We all have experienced the consequences of Climate Change. So “Why do so many of us individually and collectively, fail to imagine, let alone anticipate, the massive and disruptive changes that are unfolding?” – SingularityU
- is it so difficult for many individuals around the world to break free from failing systems?
- are so many hesitant to start building new future proof scenario’s?
- are so many of us failing to understand the consequences of Climate Change?
We can find many different explanations for these questions. Many of them related to the field of psychology. Others are the result of the current set of systems we are living in. Systems of ruthless marketing, “endless growth”, misinformation and misunderstanding.
Nine reasons why many peope are not acting on Climate Change
Let’s dive into why we collectively fail to imagine and anticipate the massive disruptive changes unfolding around us.
- We think about other humans above everything else. Our mind is wired to, day in day out, think about other human beings. Our brain, therefore, responds more actively to threads responded by humans than by natural causes. It’s easier for us to fear terrorism than global warming, even though the odds are clearly in favour of global warming.
- Intentional occurrences are more feared than natural or unintentional ones. In other (blunt) words we are in general more captured by murders than by natural deaths.
- Climate Change doesn’t activate our direct moral emotions. And moral emotions are a direct trigger for the brain’s call to action mechanisms.
- We are as a species, not long term thinkers. For thousands of years, we lived in a world of primarily immediate danger. Our environment changed but our instincts didn’t (enough?).
- Lack of education and awareness around the fact that many seemingly small behaviour changes can make a huge difference when done collectively.
- Marketing instruments are misleading and misinforming us to live, consume and think in ways that are harmful to both planet and people.
- We created a set of systems that forces us into the so-called “rat race”. This rat race drives us to earn more, buy more, consume more and always strive to be one step ahead of neighbours, colleagues and friends.
- The unwillingness to deal with seemingly uncomfortable situations. Combined with the misunderstanding that living sustainably means living uncomfortable.
- Short term survival has priority over long term thinking.
Taking Climate Action
Our mission at The Green Sprint is to accelerate the global transition to the new economy. We think about this topic day and night. And even when we try to disconnect for a bit, it always finds its way back into our minds.
And even tho ‘Sustainability‘ is on our minds at all times, it doesn’t mean we always make the right decisions or that we are constantly motivated to keep ongoing. We will not dare to claim that we are living our best possible sustainable life, we frequently make mistakes, as many of us do. In the end we are all human and many of us are struggling daily to find the strength for long term thinking; the strength to make decisions of which we don’t notice direct positive impact; the headspace and the determination to consider future generations.
Sometimes just for a second, I think “I wish I didn’t care, that I could just live without feeling guilty, shop without this green voice in my head, book a plane, or buy a book”. And then I remind myself that I love this planet, it’s nature and the humans and other animals on it and I want to be part of the movement that created a reality in which Planet Earth & Humans co-exist and thrive.
How do you keep yourself motivated daily? How do you find a balance between taking action, creating impact, battling climate anxiety and living your daily life? And how do you train the long term thinking powers of your brain?