Is it any wonder people are confused about climate change?

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evolving beyond evolutionary psychology

Is it any wonder people are confused about climate change?

11th September 2013


Climate change denial often gets referred to as the ‘climate denial industry.’ And this is perfectly justified because fossil fuel companies, who’d have to scale back their businesses if they took climate change seriously, put a lot of money into casting doubt on the science and generally undermining efforts to address the problem.

This article in the Mail on Sunday on 8.9.13 made me rather angry:

It describes climate change as being part of a ‘great green con.’ The article leads the reader to conclude that there isn’t a problem and that artic ice isn’t melting due to climate change, but is in fact growing.

But then I got really angry when I read this rather good rebuttal in the Guardian:

How, you ask, could the Mail get it so very wrong? Obviously, they have got it deliberately wrong. They are following some sort of agenda, undermining all of our collective futures and leading us into what may well be the Earth’s 6th mass extinction.

So, what’s the agenda? Are they being funded by fossil fuel companies to spread these, essentially, lies? My suspicion is that the Mail want to preserve what they see as our ‘lifestyle’ as they know that tackling climate change will mean big society changes; it means reducing how much energy we consume, how many gadgets we have, and what car we drive (even IF we drive). It means re-shaping how we get electricity; closing coal plants and gas plants and opening wind, solar, tidal and wave generation. It means re-shaping the global economy. Fossil fuels are the economic bedrock, and that has to change. None of this will be easy.

…and the Mail don’t like the sound of that. A lot of people don’t like the sound of that. I’m not sure I’m all that keen on it myself! But we can’t ignore reality. However much we may or may not like it. The world is as it is.

A psychologically healthy position is to start with ‘ok, I like my car, I like my lifestyle’ … ‘but there’s a problem with it.’

This denial of the problem of climate change is very common, and I suspect it’s the route of the Mail’s problem.

Overcoming any denial is always about admitting the problem first. Once you’ve done that, you can then move on to more healthy action.

So, c’mon folks, say it with me “Hi. My name is Jeff, and I’m a carboholic.”

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