slmple
eplanatlons tbat belp people make
tbe connectlons.
Make tbe llnk between speclc
opportunltles ano bow tbey
wlll aooress global warmlng,
sucb as puttlng ln new electrlcal
transmlsslon llnes. Hlgbllgbt success
storles by lnolvlouals, bousebolos,
government, prlvate companles, ano
Talklng Polnt:
Carbon dioxide and other pollutants
collect ln tbe atmo spbere llke a
tblckenlng blanket, trapplng tbe sun's
beat ano causlng tbe planet to warm


Talklng Polnt:
We neeo to encourage more cltles
and states to adopt policies that
llmlt suburban sprawl. Promotlng
smart growtb wlll llmlt long
commutes ano oramatlcally reouce
tbe use ot carbon-baseo tuels tbat
leao to global warmlng.
Ontario, Cali-
fornia has on
average over
320 oays ot
sunshine and
upon thou-
sanos ot square
teet ot empty root space. A mlsseo
opportunlty? We tbougbt so. Wltb sup-
port ano lncentlves provloeo by state,
teoeral government ano our electrlc
utlllty we bullt a 400 kllowatt solar ar-
ray tbe slze ot a tootball elo at our
olstrlbutlon center. From 2007 to
2008 (our rst tull year), tbe solar ar-
ray bas cut our energy costs ano emls-
slons trom our taclllty by 13. - The
Timberland Company, 2009 Report
Make tbe neeo tor collectlve
actlon apparent, ano blgbllgbt tbe
importance of citizen action in
keeplng government accountable.
Make lt clear tbat government
neeos to play a proactlve role,
ratber tban waltlng tor tbe
market or new tecbnologles to
solve tbe problems.
4. Give the Audience a
Clear Role in the Story
/e .e as'|o oeoo|e to c|aoe |oo|v|ooa|
behavior, to engage in policy change, or both?
The best answer is that people need a mental
picture both of the big-picture changes that are
needed such as the adoption of new policies,
and of their own role in making change happen.
/s cooo|catos, .e ost |e|o oeoo|e to
bridge between personal and collective action.
The idea of managing carbon, for example,
allows people to think both at a collective level
and an individual level.
Lower the bar for collective
actlon so tbat people can begln to
get engageo ano loentlty tbemselves
wltb tbe lssue.
Talklng Polnt:
There is a lot that each of us can do
to belp, wbetber tbat means learnlng
more about tbe lssue, talklng wltb
otbers, cbanglng our own energy
use, or maklng sure tbat electeo
otclals know bow we teel.
We alreaoy bave ettectlve, proven
solutlons to reouce our carbon loao.
We now neeo tbe polltlcal wlll ano
lnvestments to brlng tbem up to
Klos vs Global
Warmlng ls a
group ot klos
that educate
otber klos about
the science of
global warmlng
and empower
tbem to take actlon. Starteo by 14
year olo Alec Loorz, tbe organlzatlon
createo a vloeo, lMatter: Story ot
Global Warmlng tbat vlsually conveys
tbe lmpacts ot global warmlng ano tbe
ways ln wblcb young people can be
part ot tbe solutlon by partlclpatlng ln
actlvltles llke bang orylng clotbes ano
plantlng a garoen.
Talklng Polnt:
8uslness leaoers are looklng to
government to set new stanoaros
ano lnvest ln carbon-tree energy
Talklng Polnt:
We neeo to aooress global warmlng
togetber. Drlvlng less belps, but
blgb tuel etclency stanoaros are
even more lmportant. Turnlng ott
tbe llgbts ls a gooo tblng to oo, but
we also neeo more carbon-tree
electrlclty sources, sucb as solar ano
wlno power.
SPECIAL TOPIC: Building Public Support for Climate Policies
|ao /e|caos .||| soooot t|e aooot|oo o oe. c||ate oo||c|es | |t |s c|ea t|at t|e oo||c
will really address global warming. While the term regulation is not a popular one, the
public does support direct government actions, such as setting limits on pollution, requiring
the use of carbon free energy sources and ensuring compliance. Market mechanisms, such
as Cao aoo Taoe, ae a |aoe se|| becaose t|e ae oot sta||to.ao to ao /e|caos
aoo see to |eave oe .||e oo o bao actos. |oe avoab|e sca| oo||c|es |oc|ooe
ones that encourage shifts in behavior such as subsidizing clean energy producers, giving
|oceot|ves to bo ec|eot cas, aoo estab||s||o ta bea's o eoe.ab|e eoe o ec|eoc
measures. Discouraging measures, such as establishing pollution fees, increasing taxes on
fossil fuel use, or requiring surcharges on energy, need to be tied to clear and cost effective
solutions and incentives.
| tblnk lt sometblng ls not manoateo, ano unless lt ls so astronoml cal to pay tor
golng over tbe llmlt, | oon't tblnk buslnesses wlll -- | mean lt's been proven tbat
buslnesses oon't cbange unless lt costs tbem.
Wben lncentlves ano olslncentlves are tleo togetber, people are more llkely to
support solutlons.
Talklng Polnts:
To pay tor tbls plan, we wlll encourage traoeotts. We wlll lncrease taes
on tbe tossll tuel (oll ano coal) use wblle cuttlng taes on wlno ano
solar energy, we wlll lncrease sales taes on gas-guzzllng cars wblle
lowerlng sales taes on tuel-etclent cars.
We neeo a carrot ano stlck approacb. Laws neeo to llmlt bow mucb
carbon companles emlt. Tbose unoer tbelr llmlt get lncentlves, wblle
tbose wbo oon't pay.

heories of behavior change indicate that people need to directly experience or observe
oos|t|ve beoets .|eo t|e a'e a oooaeota| s||t aoo t|at t|ose beoets oeeo to a
outweigh the perceived downsides.
This is true for individuals, organizations and society as
.e||. T|e beoets o act|o to aooess |oba| .a|o ae oot c|ea to t|e a,o|t o /e|caos
aoo .|eo t|e ae, t|e ae ae| coooecteo to oa|| ||e. |o act, ao /e|caos eoect |oba|
warming will cause multiple negative outcomes.
Coe o t|e easoos o t|e |o. be||e |o t|e beoets o aooess|o |oba| .a|o |s t|at oob||c
o|scoose |as o|a|| ocoseo oo a |oo ||st o |oacts. \|eo beoets ae eot|ooeo |o t|at
context they are typically described as reduced impacts, such as preventing sea levels from
exceeding dangerous levels. Yet, reducing a negative does not sound like a positive to most people.
On the other hand, if we talk about increasing our ability to live safely near beautiful shorelines, to
have greater protection from storm impacts, more access to sandy beaches, etc. then the public is
more likely to become motivated to address the problem.
1. The Energy Cost Challenge
/e|caos ae oseo to |ea|o oeat|ve essaes aboot t|e oo.os|oes o aooess|o |oba|
warming, from higher energy costs to restrictions on economic activity. Over the last several
eas, t|ee |as beeo ooess aoe to |ocoooate o|scoss|oos aboot t|e ecooo|c beoets o
addressing global warming through the creation of a sustainable economy and green jobs. More
.o' oeeos to be oooe, |o.eve, to coove t|ese beoets |o a .a t|at esooates .|t| t|e oob||c
and that overcomes concerns about rising costs related to energy use.
Sav|o ooe |s oteo a beoet o eoa|o |o |||e eoe ec|eoc aoo coosevat|oo oact|ces
and this motivates many people. For example, interest in the cost of energy use increases when
fuel prices rise dramatically. This interest can lead to some structural changes (i.e. people sell their
S|Vs aoo bo sa||e cas o eo|ace t|e| aoo||aoces .|t| oe ec|eot ooes) t|at ae o|co|t to
reverse once the action has been taken. The challenge however, is that once prices go back down
many other optional activities such as riding the bus, can drop, as well as support for systemic
change such as increased societal investment in new transportation infrastructure.
The public also has a healthy amount of skepticism around who will ultimately pay for an increased
investment in clean and safe carbon-free energy sources. Concerns about being stuck with the bill
for taking action on climate issues can block engagement even for those who express a great deal
of concern.
2 Doppelt, B. (2008). The Power of Sustainable Thinking. Earthscan
3 |a|bac|, |., |ose-|eooo, C. aoo |e|seo.|tz, /. Global Warmings Six Americas: An Audience Segmentation Analysis (200`) / |oba| .a|o seeo-
tation study conducted by the Yale Project on Climate Change and the George Mason University Center for Climate Change Communications.
Step 3: 8u||d|ng the 8ene0ts o|
Addressing Global Warming
Three challenges in conveying the
bene0ts o| oddress|ng g|obo| worm|ng


