Face your climate change denial.
Throughout 2017, we’ve worked hard to green our daily habits, from BYO-ing water bottle or hot drink container, to ditching the fast fashion trends that will end up in a landfill. We’ve also shed a lot of light on climate change denial, understanding that climate change denial is perpetuated and funded by big business, and learning that climate change has caused 4 out of the 5 mass extinctions on Earth. Today’s #DailyRevolution is to face our own climate change denial head-on. The first step toward breaking bad habits is to admit that you have a problem, and if we can admit that our daily actions and choices truly do contribute to climate change, and take stock of our own efforts to fight climate change, then we can actually make a difference.
Do you ever worry that no matter what personal changes we make to fight climate change, it won’t make a difference in the big picture? The way we talk about climate change often makes people want to turn away from the information rather than engage with it. In fact, according to psychologist and economist Per Espen Stoknes, the more facts presented to the public, the less concern people show.
Stokness has identified the 5 D’s of climate change denial. Today’s #DailyRevolution is to learn about these psychological barriers to dealing with climate change, and identify where we need to do our own work.
Distance: Many don’t see the effects of climate change in our daily lives (although devastating videos like this definitely hit hard).
Doom: Have you been tuning out the doom and gloom messaging for your own peace of mind? Us too. It’s hard to sustain daily habit changes when the fate of all the polar bears in the world rests on your shoulders.
Dissonance: By downplaying climate facts, we can feel better about how we live. Acknowledging the impact that our habits have on the environment, like driving, flying, or eating beef, means letting go of a lot of convenience.
Denial: We may even take refuge in our own denialism in order to seek revenge against those who challenge our lifestyles. In other words, denial is about self-defense, not ignorance, intelligence or lack of information.
IDentity: To understand this, consider the tribalism within our political climate. While conservatives have not always been so obstinate about this issue, the fossil fuel industry has kept climate change deniers in power, and denying climate change has become part of the identity of the GOP.
These five D’s may seem tough to overcome, but remember there is hope! As Aliya Haq of the National Resources Defense Council says, “Change only happens when individuals take action. There’s no other way, if it doesn’t start with people.” Reducing the effects of global warming by reducing our personal greenhouse gas emissions is possible. We have the technology and the individual will make this happen.
So today, take stock of your own climate change denial and check out our climate agreement checklist to see how you can make changes in your everyday life.