“Grim warnings about climate change may prompt more skepticism than action, simply because they seem unjust.”
Feinberg, M., and R. Willer. Apocalypse soon? Dire messages reduce belief in global warming by contradicting just-world beliefs. Psychological Science
Grim warnings about climate change may prompt more skepticism than action, simply because they seem unjust. Portraying children as innocent victims, for instance, conflicts with common assumptions that the world is fair—a clash that might trigger doubt and inaction. Indeed, a recent survey showed that the stronger one’s belief in a just world, the greater one’s skepticism after reading a grim global warming article (but not an optimistic one that also presented solutions). Researchers found they could reduce participants’ skepticism—and increase their willingness to act—by tweaking their worldviews with statements such as “Often, justice will not prevail.” Environmental organizations may want to take note.”
So here we discover one source of denial; one of many, I daresay; but not the evolutionary roots of this behavior. Perhaps nurture trumps nature as I seem to have been born without this “denial gene,” as is, by my reconing, 1% of the population. I’m not going into my personal enviro/nurture histology at this point, however.
Elsewhere, I’ve read about the possible correlations between intelligence and depression. More recently, I read about the correlation between intelligence and fondness for drink.
Indeed, ignorance is bliss.
I’m disturbed, but not surprised by the mild Panglossianism implied by the syntax of the last sentence in the above quote, about environmental activists incorporating this in their climate education endeavors.
Shit man, this implies a lot more than that. If progressives of all stripes want to make significant impact on the majority’s inherent ostrich-head-in-the-sandicity, here’s a major key. No pun intended.