2. The Identity Challenge
It is hard for most people to understand how global warming will impact their lives and even more
o|co|t to see |o. .o'|o to aooess |t coo|o beoet t|e. |at o t|e easoo o t||s |s t|at
ost ooteac| caoa|os a|| to coooect .|t| oeoo|e's |oeot|t|es aoo t|e toe o beoets t|at ae
meaningful to them.
This failure is related to the fact that global
warming is associated with environmentalists
who are seen as either rich white urbanities
or as extremists who are out of touch with
the needs and interests of mainstream
/e|caos. T||s eov|ooeota| e||t|s |s
problematic because many people who care
about global warming dont see themselves
as the type of person who gets involved.
Environmental actions are also often
associated with pricey green consumer
choices that most cannot afford.
/oot|e cooooeot o t|e |oeot|t c|a||eoe
is the tendency for people to view global
warming through a partisan lens. Those who
tend to deny or discount global warming are
typically conservative Republicans, and they
ae ||'e| to e,ect c|a|s o beoets .|eo
they come from Democratic political leaders
or liberals championing the issue.
3. Environmental Fatalism Challenge
Isnt it too late to address global warming? Why should I act when no one else is going to bother? If
everything is so screwed up, I may as well get my piece of the pie while I can.
Fatalism comes in many forms but the bottom line is that you might care about global warming but
if you dont think anything can be done to make things better, you are not likely to act.
|ata||s |s oat|co|a| ||| aoo oooe /e|caos .|o |ave ||tt|e a|t| t|at aoooe cao aooess
the issue, from government, business and civic leaders to scientists and academics. They do not see
t|e beoet to eoa|o |o c|v|c ||e. Yet |t |s oooe /e|caos .|o ae o|o to |ave to oea| .|t|
increasing climate impacts and who ultimately need to be engaged.
o successfully engage the public in behavior change efforts, climate leaders must build the
pros of addressing global warming and minimize the cons. The 2009 George Mason/Yale
|o|ves|t's stoo o t|e |.S. oob||c s|o.s t|at /e|caos .|o ee| t|at |oba| .a|o
|s a|eao o sooo to |oact t|e| ||ves see oe beoets to act|oo t|ao ot|es aoo ae ost
supportive of a range of climate policies.
T||s oo|ots to t|e act t|at t|e beoets o aooess|o |oba| .a|o s|oo|o be o|ect|
eoe|eoceo aoo .e||-|||ostateo t|oo| cooe|||o sto|es o o t|ose beoett|o o c|aoe.
|t |s |ootaot to ocos oo t|e beoets oeoo|e ae |oo'|o o soc| as oe t|e .|t| a|| aoo
friends, an increased sense of security, access to clean and healthy living environments, etc.
|eeo |o |oo t|at /e|caos ae oot a|.as |oo'|o o ecooo|c o ot|e ooaot|ab|e beoets
o c|aoe. 3eoets ||t coe |o t|e o o ee||o a seose o oooose, be|o coooecteo ot|e
oeoo|e, aoo ee||o oat o soet||o |ae t|ao t|e se|. /s'|o oeoo|e to a'e a s|o|caot
coot|bot|oo o eveo a sac|ce to aooess |oba| .a|o cao be ve ot|vat|o |o |||t o soc|
an immense problem.
ee ae t.o coe cooceots t|at cao |e|o aoo a seose o beoets to t|e |oba| .a|o
Tle tbe neeo tor carbon-tree energy cbolces to tbe posslblllty ot economlc prosperlty 1.
Create a connectlon to people's loentltles, lnterests, ano worlovlews. 2.
1. Tie Energy Choices to Economic Prosperity
While it is possible to overcome resistance to the cost concerns by emphasizing paying less now
versus more later, using a more proactive economic prosperity frame is a better approach.
By tying global warming to energy choices and the economy, climate leaders can take advantage of
the attention being focused on these high priority issues. It is important to keep global warming as
a central part of the conversation, however, because short-term economic arguments and the long-
term environmental case for action will not always coincide.
Appeal to blgber-level values about energy ano economy. Wblle most people want
to save money, tbey are otten as or more lnteresteo ln Amerlcan leaoersblp ano
lnnovatlon, reouclng our oepenoence on torelgn oll, natlonal securlty, ano quallty ot
llte lssues sucb as bealtb ano bavlng more tlme to speno wltb trlenos ano tamlly.
Provloe concrete eamples ot tbe types ot jobs ano economlc opportunltles tbat wlll
result. For eample, subsloles tor solar ano wlno energy lnstallatlons wlll create more
jobs proouclng tbese carbon-tree energy sources. Ta creolts to retrot elstlng
commerclal bullolngs to be more energy etclent wlll create jobs ln constructlon. 8e
clear on wbo wlll pay tbe blll ano bow consumers wlll be protecteo.
Convey|ng the 8ene0ts o| Act|on
2. Create a Connection to Identity
Even those who care deeply about the environment can view global warming as distant,
o|scoooecteo to t|e| ||ves aoo oots|oe o t|e| ab|||t to |ooeoce. Coe o t|e ost eec t|ve .as
to motivate action is to point out how global warming relates to the beliefs and commitments that
eov|ooeota|| soat|et|c /e|caos a|eao oossess, bot ooo't ecoo|ze as e|ateo et.
The good news is that because the issue touches everything in our lives, there is an opportunity to
tie global warming to many personal concerns.
Connect tbe oots tor tbe publlc by oemonstratlng bow actlons tbey are alreaoy
taklng t ln.
Making global warming relevant to peoples lives ultimately requires a deep understanding of what
different segments of the public care about and where they are in the process of awareness and
changing their behavior. This topic is discussed in detail in the next section of the guidebook.
In your communications and outreach efforts always remember to emphasize the three keys to
c|aoe. ceat|o teos|oo aboot t|e oeeo to aooess |oba| .a|o, bo||o|o t|e seose o ecac
t|at .e |ave t|e 'oo.-|o., s'|||s aoo caoac|t to aooess t|e |ssoe, aoo coove|o t|e beoets o
taking action. Emphasizing one element over another or ignoring one or more altogether is likely to
Talklng Polnts:
Deallng wltb global warmlng creates
economlc opportunlty, ano just as
lmportantly, tbe cbance to recover
Amerlca's leaoer sblp role ln tbe
Tbe Unlteo States bas been a global
leaoer ln tecbnologlcal oevelopment,
ln sclentlc olscovery ano ln curlng
olsease. Aooresslng global warmlng
provloes an opportunlty to bullo our
economy wblle taklng leaoersblp ln
oeveloplng carbon-tree energy.
Talklng Polnt:
We all care about lmprovlng our communltles, cltles, states ano natlon. Wltb smarter
oeclslons about oevelopment, we can cut oown on long-olstance commutes, save tuel
ano cut tbe carbon emlsslons tbat are causlng olsruptlons ln tbe cllmate we rely upon.
Wltb enougb pressure trom cltlzens, we can brlng carbon-tree energy, sucb as solar ano
wlno power rlgbt bere. We neeo to take global warmlng lnto account as we make tbese
oeclslons, but tbat takes eacb ot us gettlng up ano asklng tbe tougb questlons.


SPECIAL TOPIC: Preparing for the Impacts of Climate Change
Talking about the need to prepare for climate impacts positions global warming as a real and
current issue with impacts happening now and major consequences possible at any time.
For those who think that we still dont know enough, a focus on the need to take necessary
oecaot|oos' cao ae ooceta|ot as a easoo to act, oot oe|a. / oeoaat|oo ae cao a|so
tap a desire for long-term planning rather than waiting for a crisis to occur.
/t t|e sae t|e, os|o 'oeoaat|oo' as a |eao essae cao bac'e o a oobe o easoos.
It can undermine steps to prevent the worst effects of global warming by suggesting that
weve either waited too long or that it is an issue that can wait.
| tblnk you're looklng at lt too mucb llke a talt accompll...| tblnk people woulo
ratber work to prevent lt.
Tbe problem ls we bave, tor a lot ot people, more presslng problems llke
wbetber tbey're golng to bave tbelr bouse net week or not, wbetber tbey're
golng to be able to attoro grocerles or not.
Focus on tbe responslble management ot rlsks ano bow actlng now wlll mean
tewer economlc lmpacts ano less lnstablllty later.
Contlnue empbaslzlng tbe lmportance ot preventlon, as well as preparatlon.
"Plannlng tor cllmate cbange tooay ls less epenslve tban rebullolng
an entlre network atter tbe catastropbe...We cannot walt untll
atter our lntrastructure bas been compromlseo to begln to plan
tor tbe ettects ot cllmate cbange now. salo New York Clty Mayor
Mlcbael 8loomberg.
Talklng Polnts:
|n aooltlon to oolng everytblng we can to prevent global warmlng, we neeo
to prepare tor tbe ettects we are alreaoy beglnnlng to eperlence. [ust llke a
responslble bomeowner woulon't walt tor a ralnstorm to tbe bole ln tbe root,
we can't walt tor catastropbes to blt betore we begln to act.
We neeo natlonal leglslatlon tbat woulo requlre states ano cltles to assess tbelr
vulnerablllty to more lntense burrlcanes, water sbortages, orougbt ano wllores,
rlslng sea levels, ano otber events tbat are attectlng tbe U.S. ano lts economy now
ano ln tbe oecaoes to come.
ee ae a e. eoea| t|os to 'eeo |o |oo .|eo bo||o|o teos|oo, ecac aoo beoets |oto t|e |oba|
warming conversation.
Set the Terms of the Debate 1) Be
deliberate about the organizing concepts
that shape your communications and apply
them from the outset of your outreach ef-
forts. When responding to other voices in the
debate, avoid repeating contrary framing. The
best bet is to immediately bridge from those
arguments to the concepts that need to be
Focus on the Big Picture 2) Not every
media opportunity should be acted upon. Take
a long-term view of the understanding that
needs to be built around global warming with
core audiences over time. For example, avoid
pointing to particular storms as evidence of
global warming. If you do respond, focus on
the larger shifts in our climate patterns that
are leading to an increase in storms and storm
Fill in the Gaps 3) Even highly educated
aoo eoaeo /e|caos cao be ozz aboot
what global warming is and how it will impact
t|e. \|||e oov|o|o a oeta||eo sc|eot|c e-
planation of global warming is not advised, it
is important to clear up misperceptions and
|| t|e aos so oeoo|e cao see a c|ea o|ctoe
of what is at stake and feel empowered to act.
Connecting with peoples emotions is critical,
but it needs to go hand-in-hand with providing
some of the basic facts.
Emphasize Solutions 4) Providing evi-
dence that solutions exist makes any problem
easier to deal with, particularly a daunting is-
sue such as global warming. In some cases, fo-
cusing on solutions can help peoples reason-
ing about the issue as a whole. For example,
talking about alternative ways to produce en-
ergy highlights the fact that power plants emit
s|o|caot aooots o caboo.
Offer a New Insight 5) When fram-
ing offers a new perspective that audiences
dont feel like they have heard a million times
before, they are more likely to pay attention.
What is novel for the public, however, might
be considered old news to experts. For ex-
ao|e, ao /e|caos ae soo|seo to |eao
that most electricity is generated by burning
coal, and that extracting and using coal creates
negative impacts for communities, the econo-
my, and the environment.
Translate Unfamiliar Terms 6) Com-
mon sense terms are appealing. Drilling for
more oil, producing clean coal or letting the
market drive technological innovation sound
straightforward and practical. Frames that de-
scribe global warming and actions that need
to be taken must be able to compete.
Dont Use Murky References 7)
Historical references, such as the Manhattan
Project, may be a great analogy for the type of
technological innovation necessary to address
global warming, but they dont resonate with
ost /e|caos. Tec|o|ca| tes, soc| as 'ca-
boo seooestat|oo' ae ooa|||a aoo o|co|t
to distinguish from other approaches. Similarly,
analogies, such as the greenhouse effect do
not convey anything meaningful to people
about global warming. Trapping heat inside a
greenhouse to grow food sounds like a good
thing to many people while others lack a basic
understanding of how a greenhouse works.
Pay Attention to the Audience 8)
There is no general public. People process
information in a variety of ways. The decision
to act is based on a number of factors
including where people are at in the behavior
change process, as well as their social values
and worldviews. Failing to recognize these
differences can mean outreach and framing
efforts miss their mark with everyone.

