Luntz: ‘I was wrong’ on climate change

By Anthony Adragna

Frank Luntz, a veteran Republican pollster, disavowed work Thursday in the early 2000s to cast doubt on the science behind climate change and said America, on the whole, wants the federal government to "do more, right now, to address it."

"I was wrong in 2001," Luntz told an ad-hoc Senate Democratic climate panel. "I don't want credit. I don't want blame. Just stop using something that I wrote 18 years ago because it's not accurate today."

Luntz, who said he's doing work for both Democrats and Republicans, urged Democrats to "personalize, individualize and humanize" the impacts of climate change to make it more relatable to the average person. He advised them to "jettison" language like describing the problem as a crisis in favor of phrases that motivate people to action.

"Focus on the consequences of inaction," he said. "The American people want to know the positive of this, not just the negative. Not just the fear, they want to know the benefit of focusing on it."

While he has polled the issue, Luntz said he was not associated with June 2019 polling for the Climate Leadership Council, conducted by Luntz Global Partners, finding widespread support among young Republicans for a carbon tax. He said he left the firm that shares his name 18 months ago.