Genevieve Guenther

“As rhetoricians have known for thousands of years, communicators must appeal to the imagination, using vivid images that conjure visceral emotions, to move people to act. In the case of the climate crisis, communicators should help voters feel a complex of three specific emotions: fear of climate breakdown, outrage that powerful actors are blocking the passage of effective climate policy, and desire for a transformed global economy. Fear motivates us to protect ourselves and the people we love; outrage empowers us to experience the climate crisis as a political problem with clear antagonists; and desire enables us to accept the costs of decarbonization as greatly outweighed by the benefits of preserving the living world.”

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