Human Climate Response

It’s understandable that people ignore bad environmental news. People avoid terrible news. People would rather live their lives as they wish, and not be bothered.

In this episode — The Pope talks environment, and Per Espen Stoknes talks psychology. This is part 1 of Mr. Stoknes’s talk on why people don’t do anything about catastrophe until it’s almost too late. His views are fascinating, and something we are all guilty of.


This graphic shows American concerns versus world concerns. Notice where climate change falls, and how American’s fears of Muslims is extreme compared to real threats we face. What is the explanation for this? This episode will help you understand why this is happening.

“It seems that the worse the news gets, the less humans seem motivated to take action. Norwegian psychologist Per Espen Stoknes poses the question: “Are Humans inevitably short term?” Could it be as noted cognitive linguist George Lakoff suggests, that the long cherished notion that Human beings are rational is not what it is cracked up to be? If so, what does motivate humans? ?Stoknes, author of “What We Think About When We Try Not to Think About Global Warming”, says he has the answer. ?Stoknes explores why we think the way we think–focusing on the climate change deniers among us–and highlights key factors that contribute to people’s disbelief of the subject. He offers advice on how to change people’s minds (by sharing stories of economic, environmental, and personal growth that come from reversing global warming) and outline his plan to turn optimism into action for a better future.”

Humans are not rational. We all develop ‘us versus them’ attitudes. If you threaten someone’s lifestyle, you become “the enemy”. Behavior drives attitude, not the other way around. People can explain all kinds of bad behavior to themselves!

This episode also contains clips from the Pope’s recent visit, where he talks about the environment. Let’s hope he has some impact on people with his words. Share this podcast and spread it far and wide!

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