As scholars in the field of marine energy, we often engage with the topic of climate change as a motivation for our work. When we do, we are constructing a relationship between climate change and marine energy. The relationship which we construct impacts our ability to effectively address the crisis. In this paper, we perform a textual analysis of papers from the 13th European Wave and Tidal Energy Conference (2019) to characterize the common construction of climate change among marine renewable energy scholars. We then examine how that construction is reflected in marine renewable energy technological design. We show that marine renewable energy scholars typically engage with climate change in a way which assumes that marine renewable energy is a potential part of a solution by its very nature as a renewable energy source. This assumption preempts any assessment that we may make with regard to the potential impacts of our work on climate change. By shifting how we communicate about climate change as a field, we may be able to center the ecological crisis in our design work, allowing it to reshape the fundamental design challenge. This could lead to improved integration of technical development and environmental impacts research, marine energy concepts which address human and environmental needs which are threatened by climate change (such as the need for food security and social equity), or new design tools which help designers evaluate and improve a technology's relationship with the community and the environment.