n section one, we outlined key components of narratives around global warming that
|ave t|e ooteot|a| to bo||o teos|oo, a seose o ecac aoo coove t|e beoets o act|o to
address climate issues. Conveying concepts that can build awareness and concern is critical;
t|e c|a||eoe |s |o. best to oo |t |veo t|ee |s oo soc| t||o as t|e eoea| oob||c. /e|caos
understand and relate to issues such as global warming in a variety of ways based on their social
values and where they are at in the behavior change process.
/s a eso|t, ao oob||c eoaeeot eots aoooo c||ate |ssoes a|| becaose t|e oo oot ta'e
these core differences into consideration. For example, offering incentives to choose clean energy
are useless if the audience is at an early stage in the cognitive and behavior change process and has
oot et oec|oeo to oa atteot|oo to t|e| eoe coosoot|oo oatteos. /|teoat|ve|, a|o |oba|
.a|o as ao eov|ooeota| cooceo cao be a||eoat|o o /e|caos .|t| tao|t|ooa| aoo e|||oos
social values because their worldview tends to discount environmentalism as overly liberal and anti-
|ao /e|caos ae cao|t |o t|e |oo|e o t|e oocess o coo|t|ve aoo be|av|o c|aoe oo
global warming. They accept that it is real yet have not yet decided if it matters enough to them to
do something about it. By understanding the mechanisms that can move people through the stages
of change to higher levels of engagement and by framing issues in a way that taps core social values,
it is possible to design policies and programs that resonate with a range of key constituencies,
including those not yet committed to change.
PART TWO: Understanding
and Connecting with
In The Power of Sustainable Thinking, Bob Doppelt summarizes behavior change theories from
o|t|o|e e|os |oto a cooc|se ae.o' t|at a||o.s c||ate aoo sosta|oab|||t |eaoes to eas||
assess where audiences are at in the change process and how to tailor outreach accordingly.
The 5D Stageo Approacb to Cbange illustrates how cognitive and experiential change methods
are most effective when people are at the early stages in a change process, while behavioral change
ec|ao|ss .o' o oeoo|e ot|e a|oo. /t eac| stae o c|aoe, soooot|ve e|at|oos||os cao
make all the difference, whether help is coming from friends, family members, peer groups, or
professional networks, particularly given that change is a dynamic process and people regularly slip
backward in the change process and need support and encouragement to continue forward.
When it comes to global warming, one way to think about the process individuals and
organizations typically go through when making a change in thinking and behavior is the following:
Disinterest - The I wont change stage. People and organizations stuck in disinterest refuse to
accept global warming as real or that it will have serious consequences and reject or even oppose
calls to action. This is due to fear, inertia, or comfort with the current state of affairs. They may be
acting rebellious or are rationalizing their actions. To move to the next stage of change, people must
be ooeoeo to t|e ooss|b|||t t|at t|e| coeot t||o'|o o be|av|os ae oot beoett|o t|e.
Deliberation - The I might change stage. Individuals and organizations at the deliberation
stage are just beginning to pay attention to global warming but they have not yet determined how
|t |oacts t|e| ||ves o | t|e s|oo|o esoooo. /s a eso|t, t|e ae oot et eao to c|aoe aoo
can easily slip back to disinterest. To move to the next stage, the decision needs to be made that
t|e beoets o ta'|o act|oo ae sobstaot|a|| eate t|ao t|e oo.os|oes. T||s |ovo|ves assess|o
.|et|e ooe |as t|e o|s|ca|, |ote||ectoa|, aoo oaoc|a| caoac|t to c|aoe aoo cao be o|co|t |
action is met with disapproval from peers.
Design - The I will change stage. People accept that global warming needs to be dealt with and
begin to create a plan to act individually or at the organizational and political levels. These actions
are assessed in terms of how they would look and feel. For example, an individual at the design
stage may research alternatives to their gas guzzling car, but if they cant imagine themselves driving
a smaller vehicle, they might slip back to the earlier stages of change. Moving to the fourth stage of
c|aoe |aooeos .|eo t|e oot|oos see v|ab|e aoo beoec|a|. /oo ooce act|oos o|aos |ave beeo
created, making a public commitment to implement them helps ensure there is follow through.
Doing - T|e '| a c|ao|o' stae. /ct|oo o|aos ae oo. be|o eecoteo t|oo| tao|b|e steos
that reduce carbon emissions, such as weatherizing homes or supporting climate policies. This
|s a o|co|t stae as o|o oatteos aoo be|av|os ae be|o bo'eo. |e|ooceeot aoo e.aos
are needed to avoid slipping backwards in the change process. On the other hand, if steps are
soccesso|| ta'eo aoo oeoo|e ae beoet|o aoo be|o e.aoeo, t||s cao ceate oeoto o
further changes in thinking and behavior.
Defending - The I have changed stage. People and organizations begin to integrate their new
thinking and behaviors into daily life, typically six months to a year after initial steps have been taken.
/ct|oo o|aos |ave beeo |o|eeoteo aoo t|ose at t|e oeeoo|o stae ae |oo'|o o oe. .as
to apply their approach. Given how the economy is structured and the lack of social support for
eoa|o |o act|v|t|es to aooess |oba| .a|o, t||s |s a o|co|t o|ase. Coot|oo|o oee soooot
and rewards are needed, yet at the same time, it can also be exhilarating because all sorts of new
opportunities become apparent.

Reaching People at the Early Stages of Change
Dlslnterest to Dellberatlon
|eo |t coes to |oba| .a|o, soves s|o. t|at as oc| as S0 oeceot o /e|caos
are stuck in the disinterested or deliberation stages of change.
It is possible to move some
o t|ese /e|caos to t|e oes|o stae, bot |t |s o|co|t aoo .||| ta'e a |ot o t|e aoo eoe
to motivate higher levels of engagement. Climate leaders must assess whether the investment is
worth the effort. However, those at the earliest stages of change cannot be completely discounted
becaose t|e eoeseot |ae oobes o t|e oob||c aoo |o oat|co|a, /e|cao oot| .|o .||| be
facing the impacts of global warming for some time. Furthermore, a percentage of these people
are very vocal in their opposition to global warming actions and policies and have considerable
potential to stall or derail solutions. For change to happen, those at the early stages of change must
drop their defenses. This is more likely to happen if the following change mechanisms are utilized at
the right time and in effective ways.
Disturbances in our lives are often needed to trigger the reframing process that can move people
out of the disinterested phase of change on global warming. Major shocks, such as losing a job or
s|o|caot ||estooes cao c|aoe |o. .e |oo' at t||os. |essoe o ot|es |s ooe o t|e ost
common forms of disturbance and often requires some soul searching to respond.
/o etee so|'e |o as o|ces ||t |ooeoce t|ose .|t| |||teo booets to ta'e t|e bos o
sell their SUV. While selling an SUV is a structural change likely to stick, it is harder to rely on
o|stobaoces soc| as eoe costs to |ave a |ast|o |oact |veo t|e| octoat|oos.
It is also tempting to take advantage of extreme storms to build awareness of global warming. This
aoooac| |as |ts beoets |o t|at |t a'es c|aoes |o oo c||ate tao|b|e to t|e oob||c. Co t|e
ot|e |aoo, |t |s o|co|t to ceo|b| t|e t|e |ssoe to ao s|o|e sto. | ta'|o t||s aoooac|, |t |s
+ |a|bac|, |., |ose-|eooo, C. aoo |e|seo.|tz, /. Global Warmings Six Americas: An Audience Segmentation Analysis (200`) / |oba| .a|o seeo-
tation study conducted by the Yale Project on Climate Change and the George Mason University Center for Climate Change Communications.
Cooo|cat|oos, oo||c too|s, aoo ot|e c|aoe ec|ao|ss cao beoet o be|o oes|oeo to
address the internal issues people and organizations are grappling with in each of the phases in
t|e S-| Staeo /oooac|. |o eao|e, /e|caos .|o ae at |ate staes o c|aoe |o|o
and Defending are already working to reduce their carbon emissions. They dont need more
facts about the impacts of global warming. Instead, they need information and tools on how to
overcome obstacles they face when trying to address the problem. They are therefore more likely
to esoooo oos|t|ve| to oaoc|a| |oceot|ves, oob||c ac'oo.|eoeeot, aoo eet|o aoo ta|'|o .|t|
people who have met similar challenges.
On the other hand, people and organizations at the early stages of change Disinterest,
Deliberation and Design are not ready to act. Incentive programs or political appeals,
cooseooeot|, oteo a|| at. |osteao, ao eot oeeos to be aoe to |ocease teos|oo b oov|o|o
bas|c |ooat|oo aboot t|e e|evaoce o |oba| .a|o to |ocease ecac b |v|o coocete
eao|es o socess aoo bo||o|o beoets o ta'|o act|oo.
critical to make the connection to shifts in weather patterns and the likelihood we will have more
uncertain and extreme weather. It is also critical to be sensitive to the people impacted by the
stos at|e t|ao ocos|o oo t|e tec|o|ca| o|eos|oos o t|e |ssoe (ooo |eve|s, c|a||eoes .|t|
levies, etc.)
||t|ate|, o|stobaoces t|at eect a o|scoooect|oo bet.eeo oeoo|e's va|oes aoo t|e| coeot
ea||t ceate t|e ost |ast|o |oess|oos. |o eao|e, eveo /e|caos .|o oeo t|e ea||t o
global warming, can still be motivated to change given their belief in energy independence and self-
Develop a peer-baseo outreacb program by partnerlng wltb leaoers trom a range ot
sectors wbo are creolble ano compelllng wltb target auolences. Partner wltb leaoers
trom a range ot sectors ano lnterest groups wbo are compelllng ano creolble cllmate
spokespersons wltb segments belng targeteo to oevelop a peer-baseo outreacb
Information alone does not typically motivate people to make a fundamental change in thinking or
behavior. For example, there is ample information available on the link between smoking and cancer,
but that doesnt stop many people from smoking. However, when information is packaged with
other change mechanisms, such as the use of disturbances, it can be helpful in opening people to
the idea of thinking differently.
/.aeoess caoa|os s|oo|o 'eeo |o |oo t|e oeeo to a|.as eo|as|ze t|e t|ee 'es to c|aoe
teos|oo, ecac, aoo beoets aoo ost be aeo |o .as t|at esooate .|t| taet aoo|eoces.
(See the next section on audience segmentation.)
|llustrate bow tbe benets ot taklng actlon connect to peoples' llves. Depenolng on
tbe auolence, tocus on benets sucb as maklng Amerlca more secure by reouclng our
oepenoence on torelgn oll or tbe benets ot spenolng less tlme stuck ln tratc tbanks
to lncreaseo lnvestments ln publlc translt.
|n most places, weatber can cbange trom mlnute-to-mlnute, bour-to-bour, oay-to-oay, ano
season-to-season. Cllmate, bowever, ls tbe average ot weatber over tlme ano space. - NASA

