final Dont Even Think About It Notes

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1 Don't Even Think About It: Why Our Brains Are Wired To Ignore Climate Change George Marshall , © 2014, Bloomsbury USA . Chapter Summaries by Jock Gilchrist Text in quotations is direct from text in the book . “ Most of us recognize that climate change is real, and yet we do nothing to stop it. What is this psychological mechanism that allows us to know something is true but act as if it is not? George Marshall’s search for the answers brings him - t o - face with Nobel Prize - winning psychologists and the activists of the Texas Tea Party; the w orld’s leading face What he climate scientists and the people who denounce them; liberal environmentalists and conservative evangelicals. , and prejudices can take on lives of their own, gaining authority as they are discovers is that our values, assumptions shared, dividing people in their wake. With engaging stories and drawing on years of his own research, Marshall argues that the answers do not lie in the things that make us different and drive us apart, but rather in what we all share: how our human brains are wired — our evolutionary origins, our perceptions of threats, our cognitive blind spots, our love of storytelling, our fear of death, our family and tribe. and our deepest instincts to defend Once we understand what excites, threatens, and motivates us, we can rethink and reimagine climate change, for it is not an impossible problem. Don’t Even Think About It s that make us is both about climate change and about the qualitie In the end, human and how we can grow as we deal with the greatest challenge we have ever faced. “ Chapter 1 : Questions "I have come to see climate change in an entirely new light: not as a media battle of science versus vested interest or truth versus fiction, but as the ultimate challenge to our ability to make sense of the world around us. More than any other issue it exposes the deepest workings of our minds, and shows our extraordinary and innate talent for seeing only what we want to see and disre garding what we would prefer not to know." "C limate change contains none of the clear signals that we require to mobilize our inbuilt sense of threat." : We’ll Deal with That Lofty Stuff Some Other Day – Chapter 2 Why Disaster Victims Do Not Want to Talk About Climate Change One would think that in the wake of a climate disaster, like Hurricane Sandy, climate change would be a key buzzword in discussion and consideration for future planning. But climate disasters actually activate coping mechanisms that ma ke it more likely to deny climate change. Marshall's examples are two towns devastated by a fire and a hurricane. The residents' decision to stay and rebuild instead of relocate is essentially a gamble. Gambling augment s our sense of future invulnerability : to cope with a gamble one relies on optimism, — things that can be impervious to statistics. It makes sense that belief in a positive story, and hope the climate change narrative, one of "responsibility, austerity, and future hardship," would be un welcome in a community recovering from climate disaster d espite the fact that extreme fires and hurricanes are linked with climate change. Chapter 3 : Speaking as a Layman – Why We Think That Extreme Weather Shows We Were Right All Along . "Weather events can E xtreme weather events are a Rorschach onto which we project our confirmation bias never be ascribed with certainty to climate," so "if we regard climate change as a myth, we regard variable and extreme weather as proof that weather can be naturally variable an d extreme. If we are disposed to accept that 1

2 climate change is a real and growing threat we are liable to regard extreme weather as evidence of a growing destabilization." Whatever the interpretation, it reinforces one's preexisting view. Linking extreme w eather Those who already agree events to climate change can build public solidarity, but is also potentially divisive. agree , but it might also galvanize deniers and skeptics. will continue to – How the Te a Party Fails to Notice the Greatest Chapter 4 : You Never Get to See the Whole Picture Threat to Its Values artiers share many traits with grassroots environmentalists. They are “ boisterous, Rural Texan Tea P ated, autodidactic, and tribal.” So “what had led them to reject the one issue that, above all others, opinion truly threatens the things that are most important to them: family, property, freedom, their beloved country, and God’s creation — one... that has reached this critical stage because of the thing they hate the most: - in terest?” Marshall asserts that their denial of climate change is not about the government and corporate self been told, who tells it, and how it coalesces with their values. issue itself, but the way it has Chapter 5 : Polluting the Message – How Science Becomes Infected with Social Me aning Science becomes polluted with social meaning. "Rational scientific data can lose against the compelling emotional story that speaks to people's core values." And "Communications from people's family, friends, , selves (their peers) can have far more influence on their views than and those they regard as being like them the warning of experts." The worldview of one's social group is of prime importance R emaining part of a . social group and having belonging is an ancient survival mechanism . It is core to the way humans find