Sunday, February 3, 2013

Climate Stereotypes

We had a really interesting lecture a couple of weeks ago with Marta Cullberg Weston, a psychologist who has worked with climate change and especially our psychological defense mechanisms when it comes to this issue, which prevent us from taking proper and strong action on climate change. I used to like psychology in secondary school and it was interesting to think about the psychological reasons for why most people choose to look away from the problems we are facing.

Here's the ten different types she described, can you relate to any of them? We also went through how to handle each and every one of these types, even though she said not to bother with type number 7, they won't change their mind!

1.The Climate Repressor: "Yikes! This is so scary! I cannot stand to hear more! I switch channels on the TV when they show programs about climate change”. 

2. The Climate Comfortable: "Well ... the problem will solve by itself. Nature has gone through a lot of changes before and besides scientists will fix it ... "

3. The life style addict:I need my car to go to work. This is just scare tactics from the politicians. I am going to go on living as I have always done. This is not my problem.”

4. The Climate Cynic: "Yes, we're all going to die. We might as well have fun as long as possible. Besides, I’ll be dead anyway, when things start to crack".

5. The Climate Sad/Apathetic: "I wake up gloomy every morning. It is terrible what is happening with the earth. It is so scary! I cannot stand to hear about it anymore. I feel paralyzed”.

6. The status quo thinking error: “It is just impossible to imagine. We have never encountered this type of climate change before. I cannot believe it is true.”

7. The Climate Change Denier (CCD:s): " Climate change is a myth!” “It's about things other than human impact, I KNOW !"  

8. The Social trap denial:  “My contribution to the climate problems is negligible. Life on this planet has been going on for a long time. I am just taking my share of life goods as everyone else.”

9.The business leader defense: My main responsibility is to my share holders. I have to give them a profit or we crumble. If I do not use the oil and gas reserves some other company will and they will prosper. That is the way it is.

10.The Politician’s defense: "We live in a system where economic growth is basic. If I suggest changes that violate economic growth I will be voted out in no time and my colleagues will not take me seriously.

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