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Emotional reactions to global warming

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 
I came across this article in Greater Good Magazine. I've often wondered why, on the one hand, we see the evidence of climate change and are repeatedly told that urgent action is needed, yet, very little seems to be done.

The Hot Spot
Climate scientists wonder why people don't do more about global warming. Social scientists have some troubling answers.
By Lisa Bennett

...a growing number of social scientists are offering their expertise in behavioral decision making, risk analysis, and evolutionary influences on human behavior to explain our limited responses to global warming. Among the most significant factors they point to: The way we're psychologically wired and socially conditioned to respond to crises makes us ill-suited to react to the abstract and seemingly remote threat posed by global warming. Their insights are also leading to some intriguing recommendations about how to get people to take action—including the potentially dangerous prospect of playing on people's fears.
post #2 of 5
Yeah, people also tend not to worry very much about future threats whose effects we won't experience in the near-term.  More short-term and immediate issues like a sagging economy take precedence even though the long-term threat is far more dangerous.
post #3 of 5
Global warming is beyond the ability of our emotions to comprehend.  We can't be scared of it in the same way as something more immediate because the fight or flight response doesn't apply.

The people who are concerned and are pushing for action are those for whom study and research have instilled a conscious concern.  Those who are simply aware of it from the media are "scared" briefly while they read the article but then soon forget about it.

The people who deny it based on those articles are the dangerous ones.  Yahoo Answers really worries me sometimes.
post #4 of 5
In the 50's the Russians were coming any minute.

In 60's again it was the Russians but now with nuke warheads.

In the 70's it was the doomsday clock ticking toward midnight.

At various stages natural resources were running out in the next decade.

I don't think of what all else was going to get us at any time.  

The 'doomer' scenario seems to be part of our daily lives but we have always found a way out and will again. It only makes good sense to better use what we do have and not make any more of a mess of the world than we have to. 
post #5 of 5
I think we can be realists without promoting doomsday scenarios.  The situation is serious and AGW may just wipe us out, or a portion of us anyway.  Even with our best efforts our fate may be sealed.  And, I'm OK with that.  It won't stop me from being a good steward of the earth.
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