Monday, July 8, 2013

The Pyschology of Denial

A very interesting Grist article recently covered the psychology of communicating climate change and explored its vexing questions:  If this is one of the biggest challenges facing mankind, why is everyone not doing everything they can to stop it? 

Sigmund Freud deemed denial as when a person is faced with a fact that is too uncomfortable to accept, that person rejects it instead, insisting that it is not true despite what may be overwhelming evidence.  Sound familiar?

Maybe we can have some kind of climate change intervention and people will finally accept it despite their fears. 

Instead of dismissing deniers, it might help everyone to help deniers to overcome their fears.  Let them know there are solutions, and most importantly, no one is out to take away their way of life or their livelihood.  Just to go about it with a little more thought, and by the way, the result is something that benefits everyone.

Still, that may not be enough.  Where's the urgency and the groundswell?  Why have hundreds of professional orators and pundits and communicators failed to spark the revolution in energy we need?

Maybe the psychologists have an answer. 


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