Climate Change and Human Nature

(Sunday morning and the moon is New and I can’t sleep)

It’s always confused me why climate change is difficult for myself and others to really come to grips with, why we find it hard to change our living style in the face of reality. (Yes, the big question.)

A post at the blog Savage Minds this morning pointed me to an article by a writer named Lisa Bennett who recently wrote an article for the blog Grist in which she listed “10 things you want to know about human nature if you’re fighting climate change“. Wow, that title seemed to really imply it had the answers that I too was looking for, so I had to go read the full article (not just the extraction in Savage Minds). You can find the full article too by clicking here.

You really need to read what Lisa Bennett wrote to really understand the depth behind her 10 items. I have listed them here as teasers for you to follow.

1. We are overly optimistic about the future — our future, that is.
2. We can be blasé about the most important issues in the world because the global perspective is way beyond ordinary human scale.
3. We are wired to refute imperatives.
4. We are vulnerable to peer pressure, especially about things that confuse us.
5. We shy away from topics that remind us of our mortality but can be motivated to take action on behalf of beings more vulnerable than us.
6. We perceive and respond to risks only when we feel them.
7. We are motivated more by hope than fear, at least in matters of social change.
8. We are more likely to take action when we know precisely what we can influence.
9. We need to believe our actions will make a difference.
10. We will continue to behave the same way we always have — even after we know it is problematic — until there is a realistic alternative.

Again, read the full article: Lisa Bennett in Grist. It is worth our time.

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