…US EPA chief Gina McCarthy, that is.
Yesterday I reported that a new poll by the Wall Street Journal and NBC found strong support among Americans for new Environmental Protection Agency standards proposed for coal-fired power plants to cut carbon pollution—The Clean Power Plan. A promising part of the story is that Americans increasingly embrace the reasons Gina McCarty and others (including President Obama) give in support of those rules, and that they increasingly reject claims by opponents against them.
Now, McCarthy isn’t really the type to deliver a stem-winder—and that’s probably not really in the US EPA Administrator’s job-description anyway. But her announcement about the new policy was rousing nonetheless. She was clear about the threat of climate change, pointing to impacts that affect Americans personally, from our health to our pocketbooks. She framed EPA’s role in cutting pollution as part of our moral responsibility to our kids to act. But she didn’t dwell on the problem or give us a guilt-trip. She balanced the dire urgency of the problem with hope and optimism, making the economic case for climate and energy solutions—including myriad opportunities in clean energy and efficiency and the high cost of inaction. And she roundly dismissed the naysayers and foot-draggers for standing in the way of our progress.
It’s a powerful story of American ingenuity and problem-solving, about protecting our families from harm and coming out ahead; it’s a story about a healthy economy and a healthy environment depending on each other to thrive.
And her talking points echo the Climate Narrative research that we’ve shared here before.
Climate Messaging McCarthy-Style
Responsibility: The science is clear. This is about protecting our health and our homes, local economies and jobs. For the sake of our families’ health and our kids’ future, we have a moral obligation to act on climate, to leave them a safe, healthy, and vibrant world.
Accountability: Special interests stand in the way, ignoring the risks, overestimating the costs, and undervaluing the benefits. They lack faith in American ingenuity.
Ingenuity: Climate action it sharpens America’s competitive edge. It spurs ingenuity, innovation, and investment. When critics say it can’t be done, we say—watch us. That’s what America is made of. We don’t settle. We lead.