Global warming can seem like an issue far too complicated to tackle. For those in the early stages
o c|aoe, |ae oa|s soc| as ao 80 cot |o caboo e|ss|oos see ove.|e||o. /o eect|ve
change mechanism is to break down large goals into bite-sized, measureable steps individuals,
oao|zat|oos, o soc|et as a .|o|e cao ta'e. T||s |oceases a seose o ecac aoo ot|vates act|oo.
Cbolce epanslon ooesn't mean overwbelmlng people wltb enoless llsts ot wbat
tbey can oo. Try tocuslng on slmple, stralgbt-torwaro actlon ltems tbat can be taken
lnltlally, tben bullo up to actlon wltb blgber carbon-reouctlon potentlal.
Provloe clear guloance on wbat wlll be acbleveo ln terms ot benets (cost savlngs,
status, reactlon ot soclal networks) lt an actlon lt taken.
Tbe Turn |t Ott Campalgn ln Toronto, Ontarlo ls an
eample ot a successtul global warmlng bebavlor cbange
program. Tbe pllot project was almeo at reouclng tbe
amount ano trequency ot tlme motorlsts speno lollng
ano ln oolng so, lt belpeo people make tbe llnk between
personal actlons ano global warmlng.
Motorlsts at Toronto scbools ano Toronto Translt
Commlsslon "Klss ano Rloe" parklng lots were
approacbeo by project statt wbo spoke wltb tbem about
tbe lmportance ot turnlng ott tbelr veblcle englne wben
parkeo. Tbese motorlsts were glven an lntormatlon
card about the environmental and cost impacts of
lollng ano were askeo to make a commltment to stop.
Most people wbo maoe tbe commltment were wllllng to place an antl-lollng stlcker ln tbelr
Tbe stlcker acteo as a remlnoer to tbe orlver, but was also vlslble on tbe outsloe ot tbe car
ano belpeo to create a soclal norm arouno tbls new bebavlor. Tbe campalgn was relntorceo
by aoolng antl-lollng slgns ln tbe parklng lots. Tbe comblnatlon ot lntormatlon, commltment
ano remlnoers reouceo lollng at tbe test locatlons by 32 ano lollng ouratlon by 73. As
lmportantly, lt createo a tounoatlon ot engagement wltb Toronto motorlsts tbat can be bullt
upon tor aooltlonal bebavlor cbange ettorts.
Reduce the Impact of Climate Change

r En

|o ost o os, a oooaeota| c|aoe o ao toe |s o|co|t. /t t|e ea| staes o c|aoe, |t |s
|ootaot to |ave oeoo|e .e tost to s|ae oo aost, |e|o |||ostate t|e beoets o ta'|o act|oo
steps, and provide advice on how those steps can be taken. Because of our defense mechanisms,
we tend to overemphasize the downsides to making a change. Supportive relationships can provide
feedback on how we are resisting new ways of thinking.
Create opportunltles tor people to connect ano work wltb otbers wbo are tblnklng
about engaglng ln actlvltles to aooress global warmlng, tbrougb bouse partles, lm
screenlngs, or speaker serles.
Lnsure support ls comlng trom people wbom tbose at tbe early stages ot cbange
trust. Tbls may lncluoe local buslness or clvlc leaoers, clergy, etc. ratber tban
envlronmental leaoers.
Americans in the Middle
Dellberatlon to Deslgn
nce people have decided that the advantages of engagement in activities to address global
warming far outweigh the downsides, they are ready to move to the design stage of change.
Yet /e|caos |o t|e |oo|e staes o c|aoe, oeso|te t|e| cooceo, ae oteo ove.|e|eo aoo
ooc|ea oo .|at steos to ta'e. /s a eso|t, t|e ae oteo ove|oo'eo b ooteac| caoa|os t|at
either emphasize basic information about global warming or focus on high-level actions best suited
to the later stages of change (i.e. purchasing solar hot water heaters or engaging politically).
For those deliberating and starting to design for change, there is still a need for awareness building,
choice expansion and supportive relationships but at the middle stages mechanisms such as
emotional inspirational, self-appraisal and commitment can be incorporated into outreach strategies
as well.
av|o |ooat|oo aboot t|e |s's o |oact|oo aoo t|e oot|oos aoo beoets o act|o to aooess
global warming is critical. However, the decision to engage and move to either the deliberation
or design stages of change is often an emotional one. Both negative emotions associated with
an awareness of how we personally, our organizations, or our society are contributing to global
warming as well as positive emotions generated by seeing opportunities to address the issue are
important. Both types of emotions can be tapped as long as they are in balance to one another.
Spotllgbt eamples ot bow communltles, organlzatlons, or lnolvlouals are lmpacteo
by ano successtully aooresslng global warmlng. Focus on tbelr motlvatlons tor gettlng
lnvolveo ano tbe rewaros tbey recelveo tor taklng actlon.
For many Amerlcans, emotlonal lnsplratlon ls llkely to come trom rellglous leaoers
or tellow communlty members taklng actlon wbo sbare tbelr sense ot outy ano
responslblllty to tuture generatlons.
Cboose wblcb emotlons to tap caretully as some emotlons are more motlvatlng tban
otbers. For eample, anger tenos to lnsplre actlon more tban tear.

Deep-seated personal or organizational self-assessments are often at the heart of the deliberation
about whether or not to make a fundamental change. People and groups must ultimately decide
whether they are happy with the current state of affairs and able to live out their values. They
are often frightened about change because they are unclear what they would need to give up to
engage in activities to address global warming. Climate leaders should develop and use straight-
forward tools to help people through the self-evaluation process and to determine the upsides of
Quantlty carbon emlsslons ano sources. |ncluoe clear ano accesslble alternatlves to
cllmate-oamaglng bebavlors.
Develop a llst ot tbe aovantages ot current actlvltles tbat generate carbon emlsslons
ano tbe olsaovantages assoclateo wltb sblttlng to lower emlsslon optlons (l.e. orlvlng
versus taklng tbe bus or cycllng.) Determlne wblcb olsaovantages are permanent ano
wblcb are temporary so tbe oownsloes ano benets ot actlon are clearly lllustrateo.
Individuals and organizations move out of design into the doing stage of change only after they
make a public commitment to engage in activities to address global warming. This is energizing
because when commitments are out in the open, peers can provide support and accountability.
Sett|o soec|c ||estooes aoo ooe oates cao a|so |e|o eosoe t|at soec|c steos ae ta'eo.
Rewaro early ettorts ano actors wltb publlc pralse, buslness reterrals, etc.
8e reallstlc about wbat can be accompllsbeo but oon't be atralo to make
commltments tbat can't yet be kept. |t ls an lncremental process.
More tban 600 U.S. mayors bave slgneo a cooperatlve agreement
pleoglng to reouce tbelr cltles' carbon reouctlons. Tbls pleoge
provloes an lnterestlng eample ot a number ot lmportant
bebavlor cbange ano tramlng mecbanlsms. Flrst, by taklng a publlc
pleoge, tbese U.S. mayors relntorce eacb otber's commltment ano
leaoersblp posltlon on cllmate lssues. Tbey are also clearly slgnalllng
to tbelr constltuencles tbe neeo tor actlon now, ratber tban waltlng
tor tecbnology to save us or tor natlonal or global agreements to
take ettect. Tbe Mayors Cllmate Protectlon Agreement otters a
sense ot bope by lncluolng a llst ot 12 key actlons tbat can be taken
locally to aooress global warmlng ano lmprove people's llves. Flnally,
tbrougb tbe U.S. Conterence ot Mayors, munlclpal cllmate leaoers are learnlng trom eacb
otber by sbarlng best practlces ln carbon reouctlon ettorts.
Former Seattle Mayor Greg Nickels
The Action Stages of Change
Dolng ano Detenolng
nce people or organizations enter the later stages of change, basic information campaigns
ae oot soc|eot to ot|vate aoo eo|aoce eots to aooess |oba| .a|o. T|ose .||||o
to take action need tools and information to help them implement their action plans, as well
as constant positive reinforcement and rewards to keep spirits high and overcome obstacles.
Ct|e.|se, eveo .|eo at t|e oa| stae o c|aoe, |t |s ooss|b|e to bac'tac' |o t|e oocess.
Substitution involves identifying factors that elicit unsustainable behaviors and replacing them with
factors that foster more sustainable choices. Substitution also means making reasonable alternatives
available that are simple and affordable, or else damaging behaviors that undermine climate will
continue and negative frames around environmental elitism will be reinforced.
Focus on a banotul ot actlons tbat people can reallstlcally take tbat wlll bave a blgb
carbon-reouctlon return.
Provloe regular teeoback on tbe outcomes ot substltutlon ettorts. People want to
know bow tbelr actlons are lnNuenclng an lssue.
Don't try everytblng at once. Start wltb substltutlng bebavlors tbat are relatlvely easy
ano move to actlvltles lnvolvlng a blgber level ot commltment.

