It shouldn't be so difficult, after all. Why wouldn't people subscribe to the idea of rescuing human life on earth? Or saving themselves ruinous costs? And yet they resist it very effectively, with increasing tenacity.
And here, as so often, Jonathan Freedland hit the nail squarely on the head.. Look at the speakers at the climate march on Saturday: Russell Brand and the usual, predictable suspects.
The answer he suggests is that it is because the climate campaigners have explicitly limited themselves to a campaign from the left. They have embraced the vocabulary and symbolism of the left. No campaign so fundamental, asking such fundamental changes of people and government, is going to succeed unless it can also attract the right.
As Jonathan says, the first speech on the subject was made by Margaret Thatcher as prime minister. It shouldn’t be impossible to imagine a conservative climate campaign in parallel and integrated to what we have now.
The Green Party is booming at the moment, but I can't help feeling they are making a similar mistake, They have embraced the language of the left, presumably to pick up disaffected Lib Dem and Labour votes – which would have come to them anyway – but, by doing so, have put a glass ceiling in the way of their growth as a movement.
These issues are too fundamental to campaign from one side of the political divide alone. By doing so, we render our campaign ineffective - and we don't have that luxury.
This is not intended as a criticism of the left, or of the right come to that, but to say something about how causes as urgent as the climate campaign achieve their objectives. It is by building alliances, not by focusing the appeal.
But there is another problem which Jonathan Freedland never mentions. By couching the climate campaign purely in terms of the left, it has become associated with the same problem that has beset the left over the past generation – it becomes defensive, melancholic, backward-looking and nostalgic for the past. It becomes irritatingly puritanical and disapproving.
That has been the left's besetting sin since they were swept aside in the 1980s, and it is one reason they have failed to claw back a coherent, mainstream political solution.
If the climate campaign is going to succeed, as my friend Joe Zammit-Lucia keeps arguing, it will need to persuade people – not so much that the earth is doomed – but that their lives can be better, richer, wealthier and more fulfilled by embracing the radical changes that are necessary.
The campaign needs to demonstrate that renewable energy is the key to independence and prosperity. It needs to paint a picture that solves problems rather than tiptoeing away from them back into a an embittered identification of those to blame.
What I find so frustrating is the incredulity that climate change campaigners (like me) feel that their message is so difficult to put across – the demonisation of the other side – when the tools for winning are within their grasp.
Why don't they grasp them? Because they have to win on their own terms? That they have to win by being melancholic or spreading blame? Because to win in other ways looks like cheating? Or, worse, it sounds conservative?
Yet the longer it takes to make this shift, the more difficult it will be to get people who are shiftable out of their entrenched positions. In fact, they are risking failure on this vital issue by their failing to break out of the conventional political divide - as if, to do so, would commit a greater sin than losing the whole world to global warming.
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