meaning. It is an instinct not li kely to be thwarted by a chart. If data conflicts with the worldview of one’s social group, the data lose. is apt to Chapter 6 : The Jury of Our Peers – How We Follow the People Around Us The bystander effect applies to climate change. "S ocial conformity is not some preference or choice. This is a "The social cost of admitting a mistake strong behavioral instinct that is built into our core psychology." And , and the effort required to change a behavior m ay be so great that it is easier to continue with a known lie." This r uns the risk of "creating a society in which the majority of people keep silent because they fear that they are in the minority." – How Bullies Hide in t he Crowd Chapter 7 : The Power of the Mob - group and out - group behavior is typical in climate change discussion, creating an "us vs them" narrative. In akes people more likely to "exaggerate their own worthiness and denigrate their opponents." Such behavior m We feel our in - up is automat ically right. “While the bystander effect emerges from a sense of shared gro powerlessness... a sense of shared power enables a range of abuses and violence.” This plays out insidiously on the internet. Marshall notes that on online forums, Facebook, and comment sections, climate scientists in particular have been vilified to an extent previously unparalleled. “Louis Pasteur never considered learning how to use firearms; Jonas Salk did not need to fortify his house” — both things that Stephen Schneider, a well - know n US scientist, did, when he found out he was on a “death list” on a neo - Nazi website. – Chapter 8: Through a Glass Darkly The Strange Mirror World of Climate Deniers Climate skeptics and deniers twist the same arguments levied by climate activists and th row them back. Marshall spoke with a prominent denier: "Our discussion is marked by a banter in which every criticism that might be made by climate change campaigners is repeated and returned with interest. Greens are corrupt. ts. Greens distort the science for their own ends. Skeptics ... are the underdog in Greens are political extremis a corrupt world fighting for a just cause." : Inside the Elephant – Why We Keep Searching for Enemies Chapter 9 d escribes the search for , and creation of , enemies in the climate battle , and identifies a narrative Marshall "They (the other side) needed a new template , subject to inversion , that could fit both advocates and deniers . m to exercise political enemy after the end of the Cold War and needed a political cause that would enable the influence. So they created a story around their political worldview designed to play to people's fears and 2

3 weaknesses with us as the enemy. They try to play the moral high ground but their real motives are money and political influe nce. They claim that they are weak, but actually they are much more powerful than us because they have the support of large funders with overt political interest and because they are promoted by a lazy and biased media. We get abused and sometimes even get hate mail and death threats, but it's our duty to expose these lies in the interest of the world's poorest people and to save civilization from the greatest and narrative works for climate denier threat that has ever faced." activist s alike . Marsh all believes the Such a s enemy narrative distracts from a more productive approach of building consensus and action around climate, namely a narrative around "cooperation, mutual interests, and ou " h istory has r common humanity." In fact, shown us too many times t , or hat enemy narratives soften us up for the violence, scapegoating ." The potential paradigm shift involves genocide that follows moving instead to a story about our shadow, According to ABC telejournalist Bill Blakemore, there has our inner demons, our internal struggle writ large. been "'a grave failure of professional imagination about how to advance this great and transformative story, which never should have been 'shoveled into the environmental slot.'" M aybe climate change should be a ssue, not an environmental one. “...I have become convinced that the real battle for mass action will people i not be won through enemy narratives and that we need to find narratives based on cooperation, mutual ” interests, and our common humanity. : The Two Brains – Why We Are So Poorl y Evolved to Deal with Climate Change Chapter 10 Evolutionary psychology suggests that "we apply to climate change the psychological tools we have evolved to cope with previous challenges, and that these may turn out to be inappropriate for this new threat." The - ional bra in" and the "emotional brain" communicate in the decision "rat making process, but ultimately the emotional brain, mediated by the amygdala, decides where the organism goes. Moreover the emotional brain is adapted to evaluate and respond quickly, and climate change presents no immediate evidence of da nger. Thus, j umping into action can be hard. We are "convinced" by data, theory, and graphs about climate change but not spurred to action by them. Thus "the view held by every specialist I spoke to is that we have still not found a way to effectively enga ge our emotional brains in climate change." To effectively communicate about climate change, we must appeal to both brains, so that the issue is both credible and actionable. Marshall suggests that climate deniers begin with the e motional side of the pictu – a worldview