Why Our Brains Are Wired to Ignore Climate Change

(This is not a plug for a book)
On 9/23/14 Rutgers Climate Institute
hosted a lively presentation and book-signing by George Marshal for his publication: Don’t Even Think About It (Why Out Brains Are Wired to Ignore Climate Change).
(http://climatechange.rutgers.edu)

Some relevant points were made that might be of value to you when communicating with the public, including:

The phenomenon of Socially Constructed Silence:
-  Even the UN never engages the issues regarding fossil fuels.
- Our brains are wired to much more easily accept that Climate Change will affect plants and animals and future generations than us, personally.
- As individuals, we suffer from the “Passive bystander effect” when confronted with issues, and tend to react (or not react/interact) depending on how the group around us responds.
- Our brains compartmentalize things we see and experience, and Climate Change is not good at catching our attention and holding it; but it is good at catching and having our brain file it away through a process he calls “dis-attention” (actively ignoring something unpleasant or overwhelming).

In discussion afterwards he noted that as advocates, we are much more effective when we personalize our presentations and thoughts.  For example: “Don’t argue the point… present it as ‘This is how I came to my views.’”

His contact information includes:
www.climateconviction.org
@climategeorge
@dontignore_cc
Facebook
climateconviction
 

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