I will be testifying in front of Congress this week.  And my book, Straight Up, is coming out the following week (click here to buy it).

That means I’ll be doing a lot of media and trying to hone a simple, effective message for a far broader audience than Climate Progress readers.  I have my own favorite phrases but I’d like to hear from you what you think works both in terms of sound-bites and overall framing.

Note:  I’m not trying to persuade the unpersuadable.  And the energy message is, I think pretty well understood (see “Messaging 101: ‘Green’ jobs are out, ‘clean energy’ jobs are in“).

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You might take a look at this new messaging report, Climate Communications and Behavior Change:  A Guide for Practitioners just out from The Climate Leadership Initiative.   I don’t agree with everything in it, but it is pretty good, much better than those efforts to try to get people to stop talking about global warming (see EcoAmerica’s phrase ‘our deteriorating atmosphere’ isn’t going to replace ‘global warming’ — and that’s a good thing.)

We’ve already had a big CP discussion about what is the best phrase to use, given the flaws in both “global warming” and “climate change” (see Is “Global Weirding” here?).  This report floats:

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  1. “Rapid climate shift”
  2. “Climate disruption”
  3. “Climate shock”
  4. “Climate breakdown”
  5. “Climate failure”

Let’s drop the last two, but #1 and #3 have merit.  I’ll probably stick with using many different phrases, including GW and CC.  The report does have some good suggestions for how to phrase basic talking points:

Carbon dioxide and other pollutants collect in the atmosphere like a thickening blanket, trapping the sun’s heat and causing the planet to warm up.

What are you thoughts for sound-bites and framing?

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