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Response to markpkessinger (Original post)

Mon Jan 16, 2012, 07:17 AM

4. Hard nut to crack!

I've bookmarked this - though it is dated over 2 years ago (12-9-09), it sadly is even more relevant today:

The Psychology of Climate Change Denial

By Brandon Keim Email Author
December 9, 2009 |
1:29 pm |
Categories: Brains and Behavior, Earth Science, Environment

Even as the science of global warming gets stronger, fewer Americans believe itís real. In some ways, itís nearly as jarring a disconnect as enduring disbelief in evolution or carbon dating. And according to Kari Marie Norgaard, a Whitman College sociologist whoís studied public attitudes towards climate science, weíre in denial.

ďOur response to disturbing information is very complex. We negotiate it. We donít just take it in and respond in a rational way,Ē said Norgaard.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change declared in 2007 that greenhouse gases had reached levels not seen in 650,000 years, and were rising rapidly as a result of people burning fossil fuel. Because these gases trap the sunís heat, they would ó depending on human energy habits ó heat Earth by an average of between 1.5 and 7.2 degrees Fahrenheit by centuryís end. Even a midrange rise would likely disrupt the planetís climate, producing droughts and floods, acidified oceans, altered ecosystems and coastal cities drowned by rising seas.

ďIf thereís no action before 2012, thatís too late. What we do in the next two to three years will determine our future,Ē said Rajendra Pachauri, the IPCC chairman, when the report was released. ďThis is the defining moment.Ē

Studies published since then have only strengthened the IPCCís predictions, or suggested they underestimate future warming. But as world leaders gather in Copenhagen to discuss how to avoid catastrophic climate change, barely half the U.S. public thinks carbon pollution could warm Earth. Thatís 20 percent less than in 2007, and lower than at any point in the last 12 years. In a Pew Research Center poll, Americans ranked climate dead last out of 20 top issues, behind immigration and trade policy.

Wired.com talked to Norgaard about the divide between science and public opinion.

Wired.com: Why donít people seem to care?

Kari Norgaard: On the one hand, there have been extremely well-organized, well-funded climate-skeptic campaigns. Those are backed by Exxon Mobil in particular, and the same PR firms who helped the tobacco industry (.pdf) deny the link between cancer and smoking are involved with magnifying doubt around climate change.

Thatís extremely important, but my work has been in a different area. Itís been about people who believe in science, who arenít out to question whether science has a place in society.

Wired.com: People who are coming at the issue in good faith, you mean. Whatís their response?

Norgaard: Climate change is disturbing. Itís something we donít want to think about. So what we do in our everyday lives is create a world where itís not there, and keep it distant.

For relatively privileged people like myself, we donít have to see the impact in everyday life. I can read about different flood regimes in Bangladesh, or people in the Maldives losing their islands to sea level rise, or highways in Alaska that are altered as permafrost changes. But thatís not my life. We have a vast capacity for this.

Rest here: http://www.wired.com/wiredscience/2009/12/climate-psychology/

I dunno, The post states: "Almost too close to the truth to be funny..." may not be a bad idea!

Maybe a creative way/avenue to get folks to really stop and think (and digest) this information may not be so much with hard-hitting facts...outright, but to perhaps meld these facts somehow in a gentler, satirical way...like maybe turning Jon Stewart's book: "Earth (The Book)" into a combination factual/comedic-satirical/sci-fi movie

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markpkessinger Jan 2012 OP
Tesha Jan 2012 #1
saras Jan 2012 #2
Solly Mack Jan 2012 #3
LineNew Reply Hard nut to crack!
BrendaBrick Jan 2012 #4
RainDog Jan 2012 #5
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