1. To the extent that climate change is an abstract concept, it is non intuitive and cognitively difficult to grasp.2. Our moral judgement system is finely tuned to react to intentional transgressions — not unintentional ones.3. Things that make us feel guilty provoke self-defensive mechanisms.4. Uncertainty breeds wishful thinking, so the lack of definitive prognoses results in unreasonable optimism.5. Our division into moral and political tribes generates ideological polarization; climate change becomes politicized.6. Events do not seem urgent when they seem to be far away in time and space; out-group victims fall by the wayside.
At considerable risk of pummeling the dead equine, I’ll reiterate a couple paragraphs I pointed out before:
Leading mainstream outlets routinely lie to the public. According to a report published 11 January 2014, “the BBC has spent tens of thousands of pounds over six years trying to keep secret an extraordinary ‘eco’ conference which has shaped its coverage of global warming.” At the 2006 event, green activists and scientists — one of whom believes climate change is a bigger danger than global nuclear war — lectured 28 of the BBC’s most senior executives.
Mainstream scientists minimize the message at every turn. As we’ve known for years,scientists almost invariably underplay climate impacts. I’m not implying conspiracy among scientists. Science selects for conservatism. Academia selects for extreme conservatism. These folks are loathe to risk drawing undue attention to themselves by pointing out there might be a threat to civilization. Never mind the near-term threat to our entire species (they couldn’t care less about other species). If the truth is dire, they can find another, not-so-dire version. The concept is supported by an article in the February 2013 issue of Global Environmental Change pointing out that climate-change scientists routinely underestimate impacts “by erring on the side of least drama.”