The war of words for your heart and mind is on.  Seeking to Save the Planet, With a Thesaurus

The problem with global warming, some environmentalists believe, is “global warming.”

The term turns people off, fostering images of shaggy-haired liberals, economic sacrifice and complex scientific disputes, according to extensive polling and focus group sessions conducted by ecoAmerica, a nonprofit environmental marketing and messaging firm in Washington.

It makes me think of purse-lipped Puritan-fundamentalist types whose hair styles are irrelevant, but that’s just me. I can see how talking about “global warming” is a big problem for them, though, because it’s not true, and people know it.  The Earth has actually been cooling for about ten years, and ice at the poles is not disappearing.  And there is a lot of scientific dispute about it because of the faked data and flawed methodology and uncooperative computer programs whose models don’t come near to predicting reality, all of which were used to hype it. The increasing numbers of respected scientists who are becoming more vocal about their reservations doesn’t help, either. And it has already entailed economic sacrifice, as has been shown in Europe.

So, what to do about these inconvenient and hurtful truths?  In the PR world you ignore them.  You dumb it down, personalize it and accentuate the positive, even if the positive is non-existent:

“Another key finding: remember to speak in TALKING POINTS aspirational language about shared American ideals, like freedom, prosperity, independence and self-sufficiency while avoiding jargon and details about policy, science, economics or technology,” said the e-mail account of the group’s study.

Instead of grim warnings about global warming, the firm advises, talk about “our deteriorating atmosphere.” Drop discussions of carbon dioxide and bring up “moving away from the dirty fuels of the past.” Don’t confuse people with cap and trade; use terms like “cap and cash back” or “pollution reduction refund.”

Apparently people are tuning out when they hear “the environment,” so that will disappear, to be replaced by blather about saving money for a more prosperous future, the air we breathe, the water our children drink.  I guess we won’t have Al Gore to kick around anymore.

The other side’s doing it, too:

Opponents of legislation to combat global warming are engaged in a similar effort. Trying to head off a cap-and-trade system, in which government would cap the amount of heat-trapping emissions allowed and let industry trade permits to emit those gases, they are coaching Republicans to refer to any such system as a giant tax that would kill jobs…

Which has the virtue of being a fact, again looking to the European experience.

One thing professional manipulators agree on:

And, Mr. Luntz and Mr. Perkowitz agree, “climate change” is an easier sell than “global warming.”

Caveat emptor.

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