The Luntz Memo and the Framing of Climate Change



In a segment from the recent Frontline special "Hot Politics," GOP pollster Frank Luntz explains his 1997/1998 memo that became the playbook for how conservatives like President Bush and Senator James Inhofe redefined climate change as really a matter of "scientific uncertainty" and "unfair economic burden." We detail the strategy and its impact on public opinion in our Framing Science thesis and in our talks as part of the Speaking Science 2.0 national tour.

Below you can watch a clip of Senator Inhofe's appearance on Fox & Friends the week of the release of this year's first IPCC report. Inhofe stays on message with the "scientific uncertainty" and "economic burden" frames adding that climate change is really a campaign driven by the "far left," i.e. "Hollywood elitists and the United Nations."


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Sponsored by the Institute for Humane Studies
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Photo: Heinrich Hoffmann/ullstein bild via Getty Images
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Credit: NAOJ
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