Why it’s hard for people to take global warming seriously

Here’s a great article (PDF) on why humanity is taking so long to take action, even though climate change may be the greatest threat we face. Interestingly, some of the obstacles go far beyond questions of political strategy; the article suggests that it would still be an uphill battle even if the Republicans were all environmentalists.

This is an academic article, so it’s a bit geeky, but a great read. Might even give us some ideas on how to be more effective in our outreach and communication!

Here is a slightly paraphrased excerpt:

Are human brains properly equipped to accurately conceive of the threat? Environmental change is largely invisible, very long-term, hypothetical, uncertain, and controversial, while efforts to deal with it impinge directly and visibly on our everyday social and economic lives. Human psychological biases – which evolved to promote individual survival and reproduction – prejudice us against helping the future environment at the expense of the immediate self.

Much effort by environmentalists is focused on explaining and disseminating scientific facts. We suggest that the greater struggle should be on making these facts directly relevant to a collection of largely uninterested, distracted and biased human brains. The good news is that psychological biases are systematic, not random, so this should be possible.

Gallery | This entry was posted in SEA Info. Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Why it’s hard for people to take global warming seriously

  1. karenmpowers says:

    I’m not sure how this helps, except that it is depressing. I suppose that we need to find real consequences to illustrate that science actually can predict climate change. How can we convince others that anything needs changing?


Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s