Friday, July 28, 2017

Fear and Climate Change Denial

"With climate change, people are afraid for two reasons. First, they are afraid there is nothing they can do about it. Humans hate to have threats that are beyond our control. We are more afraid of Ebola than heart disease. We are more afraid of flying than driving, we are more afraid of sharks than toasters. We are afraid of things we feel we cannot directly control."

"Secondly, we are also afraid of bad news. How often have you not checked your bank account because you don’t want the bad news? Have you ever known someone who didn’t go to a doctor because they just didn’t want to know what their ailment was? It is so much easier to pretend a problem doesn’t exist. In fact, I’ll go a step further and say that people like to be lied to when it quiets their fear."

"So with respect to climate change, that puts the population into two groups. The first group knows that there is a problem, wants to face it head on, and solve it together. The second group cannot bear to look the problem honestly in the face and finds it easier to deny its existence."

"Many people are afraid. Afraid of change, afraid of the future, afraid of people who are not just like us, afraid of terrorism, just plain afraid. For those people it is so easy to buy the lie that the president will build a wall, bring the jobs back, stop the terrorism, and make everything perfect."

We know intellectually this is all false, but facts don’t matter. Speaking to our fears is what matters. So, the psychological forces that bring people to deny climate change don’t mean climate deniers are stupid. It doesn’t mean that they are bad people. Rather, it tells me that their brains handle fear differently.

Fear Is The Mind Killer: