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  • How To Talk About Energy Policy

    Matthew Yglesias makes a strong case that the “energy independence” frame has backfired when it comes to moving the public on climate-friendly energy policy. I agree. (Jon Stewart illustrates better than anyone how poorly this line has fared—as far back as the Nixon years!) And Yglesias isn’t alone. My colleagues in the climate policy communications […]

  • Energy trumps the environment, poll finds

    The majority of Americans prioritize the development of energy supplies over the protection of the environment, a new Gallup poll has found, the first time this has happened in the question’s ten-year history. Conducted in early March, before President Obama’s announcement that he would open much of America’s coastlines to offshore drilling, the poll’s results […]

  • Why pricing emissions is the least important policy

    Last week, I documented that the public supports trains and auto efficiency standards and renewable requirements, along with other policies sometimes slandered as “command & control” over emissions pricing. This week: some historical perspective on why the public is right, and mainstream environmental groups are wrong. Historically U.S. infrastructure, the basis on which this nation […]

  • Why not structure climate bills to win popular support?

    Mainstream environmentalists tackling the climate crisis prioritize pricing greenhouse gas emissions over alternative policies to cool our fevered planet. The ACES climate bill that passed the House would weaken renewable rules, add massive offsets, and kill much existing EPA authority to fight climate change. The “simple” Cantwell-Collins cap-and-dividend bill focuses on an auctioned permit system […]

  • The six Americas of climate change

    Researchers at George Mason University and Yale broke down U.S. public opinion into six different categories [pdf], based on people’s belief in, and concern about, global warming.  For the nickel version, see the graphic below: Of course, I’m sure there are more than six ways of slicing this pie. It seems likely to me that […]

  • The culture wars become the climate wars

    I’ve been wading through hate mail for the last week after referring to the governor of Utah’s “raging ignorance” on climate science in an AP news story. The mail doesn’t come from defenders of the governor, (he’s denying climate science in a state known for, and economically supported by, some of the best powder west […]

  • Environmental groups unprepared for ‘Swift Boating’ of climate science

    Are the climate skeptics increasingly winning the battle for public opinion? On the very eve of the Copenhagen conference, there are signs that they are — and that environmental groups are allowing them to. Polls on both sides of the Atlantic over the last weeks indicate that fewer people now believe that global warming is […]

  • Climate psychology in cartoons: clues for solving the messaging mystery

    Illustration courtesy Ian Webster/CREDFor the climate-change message to finally sink in, for the 64 percent of Americans who don’t believe in the problem (according to a recent Pew poll) to start changing their minds, the place to begin might be the local high-school gym. Have a respected teacher—maybe from the science department—lead a public presentation. […]

  • No wonder public and media seem uniformed

    UPDATE:  Yes, bad coverage by big media, including the NYT’s Revkin, is one reason there has been a modest decline since April 2008 in the number of Americans who know that there is solid (in fact, overwhelming) evidence the Earth is warming and humans are the primary cause (see here).  Big media “did” the global […]