informed by social re - group, and a compe – and then move to the rational side, seeking lling narrative they buy into cues, their in justification for their view in data. But "they are convinced that they have built their emotional argument on the back of a rational evaluation of the data." : Familiar Yet Unimaginable – Why Climate Change Does Not Feel Dangerous Chapter 11 Paul Slovic, a psychologist studying the perception of risk, says that climate change does not activate our risk and technologies that drive climate change are responses that impel people to action. A lot of behaviors accepted into the status qu o and thus don't feel dangerous, such as cars, planes, and power plants. Extreme weather events provide an initial shock, but are ulti mately accepted as part of modern life, as people tend to “dust themselves off and focus on reconstruction.” And, “...climate change does not feel frightening unless you actively choose to see it that way.” Chapter 12 - Term Costs – How Our Cognitive Biases Line Up Against Climate : Uncertain Long Change - prize winner for his work on the psychology of decision making, told Marshall, "'I Daniel Kahneman, Nobel am extremely skeptical that we can cope with climate change. To mobilize people, this has to become an emotional issue. It has to have the immediacy and salience. A distant, abstract, and disputed thread just doesn't have the necessary characteristics for seriously mobilizing public opinion." Climate change is on the wrong side of all of our cognitive bias es for decision making: it involves losses and no gains, is in the distant future rather than immediate, and involves substantial uncertainty. Chapter 13 : Them, There, and Then – How We Push Climate Change Far Away When a frog is placed into warm water t hat slowly rises to a boil, and the frog boils alive. When a frog is enough to hop out alive. Climate change is like the first scenario. shocked , it is tossed into boiling water 3

4 “Scientists... only start to express confidence in their models in the time hori zon that most people see as — typically 2050, a date that researchers have found to be set so far in being beyond their immediate concerns the future as to be ‘almost hypothetical’... The lack of a definite beginning, end, or deadline requires that we ur own timeline. Not surprisingly, we do so in ways that remove the compulsion to act. We allow just create o enough history to make it seem familiar but not enough to create a responsibility for our past emissions. We make it just current enough to accept that we need to do something... but put it just too far in the future to require immediate action.” : Costing the Earth – Chapter 14 Why We Want to Gain the Whole World Yet Lose Our Lives "Climate change is never presented as a choice... Government policy, in which decisions are more carefully constructed, deliberately removes or sidelines climate change in its choices. Even the people who deny climate change have never chosen short - term personal consumption over long term collective climate - disaster. They have chose n to believe that there is no problem... what is required is a moment of informed choice when people have to decide whether they want to accept this risk and, with it, the responsibility for being wrong. Above all... people will willingly shoulder a burd en — even one that requires short - term sacrifice again st uncertain long term threats — provided they share a common purpose and are rewarded with a greater - sense of social belonging." : Certain About the Uncertainty – How We Use Uncertainty as a Justification for Inaction Chapter 15 Uncertainty stalls action on climate change. But inaction because of uncertainty is peculiar to climate change. Marshall quotes Mitt Romney: "we don't know what the world is going to throw at us down the road. So we have to make decisions based upon uncertainty." (Regarding increased military spending.) And he quotes Dick Cheney: "even if there is only a 1% chance of terrorists getting weapons of mass distraction, we must act as if it is a certainty." How We Choose What to Ignore Chapter 16 : Paddling in the Pool of Worry – Wor ry is more emotional than risk. Risk can trigger rational evaluation. And climate change has never registered very high on surveys of how worried people are about it. People have limited capacity for worry, a worry about and what to ignore in order to get through daily life. The vastness of issues to nd select what to worry about produces “emotional numbing a protective indifference to issues that are not of immediate – personal concern...” “...our ability to choos e what to ignore may be just as important for our psychological functioning as our ability to choose what to attend to – and that it is this skill that enables us to cope with the information supersaturated modern urban environment.” - Chapter 17: Don’t Eve n Talk About It! – The Invisible Force Field of Climate Silence "The processes that define the norms of attention contain powerful feedbacks that can amplify change as well as suppress it." " ...a quarter of people have never discussed climate change with any one at all. In real life, it seems that the most influential climate narrative of all may be the non - narrative of collective silence." Climate change can be socially taboo to talk about, and there is also a "meta - silence," where we don't talk about that ct that we don't talk about it. "I searched for two control terms that had no reason at all for being on these fa [human rights organizations'] websites: 'donkey' and 'ice cream.'