The psychology of climate change denial and it's consequences.

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Step 1:

Despite climate change having been proven and backed by thousands if not millions of scientific papers, studies and scientists, some people still insist and deny the existence of climate change. But that begs the question, why? Why do these people insist on denying its existence and danger?

First, climate change's effects are not immediate and are undetectable with the senses and they cannot be experienced. Unlike other problems, such as pandemics and natural disasters whose effects are immediate and clearly visible, climate change's effects are more subtle and long lasting, and will mostly affect future generations greatly, rather than ours, and this might make it harder for some people to believe in its existence.

Second, some people might not believe in climate change because of behavioral inertia, i.e their reluctance and unwillingness to change their behaviors, habits and routines, as it is much more convenient and easier for people to simply deny its existence and not change anything.

And finally, some deniers suggest that climate change is just part of the natural cycle, that the earth simply passes through phases of heat and cold, and that this is yet another phase that will not affect the earth badly, and that the damages of climate change are simply overexaggerated.

But this begs yet another question, why is it so bad and wrong to not believe in climate change? And what are the consequences of that?

First, having such a large amount of people not believing in climate change might cause a great delay to the necessary implementations to prevent climate change from worsening, which might cause great damage.

Second, they might spread their misinformation and try to convince other people that climate change is just a hoax, which would yet again worsen the damage even more.

Third, climate change denial has already contributed to low levels of public concern and to government inaction worldwide. As the renowned British economist Nicholas Stern reports, the longer world leaders wait to take serious action to curtail climate change, the more it will cost.

Yet despite this, we still see many leaders worldwide, such as Donald Trump denying its existence or its danger. What might be their reasons for doing so?

I believe there are many reasons leaders could deny the existence of climate change. One of which being for economic reasons. As the leader may believe that implementing the necessary precautions to slow climate change would be quite costly, and they might believe it would be better for the economy to simply reject its existence.

Comments (3)

  • Tiff-Avatar.jpg Tiff @ the BNC
    12 May 2021

    Well done for clearly exploring the reason behind climate change denial and the possible consequences!

    What can be done to change these people's minds?

    Reply to this comment
    1. global-conversation.png decisive_leaves | School College Pilote Sousse | Tunisia
      Tiff @ the BNC's comment 12 May 2021

      Thank you, Tiff! I appreciate it. I will look into it, I might make another post about that!

      Reply to this comment
  • global-conversation.png decisive_leaves | School College Pilote Sousse | Tunisia
    12 May 2021

    After having thought about it, I think there are many things we can do to change these people's minds. Firstly, I'd suggest that we promote proper education on what climate change is and its effects. Michael Ranney, professor of education at the University of California says of one study conducted at his university "Even in places like Berkeley, we almost tripled their understanding of the mechanisms of global warming, and that increased their acceptance of global warming." Another good suggestion is to educate them to be more responsible and empathetic towards future generations and other people who are suffering because of this, many people are too irresponsible and lazy to change their habits and too apathetic to care about the effects of climate change. Politicians are also motivated to not believe in climate change which can be a huge issue, as Paul Thagard, professor at the University of Waterloo says "If you're a conservative politician, you just don't want to believe [in climate change], because if there really is climate change caused by human activity, then there has to be government actions to stop the disastrous results that are probably going to come down the line in 20 or 30 years." However, in these times we must learn how to stand together in face of this enemy, and throw away our own interests and politics, for the human race, and for mother Earth, and we, the inhabitants of this planet should put pressure on on politicians to start fighting against pollution.

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