WRD 104: Composition & Rhetoric II Rotating Header Image

Words matter

NYT: Americans More Worried About ‘Warming’ Than ‘Climate Change’

But Republican politicians clearly grasp the difference. In 2002, Frank Luntz, the Republican strategist, wrote a memorandum urging fellow Republicans to use the term “climate change.” He wrote that “while global warming has catastrophic communications attached to it, climate change sounds a more controllable and less emotional challenge.”

For pollsters, there is no perfect solution. We strive to design questions using wording that is technically accurate, politically neutral, and perhaps most important, easy for average people to comprehend. In the end, we’re attempting to measure public opinion based on what the public knows and understands.