Living in Arizona I am surrounded by people who think that more guns make us safer and climate change is a liberal plot. I have to go to work and deal with them every day so I was forced to change my arguments. You are spot on about just making a subtle change to the message. All of my co-workers who hate Al Gore and anything about climate change absolutely agree that there is too much pollution. Too much trash. Hell they complain about the garbage floating around in Lake Havasu. They do understand that much. They also understand that coal mining isn’t coming back and they have no problem with that. All of them have at least been in Phoenix when the air was orange and have seen what pollution does and some of them even drive Hybrids (gasp!). But there is an undeniable strain of anti-intellectualism in this country that frankly I don’t understand. I don’t know whether it was just bad experiences with teachers from grade school or parents nagging them to do their homework or a combination. Being “smart” in many circles is just uncool. And arguing facts and presenting reasoned arguments just flow right past them. It has to have a hook, something they can relate to. When you can appeal to their gut you have a chance. Appeal to their head and you’ll just hear the sound of wind whistling.
P.S., I’m embarrassed to admit this but whenever one of my co-workers gets all riled up about the government coming after their guns I have to ask, “do you really want Blacks and Muslims to have easy access to guns?”. That’s stopped many a rant dead in its tracks.