Skeptical about the dire claims made about climate change? Harbor mistrust of scientists or government officials? Think we should be wary of taking radical, urgent action to control a complex system like our climate? You obviously have some psychological issues you need to work out:
Psychological barriers like uncertainty, mistrust and denial keep most Americans from acting to fight climate change, a task force of the American Psychological Association said on Wednesday. . . . Despite warnings from scientists that humans need to make changes now if they want to avoid the worst effects of climate change, “people don’t feel a sense of urgency,” the association said in a statement.
Numerous psychological barriers are to blame, the task force found, including: uncertainty over climate change, mistrust of the messages about risk from scientists or government officials, denial that climate change is occurring or that it is related to human activity.
Although they aren’t proposing to add “Global Warming Denialism” to the next issue of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders—at least not yet—the APA task force does have some practical suggestions:
[The task force] identified other areas where psychology can help limit the effects of climate change, such as developing environmental regulations, economic incentives, better energy-efficient technology and communication methods.
Who would have guessed that psychology could help cool the planet? Seriously, is there anything our scientific overlords can’t do? And why didn’t we think to ask the psychologists for policy advice on climatology sooner?
(For the record, I’m agnostic on the issue of anthropogenic climate change. But as a former psych major, I’m a complete APA skeptic. I don’t know what we need to do about our climate but I’m quite certain we don’t want these folks anywhere near our policy-making apparatus.)
(Via: The Evangelical Ecologist)