Once the decision has been made to change, it is important to redesign the larger environment
to support and reinforce new ways of thinking. Structural change is about creating something new
aoo oe sosta|oab|e vesos oob|e so|v|o t|at see's to a.s .|t||o e|st|o oososta|oab|e
Some structural changes are technical in nature, such as installing a programmable thermostat, and
others involve redesigning social structures. The later in particular requires the endorsement and
coot|ooeo soooot o ot|es. /t t|e sae t|e, .|eo oos||o o stoctoa| c|aoe |t |s oteo
helpful to begin sharing with others what has been learned to date. Teaching is one of the best
ways to learn a subject and can provide ongoing reinforcements.
Create concrete structural cbange actlon plans. How can otce pollcles or bullolng
cooes be cbangeo? Wbat can be oone to lncrease lnvestments ln energy etclency as
well as turnlng oown tbe tbermometer ano rememberlng to turn ott llgbts?
Don't try to cbange everytblng at once. Start small ano bullo over tlme to more
oemanolng structural cbanges.


It is important to recognize and reward accomplishments that have been made. Rewards can be
veba|, oaoc|a| o statos-e|ateo aoo t|e a|so cao be |veo to oose|, soc| as ta'|o t|e ooe
saved by biking to work and using it on a dinner out, massage, concert, etc.
Set up awaro ano recognltlon ceremonles tor lnolvlouals ano organlzatlons tbat are
actlvely engaglng ln actlvltles to aooress global warmlng.
Lstabllsb networks wbere people can meet regularly to olscuss actlon plans ano best
Tbe Cllmate Leaoersblp |nltlatlve's Cllmate Master programs provloe
actlon-orlenteo eoucatlon ano tralnlng to belp lnolvlouals, buslnesses, ano
youtb reouce greenbouse gas emlsslons ano prepare tor local cllmate
lmpacts. Tbe programs motlvate bebavlor cbange amongst partlclpants
wbo learn to vlew tbelr oay-to-oay oeclslons tbrougb a cllmate lter.
Partlclpants atteno tblrty bours ot tralnlng ano volunteer to teacb otber
communlty members at local events or tbrougb prlvate consultatlons.
Tbe program also otters a traln-tbe-tralner worksbop to encourage ano support tbe
contlnuatlon ot tbe program across tbe country.
As a response to global warmlng, 8ank ot Amerlca con-
structeo tbe rst LLLD platnum-certleo blgbrlse. Tbls ls tbe
blgbest bonors trom LLLD, an lnternatlonal tblro-party green
bullolng certlcatlon program. Tbe 8ank ot AmerlcaTower ls
tbe secono-tallest bullolng ln Manbattan yet lt consumes balt
ot tbe energy ano water ot less lmpresslve blgbrlses. Wltb re-
cycleo, reuseo, ano sustalnable bullolng matlerals ano a ltereo
alr system, tbe bullolng ls consloereo a bealtby ano lnsplrlng
place to work. Tbe tower saves money ano carbon, ano pro-
vloes an eample ot posslblllty.
at o t|e t|c' |o ceat|o a soc|eot seose o teos|oo, ecac aoo beoets |o t|e
global warming conversation is to tap peoples deeply held values. The Social Capital
Project created The Ecological Roadmap .||c| |s ooe o t|e |aest stoo|es oo /e|cao
environmental attitudes and worldviews. The Roadmap segments the public into ten distinct groups
based on how they rank more than 130 social values. These social values are better indicators than
oeoao||cs .|eo |t coes to |ooeoc|o oeoo|e's eoaeeot |o eov|ooeota| |ssoes.
The Roadmap |||ostates t|at t|e 'oob||c' |s oot a|| t|e sae. /s a eso|t, a c|t|ca| asoect o
developing effective public engagement campaigns is to target audience segments and develop
outreach and behavior change approaches that tap into the values those segments hold. For
example, concern for the environment is increasing within a handful of segments of the public. Yet
what often appeals to these environmentally-minded segments can be alienating for others, even
for people who may have a connection to the outdoors but who do not identify with the image of
\|||e oo,ect booets a oot a||o. o a eoeo seeotat|oo aoooac|, |t |s st||| |ootaot to
keep a limited number of audiences in mind when developing outreach campaigns and to avoid
framing issues in ways that inadvertently creates opposition to climate policies and programs.



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T|e Ceeoest /e|caos ae t|e ost cooceoeo aboot |oba| .a|o, t|e ost oo||t|ca||
eoaeo aoo ae ost soooot|ve o eov|ooeota| oao|zat|oos. T|ese aoeot, |||| eoocateo
/e|caos cao oteo aoo to a'e eeo coosoe c|o|ces, soc| as eov|ooeota|| |eoo|
|oe eoovat|oos. C|veo t|at ost Ceeoest /e|caos cao be oooo |o t|e |ate staes o c|aoe,
it is possible to engage this group in the political process as well as provide incentives for this group
to move to more carbon-neutral lifestyles.
Tbe Greenest Amerlcans are tbe most lntormeo about envlronmental lssues. Yet even
tbey neeo to be guloeo wben lt comes to oetermlnlng tbe most ettectlve ways to
aooress global warmlng. Create tools tbat belp tbese eager Amerlcans measure ano
reouce tbelr carbon tootprlnt sucb as consumer guloes ano carbon calculators. Ask
tbe clvlcally-mlnoeo Greenest Amerlcans to belp engage tbelr nelgbbors, tamllles ano
values to Tap
Ecological Concern
Coot .|t| /b|o|t
Civic Engagement
Global Consciousness
values to Avolo
/e|cao |ot|t|eeot
Coooeoce |o 3|
68% rank global warming
as one of the most
important issues
9% of adults
35% make $100k+
49% have post grad degree
25% are 65+ years of age
89% Caucasian
93% very likely to vote
Sample tramlng:
We know you do your part. You recycle, save energy,
try to drive less. Now global warming is calling us to
do more. It impacts every other environmental issue
and touches so many other concerns. We have a
responsibility in the United States to act as a leader
by creating new laws that limit carbon and other
greenhouse gas emissions and by investing in clean
eoe tec|oo|o|es. /t t|e sae t|e, .e ost oot
forget that there are things we can do in our daily lives
that can reduce carbon.
Yoooe aoo |ess oo||t|ca| t|ao t|e Ceeoest /e|caos, t|e |oea||sts eoess t|e secooo-|||est
level of concern about global warming. Though they only represent three percent of the public,
ebes o t||s seeot |ave t|e ooteot|a| to be ao |ooeot|a| t|ee oeceot. T|e |oea||sts |oo' to
technology for solutions and are interested in investments being made in carbon-free energy
sources. Keep in mind that while the majority of the Idealists may be in the later stages of change
when it comes to awareness and taking individual action steps, such as converting their cars to run
on biodiesel, they are not politically engaged.
Tbe |oeallsts are low on tbe value trust. Tbey neeo to see tbe proot tor tbemselves
tbat progress ls belng maoe. Connect lnolvloual acts to tbe neeo tor systemlc cbange
ano lllustrate tbe benets ot polltlcal engagement. Tap lnto tbelr antl-autborltarlan
values by reveallng wbo stanos to wln ano lose trom lnactlon on cllmate lssues. Glven
tbat tbey are tocuseo on creatlvlty ano selt-epresslon, ask |oeallsts to play a role
ln outreacb, partlcularly ln belplng cllmate messages to go vlral tbrougb tbelr soclal
51% rank global warming
as one of the most
important issues
3% of adults
34% make >$100k
44% between 25-44 years of age
29& are students
73% Caucasian
53% very likely to vote

