The Conservative Case for Solar: Key Talking Points

One of the 10 principles of climate change communication is to connect climate change to issues that matter to your audience. As Tea Partier Debbie Dooley points out, this sometimes means avoiding the use of climate change lingo altogether, focusing instead on what resonates most. As discussed in this Reuters editorial, Dooley explains: “You start talking about climate change and global warming and people will tune you out. But you talk about monopolies and competition and the need for security against a terrorist attack, they will listen.”

So, how to best rally broad support for solar and wind energy among Republicans? Dooley hits the nail on the head: “Conservatives are very receptive to solar when the right messenger delivers the right message,” In this case, the “right” message entails connecting solar to property rights, freedom of energy choice, and market-based solutions and benefits. 

Take a look at what these groups are doing to connect the dots to issues that are most important to their consituents: Green Tea CoalitionGeorgia Property Rights CouncilTUSKFloridians for Solar ChoiceConservatives for Energy Freedom. And for more resources to support your own efforts to engage your communities, please join us on the Path to Positive.

Conservative push for solar is backed by usual green advocates

By Nichola Groom and Richard Valmanis | Reuters INSIGHT | May 15, 2015

Los Angeles/Boston — When Debbie Dooley, a Tea Party firebrand from Woodstock Georgia, makes the case for solar power, she doesn’t rely on the usual environmental talking points. She speaks of property rights, national security and free market competition.

Former Republican Congressman Barry Goldwater, Jr. casts his support for solar energy as a conservative stance against monopoly power utilities that “want to limit energy choice.”

Dooley and Goldwater, along with the right-leaning pro-solar groups they founded, have been widely hailed in media reports as proof that conservatives are beginning to embrace renewable energy. But public records and interviews show the groups’ support among conservative donors is thin, and the money behind them comes almost entirely from liberal-leaning environmental groups and the solar industry itself.

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