Sample tramlng:
Global warming is a big deal. To address it, we need the
government and businesses to invest heavily in new clean
energy technologies. But lets face it, thats not going to
happen until the powers that be feel the squeeze on their
bottom lines. Be part of creating the new energy reality. Stop
supporting corporate oil. Ride your bike, run your car on
veggie oil. Raise your voice with decision makers and inspire
your friends to do the same.
values to Tap
Enthusiasm for New
|e,ect|oo o /ot|o|t
/e|cao |ea
values to Avolo
Saving on Principle
Importance of Discipline
|n October 2009, tbe 350 Campalgn moblllzeo more tban one mllllon
people ln countrles across tbe worlo to engage ln a global oay ot ac-
tlon on cllmate lssues by creatlng emotlonal lnsplratlon tor tbose reaoy
to act. Uslng soclal meola ano grassroots organlzlng approacbes, tbe
350 Campalgn connecteo wllllng cltlzens to one anotber tor peer support ano to glve people
a taste of collective action and that their own small efforts at a local level are part of some-
tblng larger ano powertul. http://www.350.org/media
The Caretakers are the largest segment in the Roadmap, representing almost a quarter of the
public. While they hold strong ecological values, they are not ideological in their approach and
eoea|| ||'e to avo|o coo|ct. |oto|o aoo a||-ocoseo, t|ese cooo|t-|ooeo /e|caos
place great importance on local issues such as childrens health and access to clean parks and play
areas. Caretakers do think about global warming, but they are more concerned about other issues
such as gas prices and rising energy costs.
Responslblllty, common sense ano everyoay etblcs sboulo orlve global warmlng
tramlng approacbes tor tbe Caretakers wbo neeo to see bow global warmlng ls
connecteo to tblngs tbey are alreaoy concerneo by sucb as tbelr cblloren's well-belng.
Tbe loea ot stewarosblp appeals to tbe Caretakers wbo want to see problems solveo
ano wlll support local actlon on global warmlng lt tbere ls a clear economlc benet
or posslblllty tor job creatlon. Soclally connecteo, members ot tbls segment are llkley
to take steps to aooress global warmlng tbat are supporteo by tbelr cburcb ano
communlty groups.
Sample tramlng:
It is important to take care of the environment so that our kids and
aoo'|os cao |ave t|e eeoo to o|a oots|oe aoo to s| aoo cao
like we had when we were young. The issue of global warming can
feel overwhelming and its hard to have the time and money to make
a difference. But, there are things that everyone one can do, right at
home or in their community, that can also save money and save you
heartburn every time gas and energy prices rise.
To reacb Amerlcans wbo bave a rellglous worlovlew, splrltual leaoers are otten tbe best messen-
gers. Lartb Mlnlstrles ln Seattle bas oevelopeo a Resources tor a Carbon-Free Lent cllmate eoucatlon ano
bebavlor cbange program to asslst cburcbes ln engaglng tbelr congregatlons ln aooresslng global warm-
lng. Tbe guloe provloes tlps on bow to trame global warmlng wltbln a lntertaltb Cbrlstlan worlovlew ano
otters actlon ltems tor eacb oay ot Lent. Tbe guloe lncluoes tbe tollowlng statement trom Presbyterlan
Global Warmlng ls llkely to lncrease bunger. |t wlll blt tbe poor baroest. Cllmate cbange (or global warm-
lng) ls alreaoy attectlng ano wlll oramatlcally lmpact tooo proouctlon patterns...We are calleo as Cbrlstlans
to love our nelgbbors ano bow we, lnolvloually ano corporately, react to cllmate cbange ano our own role
ln causlng global warmlng oemonstrates tbls wltness to Goo. Wblle tbe llnk may not appear obvlous at
rst, reouclng our energy use, partlcularly our use ot tossll tuels, ls one way ot oemonstratlng our love tor
our nelgbbors. tt,//eotst,c/,cos/.o,'/.o,'-'ete-,o,e-e(e:tc-.oe
values to Tap
Group Egalitarianism
/e|cao ||bet
Ecological Concern
values to Avolo
/e|cao |ot|t|eeot
Unfettered Individualism
44% rank global warming as
one of the most important
24% of adults
26 /|cao-/e|cao
18% Hispanic/Latino
60% make <$75k
70% very likely to vote
The second-largest segment of the public are the Traditionalists who tend to be found in the earlier
stages of change. They do not place importance on global warming in part because they do not see
how it will impact people. Traditionalists are very religious and are not certain whether global warming
is caused by humans, natural causes, or both; members of this older, conservative and rural segment are
much more concerned about gas and energy costs.
Avolo a tocus on tbe causes ot global warmlng ano sbltt tbe olscusslon to our
responslblllty to protect goo's creatlon, our responslblllty to tuture generatlons, ano tbe
neeo to reouce tbe rlsks assoclateo wltb cllmate lmpacts. Tap lnto tbelr lnterest ln rural
economlc oevelopment by lllng ln tbe plcture ot bow lnvestments ln clean, carbon-tree
energy sources can protect tbe quallty ot llte ano unlque cbaracter ot rural communltles.
Messages wlll bave partlcular resonance wben oellvereo by respecteo autborlty gures,
sucb as a mlnlster or successtul buslness leaoer.
22% rank global warming
as one of the most
important issues
20% of adults
81% Caucasian
67% Conservative Protestants
55% live in a rural location or small

Sample tramlng:
You may have been hearing more talk about global warming but
are unsure if there is anything we can do about it. Regardless of
the cause, being responsible stewards means ensuring that our
children have the opportunity to enjoy the high quality of life
we enjoy. Global warming threatens that way of life, particularly
in communities where the economy is dependent on a stable
climate for growing food, harvesting timber, and providing recre-
ational and tourism opportunities. Investing in clean energy can
bring economic development to communities that need it with-
out destroying our way of life.
Wben lt comes to reacblng oloer, conservatlve segments ot tbe publlc, cbooslng tbe rlgbt messenger
ls otten tbe key to success. Natlonal securlty eperts, tor eample, are tar more llkely tban envlron-
mental volces to resonate wltb Traoltlonallsts. Tbe Center tor Naval Analyses' Mllltary Aovlsory 8oaro
on Natlonal Securlty ano tbe Tbreat ot Cllmate Cbange lnvolves leaolng mllltary ano securlty eperts
ln researcb ano outreacb ano provloe a compelllng perspectlve ln tbe global warmlng conversa-
tlon. Here ls wbat General Antbony Zlnnl, USMC (ret.) ano tormer Cblet ot U.S. Forces ln tbe Mloole
Last says about global warmlng:
Tbere may be some oebate as to oegree ano attect. 8ut tbe polnt ls lt you just wrlte ott tbe sclence,
lt you oon't accept wbat seems to me to be tbe majorlty vlew, tben you are saylng you are golng to
roll tbe olce ano take a cbance. Ano | tblnk lt you look at tbe potentlal outcomes ot tbat, we woulo see
tbat tor our cblloren ano our granocblloren, tbat tbat coulo be a olsaster. Tbey wlll look back ano say
you sboulo bave seen tbls. You sboulo bave taken tbe pruoent course ot actlon ano prepareo tor tbls.
You sboulo bave taken tbe actlons to lessen tbe lmpact.
values to Tap
National Pride
values to Avolo
Excessive Taxation
Humans Superior to
Most of the status-seeking Driven Independents are still predominantly stuck in the deliberation
stae o c|aoe becaose t|e ae co|ca| t|at oo oo-eat-oo soc|et .||| oot s|o|caot| aooess
global warming. Financially successful, this segment skews more male than any other; global warming
.||| becoe o |oteest to t|e .|eo t|e see a .a t|e cao oesooa|| beoet, soc| as a'|o
money. Their environmental values are neutral Driven Independents dont really take a position
but they are also not likely to oppose those who do as long as they dont stand in the way of their
path to success.
Drlven |noepenoents belleve tbat tbey are oeservlng ot a bealtby lltestyle, beautltul
places to recreate ln, ano nanclal benets ot a prosperous green economy ano tbey
are olssatlseo wben tbey oon't always get wbat tbey tblnk tbey oeserve. Help olrect
tbls group by tapplng lnto tbelr entbuslasm tor new tecbnologles ano motlvatlng tbem
to support lnvestments ln clean energy or to oeck out tbelr bome wltb tbe latest ln
eco-llvlng ano energy-etclent tecbnologles.
29% rank global warming
as one of the most
important issues
7% of adults
65% male
39% college degree
45% live in the suburbs
61% very likely to vote
values to Tap
Saving on Principle
Openness to
Enthusiasm for New
values to Avolo
Rejection of
Government as
Economic Equalizer
Sample tramlng:
We need to invest in clean energy technologies that
can help address global warming and that provide
opportunities to make money and save money at the
same time. Business has a role to play in driving this
|ooovat|oo aoo ceat|o ooootoo|t|es o /e|caos
to beoet o be|o a |oba| |eaoe. \e cao't |et
China, India and others get ahead and cause the U.S.
to miss out on this chance for prosperity.
/veae |o ao .as |ocoe, eoocat|oo, ae, o|ves|t t|ese /e|caos s|o. ooeate
concern about global warming which is consistent with the fact they do not hold strong views on
most issues. The third-largest segment of the public, the Murky Middles tend to follow trends, not
start them and they wont engage in behavior change until they see others doing it too. Given their
focus on getting ahead, it is not surprising that their worries about energy and gas prices trump
their concern about global warming.
8ecause tbey are at tbe early stages ot cbange, tbe case tor paylng attentlon to
global warmlng stlll neeos to be maoe tor tbe Murky Mlooles to become engageo.
|ntormatlon campalgns almeo at members ot tbls segment sboulo tocus on
malnstream values sucb as treeoom ano responslblllty. Murky Mlooles strongly
believe in the American dream so it is important to expand that dream to include the
role ot lnnovatlon ano leaoersblp ln sblttlng to a low-carbon energy economy.
34% rank global warming
as one of the most
important issues
17% of adults
67% make <$75k
40% identify as Independents

Sample tramlng:
These days, it can take every ounce of energy to get ahead;
we are all working harder and for less return. There are
s|o|e t||os .e cao a|| oo to et /e|ca bac' oo tac',
such as saving energy at home. We can save money and
create jobs by making our buildings and cars run on less
energy. It just makes sense.
values to Tap
Equal Relationship with
Openness to Change
values to Avolo
/ves|oo to Coo|e|t
Enthusiasm for New
The Fatalists tend to be young, culturally diverse and urban. They express one of the highest levels
of concern about global warming yet their strong sense of hopelessness and disempowerment
prevents them from seeing what can be done to address it or what role they might play. Due to
their low socio-economic status, the Fatalists are more concerned about gas and energy prices than
any other segment of the public.
To reacb tbe Fatallsts, cllmate leaoers must lllustrate tbat cbange ls posslble ano
tbat tbere wlll be olrect benets to gettlng lnvolveo. Saylng lt ls not enougb. Tbe
posslblllty ot cbange must be eperlenceo. Glven tbat tbey are closely tleo to tbelr
tamlly ano communlty culture, Fatallsts see lssues tbrougb a cultural lens, wblcb
means tbat empbaslzlng wbat aooresslng global warmlng means to local communltles
ls a must.
46% rank global warming
as one of the most
important issues
5% of adults
32 /|cao /e|cao aoo 2+
30% between 15-24 years of age
23% are students
65% <$50k
37% live in a central city area
Sample tramlng:
Global warming is already starting to impact our communities. It
feels like such a huge issue and can be confusing to sort out in
terms of what can be done. But there are already places across
the country where business, government, and people have
come together and taken tried and true steps that save energy
and reduce our reliance on foreign oil. This is helping to make
/e|ca a sae o|ace aoo t|e a| a ||tt|e eas|e to beat|e.
values to Tap
/ct|ve Coveoeot
Saving on Principle
Importance of
National Security
values to Avolo
Ecological Fatalism
Openness to Change
Markese 8ryant (aka Doo-Dat) proouceo Tbe Dream
Reborn (My Presloent ls Green) a compelllng vloeo
tbat tles global warmlng to economlc oevelopment ano
lmprovlng tbe quallty ot llte tor lnner clty resloents. Tbe
vloeo lnsplreo Tbe Dream Reborn vloeo Contest by tbe
organlzatlon Green For All, wblcb successtully trames global
warmlng ano leverage new meola ano soclal networklng ln a
way tbat resonates wltb younger Amerlcans.
The Materialists are young, urban and multicultural. They often feel socially isolated and directionless.
They are largely focused on themselves and living in the moment and as a result, they are among
t|e |east cooceoeo /e|caos aboot |oba| .a|o. Yet eveo t|e a,o|t o t|e |ate|a||sts
agree that the issue matters to some extent and this belief needs to be cultivated given that they
will face increasing impacts of global warming over their lifetime.
|t wlll be a cballenge to engage tbe Materlallsts glven bow unlnteresteo tbey are
ln tollowlng tbe news, let alone votlng. At tbe same tlme, tbe Materlallsts oo bave
tblngs ln common wltb tbe Greenest Amerlcans sucb as tbelr wllllngness to reject
tbe status quo ano tbelr comtort wltb amblgulty. Campalgns tbat use an antl-
autborltarlan tone coulo resonate. Glven tbelr tocus on lmage ano tbrlll-seeklng,
members ot tbls segment mlgbt be persuaoeo by cllmate-trlenoly celebrltles or may
tune lnto lntense, eperlentlal outreacb ettorts.
25% rank global warming
as one of the most
important issues
7% of adults
36% between 15-24 years of age
22% are students
43% likely to vote

Sample tramlng:
Okay, lets get real. You may be too busy to sit around and
.o aboot |oba| .a|o. /oo oo ||t oot t||o' aot||o
can be done about it in this world where everyone is just out
for themselves. Yet being cynical doesnt mean you cant care.
/oo .|||e bos|oesses aoo t|e oveoeot oeeo to steo |o to
make sure we have a future, its your time to make a difference
too. Get involved. Get noticed.
values to Tap
Pursuit of Intensity
Coooeoce |o 3| 3os|oess
Need for Status
/ct|ve Coveoeot
values to Avolo
Ecological Fatalism
Civic Engagement
T|e Coe| \o|oes ae eseoto| t|at t|e |ave beeo |et oot o t|e /e|cao oea. |ae|
older, white, and urban members of this lower-income, disempowered segment tend to blame
ot|es o t|e| c|a||eoes. |eat|ve aboot ao t||os |o ||e, t|ese |ao-eoeo /e|caos acceot
that global warming will have an impact on our lives but they are still at the early stages of change
becaose t|e |ave ooe o t|e |o.est |eve|s o coooeoce t|at aot||o cao be oooe to aooess |t.
Tbe Cruel Worloers are not a prlorlty segment to target tor outreacb. Tbelr
concerns, bowever, sboulo be taken lnto consloeratlon so tbey oo not lnaovertently
become opponents to cllmate actlon wben, tor eample, oeslgnlng programs tbat
protect consumers trom paylng tbe prlce assoclateo wltb sblttlng to new energy
sources. Tbey mlgbt also be persuaoeo by green job oevelopment programs,
partlcularly lt tbey or tbelr tamlly ano trlenos olrectly eperlence tbe benets by
bavlng a green job tbat lncreases tbelr soclo-economlc status.
Sample tramlng:
/e|ca 'oo.s |o. to ace too| c|a||eoes. \e |ave
faced them before and have had the creativity and
resiliency to prevail. Our entrepreneurial spirit will help
os sta a|eao o t|e oac' .|eo |t coes to oo|o oe.
energy sources that we can use to power our lives and
save money. Global warming is already impacting the
/e|cao .a o ||e.
29% rank global warming
as one of the most
important issues
6% of adults
26% make <$30k
85% Caucasian
38% work in semi- to unskilled trade
values to Tap
/e|cao |ot|t|eeot
Tried and True
values to Avolo
/ves|oo to Coo|e|t
Tec|oo|o /o|et
Every Man for Himself
The vast majority of the UnGreens do not consider global warming to be an important issue. More
than any other group, this conservative segment believes global warming is occurring due to natural
causes and thinks there is nothing that can be done. This is consistent with their anti-environmental
attitudes and fatalism. While they enjoy spending time outdoors, they reject the notion of
environmentalism and environmentalists because of the political ideology associated with those
|nterestlngly enougb, wblle many UnGreens actlvely oeny tbat global warmlng ls real,
some ot tbem are lnvestlng ln energy etclency ano alternatlve energy not because
ot global warmlng but ln tbe name ot selt-sutclency ano reouclng U.S. oepenoence
on torelgn oll. Don't talk about global warmlng as an envlronmental lssue, lt neeos
to be about treeoom, lnoepenoence ano selt-rellance. Tbe key ls tbat global warmlng
can't be talkeo about as an envlronmental lssue. |t neeos to be about treeoom, selt-
rellance, ano lnoepenoence trom torelgn oll.

13% rank global warming
as one of the most
important issues
3% of adults
63% male
32% make >$100k
53% live in a rural area or small
96% identify as conservatives
83% very likely to vote

Sample tramlng:
/e|ca oeeos to et bac' oo tac' aoo estoe oo o|ace |o t|e
world by investing in clean, reliable energy that never runs out.
We must become more self-reliant so we dont continue to fall
prey to the interests of foreign oil producers who threaten our
well-being. Whether you believe global warming is real or not,
many corporate leaders see that there is money to be made
|o |o.-caboo eoe ooooct|oo. /oo eebe, se|-e||aoce
starts at home by taking steps to use less energy, such as weather
st|oo|o aoo bo|o oe ec|eot aoo||aoces.
values to Tap
National Pride
Importance of
Coooeoce |o 3|
values to Avolo
Ecological Concern
Global Consciousness
Comfort with
Coooect|o .|t| t|e oob||c oo a va|oes |eve| eoo|es t|e eect|ve ose o oaat|ve. /s a
result, storytelling is a critical part of any global warming outreach and behavior change
Marshall Ganz, Lecturer in Public Policy at Harvards Kennedy School of Government and
a veteran grassroots organizer, focuses on the role of narrative in social change. He argues
for the use of storytelling that incorporates enough facts for people to understand the issue
at hand, but that also motivates people to action through emotion.
/|| sto|es |ave t|ee oats a o|ot, a ootaoo|st, aoo a oa|. / o|ot ets oo |oteesteo
in an issue by creating tension. It is the unexpected or the unknown. The plot pulls us in
because we are all familiar with facing the unknown and having to make choices. In a story,
a protagonist faces a challenge and must then make a choice and face the outcome of that
choice. When we can identify with the protagonist, the choice outcome teaches us a moral.
\e ee| soet||o, at|e t|ao ,ost oooestaoo t|e acts. / oo.eo| sto a||o.s os to
embrace hope over fear, something greatly needed in the global warming conversation.
To take advantage of how storytelling can motivate action, narrative must reveal who you
are and the values you hold to your audience. Ganz calls this the Story of Self and it is critical
to develop for anyone engaged in public outreach. The Story of Self communicates key
||e eoe|eoces t|at |||ostate oo oa| be, o ea| c|||o|ooo |essoos to a,o ||e
The Story of Self must be connected to the Story of Us or narrative that emphasizes the
organization or community that you are a part of and what it stands for. Rather than a
mission statement or factual account, the Story of Us shares pivotal moments, both triumphs
and failures, that shaped that organization or community. It helps illustrate for others why
people would want to associate with your group. Finally, the Story of Self and Story of Us are
joined by the Story of Now or narrative that calls out the issues that demands our attention
at t||s oeot |o t|e. /te s|a|o va|oes aoo aso|at|oo, t|e Story of Now reveals that
the world is not in keeping with those values and aspirations and that we need to work to
resolve the tension created by that disconnect. It emphasizes what is to be lost or gained by
ta'|o act|oo aoo |oc|ooes a soec|c eooest o t|e aoo|eoce to ,o|o t|e eot.
By developing narrative that incorporates a story of self, us and now, climate leaders can
create more motivating, values-based outreach efforts.
When it comes to addressing global warming, there is often debate among climate leaders as
to whether the focus should be on the passage and adoption of climate policies or on individual
behavior change. Given the creativity, innovation and determination needed to mitigate and adapt
to climate impacts, both approaches are needed and ideally, would be strategically integrated and
working together to help with the transition to a more sustainable, low-carbon economy. Rather
t|ao |av|o ||sts o t|e t t||os t|at cao be oooe to aooess |oba| .a|o, t|e oob||c .aots to
know about two or three actions, that if taken regularly, would have the greatest impact. If climate
|eaoes cao oov|oe o|ect|oo oo .|at t|ose act|oos cao be, |||ostate |o. ta'|o t|ose act|oos t
into the larger picture, and provide regular feedback regarding progress being made, the public
is likely to not only reduce carbon but support policies that do the same. Perhaps even more
importantly, given the long-term nature of the issue, engaging in individual behavior change helps
builds the type of social values that underlies sustainable decision-making and can result in support
for the enforcement of climate policies.
A Word about the Climate Science Debate
o 2008, t|e Soc|a| Cao|ta| |o,ect co|ss|ooeo a stoo o ve eas o oob||c oo|o|oo oo|||o
oo |oba| .a|o. /t t|at t|e, eceot o a sa|| oobe o c||ate oeo|es, oebate aboot
c||ate sc|eoce |ao |ae| o|eo oo.o. T|e a,o|t o /e|caos acceoteo t|at |oba| .a|o
was real and needed to be addressed. The advice we gave was to leave the science debate behind
and to focus on building a sense of urgency and priority by talking about climate impacts and
In 2009, the climate science debate began once again to dominate the public conversation on
global warming. It is important to keep in mind that attacks on climate science are largely being
raised by individuals and organizations funded by carbon-emitting energy companies who have an
economic stake in avoiding the adoption of new climate policies.
While it is sometimes necessary for climate leaders to respond to attacks on climate science, it
is important to avoid taking the deniers bait by becoming defensive of the science and the need
o ceta|ot. / oc| bette bet |s to e|oo aoo|eoces t|at ||e soet|es ca||s oo os to act
responsibly without being 100% certain, and to pivot the conversation to concrete impacts we are
a|eao ac|o, t|e beoets o aooess|o |oba| .a|o aoo t|e |s's assoc|ateo .|t| |oact|oo.
|PCC's projecteo surtace temperature cbanges tor tbe 21st century
Talklng Polnts:
|o |co/e|ca's eoot t|t|eo Climate and Energy Truths, researchers Drew Westin and Celinda
|a'e oot||oe a oobe o aoeots t|at esooate .|t| /e|caos .|eo |t coes to c||ate
We can argue why the 10 hottest years in
recorded history have all occurred in the last
t.o oecaoes. /oo .e cao aoe aboot t|e caoses
of the changing weather patterns weve all seen
t|e ooos, ooo|ts, |o|caoes, aoo tooaooes.
But whatever the causes, scientists agree there is
something we can do about it: stop polluting the
air with chemicals that get trapped in the Earths
atmosphere, upset the balance that sustains all
of life on Earth, and contribute to diseases like
asthma and emphysema.
'|oca| teoeatoes a|.as octoate oatoa||. 3ot .|eo t|e +0 |ottest eas oo
record have all occurred since 1990, we have a problem. We also have a problem
.|eo t|e /e|cao |oo /ssoc|at|oo eoots t|at to|c c|e|ca|s |o t|e a| .e
beat|e ae aect|o t|e |ea|t| o oea| |a| o a|| /e|caos. |t's t|e .e ootect
our atmosphere, end our reliance of foreign energy, and recharge our economy by
developing a clean, safe energy economy for the 21
Scientists predicted over 40 years ago that if we didnt stop producing so much
pollution from power plants, factories, and cars, it would melt the polar ice caps and
lead to changes in the weather, like increasingly destructive hurricanes, droughts, and
oest es. Yoo ooo't |ave to be a sc|eot|st to oooestaoo t|at. /|| oo |ave to oo |s
look out your window at mountaintops that used to be snow-covered or watch the
When scientists have come to an overwhelming consensus, like that smoking causes
heart disease and cancer, weve always acted. But too often weve delayed because
politicians listened to special interests and their paid experts, like when the tobacco
industry insisted cigarettes were safe. Now were in the same place again.
Anotber crltlcal lssue ln tramlng tbe cllmate sclence oebate ls tbe cbolce ot messengers.
Cllmate sclentlsts bave been tbe maln volces oetenolng cllmate sclence yet tbls otten
emphasizes that the science is the problem, rather than political, economic, or moral
questlons lnvolveo. At tbe same tlme, cllmate sclentlsts stlll bave an lmportant role to play ln
relntorclng tbe tbreat poseo by global warmlng. Tbelr volces, bowever, neeo to be jolneo by
a range ot lnNuentlal tbougbt leaoers ano eperts.
General Goroon R. Sulllvan, USA (Ret.) Cbalrman, Mllltary Aovlsory 8oaro, Former Cblet
ot Statt, U.S. Army
We seem to be stanolng by ano, trankly, asklng tor pertectness ln sclence.People are
saylng tbey want to be convlnceo, pertectly. Tbey want to know tbe cllmate sclence
projectlons wltb 100 percent certalnty. Well, we know a great oeal, ano even wltb tbat,
tbere ls stlll uncertalnty. 8ut tbe treno llne ls very clear.We never bave 100 percent
certalnty. We never bave lt. |t you walt untll you bave 100 percent certalnty, sometblng
bao ls golng to bappen on tbe battleelo. Tbat's sometblng we know. You bave to act
wltb lncomplete lntormatlon. You bave to act baseo on tbe treno llne. You bave to act on
your lntultlon sometlmes. Tbe sltuatlon, tor mucb ot tbe Colo War, was stable. Ano tbe
cballenge was to keep lt stable, to stop tbe catastropblc event trom bappenlng. We spent
bllllons on tbat strategy. Cllmate cbange ls tbe eact opposlte. We bave a catastropblc
event tbat appears to be lnevltable. Ano tbe cballenge ls to stablllze tblngs to stablllze
carbon ln tbe atmospbere. 8ack tben, tbe cballenge was to stop a partlcular actlon. Now,
tbe cballenge ls to lnsplre a partlcular actlon. We bave to act lt we're to avolo tbe worst
vlce Aomlral Rlcbaro H. Truly, USN (Ret.) Former NASA Aomlnlstrator, Sbuttle Astronaut
ano tbe rst Commanoer ot tbe Naval Space Commano SecurltyAnoCllmate.cna.org
One ot tbe tblngs tbat struck me on my rst oay ln space ls tbat tbere ls
no blue sky. |t's sometblng tbat every buman llves wltb on Lartb, but wben
you're ln space, you oon't see lt. |t looks llke tbere's notblng between you
ano tbe surtace ot tbe eartb. Ano out beyono tbat, lt looks llke mlonlgbt,
wltb only oeep black ano stars.8ut wben you look at tbe eartb's borlzon,
you see an lncreolbly beautltul, but very, very tbln llne. You can see a tlny
ralnbow ot color. Tbat tbln llne ls our atmospbere. Ano tbe real traglllty ot
our atmospbere ls tbat tbere's so llttle ot lt.
Senator Llnosey Grabam (R-SC) Aooresslng tbe US Senate on Cllmate ano Lnergy
Leglslatlon, [anuary 27, 2010
A woro ot cautlon ano warnlng. Dolng notblng, ln my vlew, ooes put tbe planet at rlsk.
Dolng notblng contlnues an lrresponslble practlce ot senolng $440 bllllon oollars a year
oversees to buy oll trom people wbo oon't llke us very mucb. Dolng notblng allows
Cblna to own wbat | tblnk wlll be tbe most ecltlng economlc opportunlty ot tbe 21st
century, tbe green economy. As we talk ano as we argue ano as we try to no 60 votes ln
Amerlca, Cblna ls oolng.
In the event you cannot pivot the global warming conversation, here are a few responses to
common challenges to climate science.
CHALLLNGL The current warming is just a natural cycle.
RLSPONSL The global climate does experience some natural cycles and variations.
But, climate scientists have rigorously examined this issue and determined that natural
causes such as solar variability, volcanic activity, and the urban heat island affect are not the
cause of todays warming.
CHALLLNGL Recent winters have been exceptionally cold and snowy which shows
that average U.S. temperatures are going down, not up.
RLSPONSL Recent winters have been exceptionally cold in some places and
exceptionally warm in others. Scientists look at the role of carbon and other greenhouse
gases in climate by looking at variations over large areas and long periods of time.
CHALLLNGL /oooa| eao teoeatoes |o t|e |.S. |ave octoateo o oecaoes aoo
the primary cause is changing solar activity levels and ocean temperatures, not CO2.
RLSPONSL T|e eao teoeatoe ove t|e |.S. o ao ot|e e|oo ooes octoate
from year to year. Nevertheless, the average temperature over all major regions and
oceans, including the U.S., has warmed too much over the past century to attribute to
purely random changes.
CHALLLNGL Global warming is a hoax created by environmental extremists/
liberals/those who want to control others (or regulate industry, create big government,
undermine economic growth, redistribute wealth, etc.)
RLSPONSL T|e |oot| /ssesseot |eoot b t|e |oteoveoeota| |aoe| oo
Climate Change was produced by more than 600 authors from 47 countries, and
reviewed by more than 600 experts and governments. In addition, every major
|oteoat|ooa| sc|eot|c |ost|tot|oo oea||o .|t| c||ate, oceao, aoo/o atoso|ee aees
that the climate is warming rapidly beyond natural variability and the primary cause is
human-induced carbon emission. The different social cultures and political systems these
organizations operate within make it hard to see how they would all be environmental
Climate Crossroads (200`). / eseac|-baseo a|o o|oe ooooceo b t|e Soc|a| Cao|ta| |o,ect aoo
written by the Topos Partnership that is based on a meta-analysis of 80 public opinion surveys, cognitive
eseac| .|t| oe t|ao +,000 /e|caos, aoo +2 ocos ooos.
Global Warmings Six Americas: An Audience Segmentation Analysis (2009). Maibach, E., Roser-Renouf, C. and
|e|seo.|tz, /. / |oba| .a|o seeotat|oo stoo coooocteo b t|e Ya|e |o,ect oo C||ate C|aoe aoo
the George Mason University Center for Climate Change Communications.
Household Actions Can Provide a Behavioral Wedge to Rapidly Reduce U.S. Carbon Emissions (2009). Dietz, T.,
Caooe, C. T., et a|. |oceeo|os o t|e |at|ooa| /caoe o Sc|eoces
Risk Behavior and Rick Communication: Synthesis and Expert Interviews (2009). Morrow, B. Final Report for the
|C// Coasta| Sev|ces Ceote. Soc|eseac| ||a|.
The Ecological Roadmap: A Guide to American Social Values and Environmental Engagement (2008). Pike, C.,
e, |., ||o'o., |. aoo \e|oe, . |at|,ost|ce. / seeotat|oo o t|e |.S. oob||c baseo oo soc|a| va|oes
aoo eov|ooeota| .o|ov|e.s. Ceateo b t|e Soc|a| Cao|ta| |o,ect, t|e |oaoao soa|zes oo|os
o a sove .|t| 2,000 /e|caos, aoo oe t|ao 20 ocos ooos.
The Power of Sustainable Thinking (2008). Doppelt, B. Earthscan. / boo' t|at soa|zes a aoe o be|av|o
change theories into a framework that can be applied to global warming.
The Role of Public Narrative in Social Change Ganz, Marshall. The Kennedy School, Harvard University.
cover richardmasoner*
page 6 Robert Couse-Baker*
page 8 whirledkid*
page 10 Dendroica cerulea*
page 14 dMap Travel Guide*
page 15 photokraft*
oae + /Z/oa
page 19 Seth Tisue*
oae 23 3e|e /|et
page 25 OregonDOT*
page 28 norhendraruslan*
oae 3+ /e|caos+/ts
pages 38-47 from Re: Green - The Ecological Roadmap
page 49 Trailnet*
page 50 IPCC Climate Change Working Group1report
page 51 suburbanbloke*
page 52 U.S. Federal Government, public domain
*photos from Flickr members under a license