... Human Rights Watch mentioned donkeys ge. Refugees International mentioned ice cream nearly eight times four times more often than climate chan more." Marshall interviewed the leaders who confirmed that since they felt that climate change was , something they couldn't intervene on, and was "environmental" and outside their scope, the y actively left it out. Politicians avoided the phrase like the plague and instead resorted to "green jobs" and "energy independence." Looking at other successful campaigns, what may be needed is a “prolonged struggle by dedicated social movements...with a c entral tactic of confronting a socially constructed silence.” Chapter 18 Why We Think That Climate Change Is Impossibly - Perfect Non - Storm – : The Non Difficult psychology." Tony Leiserowitz: "you almost couldn't design a problem that is a worse fit with our underlying Climate change is a "wicked problem," one that is "incomplete, contradictory, and constantly changing... there 4

5 is no point at which one has enough information to make decisions." "Tame problems can be solved by a series of distinct steps: firs t, understand the problem, then gather information, then pull that information together, and then work out and apply solutions... One cannot understand a wicked problem without knowing about its context, one cannot search for information without knowing th e solution, one cannot first understand, then solve... Climate change refuses to fit any structure of cause and effect because it is never chosen to define the clear whether one is looking at the actual cause, or a cause created by the way we have problem. " “...it is these socially constructed stories, not climate change itself, that people choose to accept, deny, or ignore.” : Cockroach Tours – Chapter 19 How Museums Struggle to Tell the Climate Story Marshall chronicles two major science museums that have displays that take a neutral tone on climate science instead of acknowledging that it's anthropogenic. The first is in the Smithsonian: "The narrative that the Hall of Human Origins promotes to the mi llion - te has always plus people who visit every year is that the clima changed, that we have always coped with these challenges, and that adapting to them is what has made us strong and smart... the Kochs are men of many interests who like to spread their largesse around, incl uding — oh, did I mention this? — twenty million dollars for the David H Koch Hall of Human Origins." Similarly, climate scientist Chris Rapley was appointed director of the Science Museum in London, and attempted to install a gallery about climate change. The backlash was strong and the museum accepted money from Shell. The exhibit also sports a neutral tone about climate change and energy solutions. : Tell me a Story – Why Lies Can Be So Appealing Chapter 20 “Stories are the means by which we make sense of the world.” “Stories strip facts away, seeking what is most narratively satisfying, not what’s most important or truthful.” Story links emotion, facts, and data gathered by the rational brain. And a compelli ng story, even if inaccurate, can gain more traction than boring or complicated truth. Storytellers identify that simplicity of cause and effect, credibility, consistency, repetition, a focus on individuals or distinct groups, and a positive outcome make f or the best stories. "It is hard to think of any story that could be more different from the complex, multivalent, collective, and boundless reality of climate change." Chapter 21 : Powerful Words – How the Words We Use Affect the Way We Feel Specific word usage triggers the frames that we use to make sense of the world. "In one experiment, Republicans were five times more willing to pay a 2% climate change surcharge on an airline ticket when it was described as a "carbon offset" than when it was called a " carbon tax." Renewable and clean energy is a frame that has (deliberately and successfully) become associated with progress, purity, health, youth, bright sunlight, and freshness. R esearch demonstrates bipartisan support for clean energy and action against pollution (associated with dirtiness, corruption, illness). : Communicator Trust Why the Messenger Is More Important than the Message Chapter 22 – Discourse s stale and stultified when dominated only by opinionated experts. In on climate change become rast, Scott Craven produced a video ab out the pros and cons of action vs inaction on climate change that cont mak ing him one of the most successful climate communicators ever. He appeared relaxed, likable, went viral, friendly. and T relatable, ordinary, hose who "swap sides" on the issue, risk ing ostraciz ation to stand for their belief from denier to advocate or vice versa, a re often regarded as authentic, trustworthy, credible , and s therefore influential . Marshall describes two projects that interview av erage citizens about climate change and lauds them as warm and genuine. "The answer to the partisan deadlock and public disinterest starts, I am convinced, with finding new messengers rather than finding new messages, and then creating the means for them t o be heard." “What climate change really needs are the voices of ordinary people who might not be fluent speakers or skilled orators but can bring an authenticity and genuine sense of common ownership to the issue.” Chapter 23 : If They Don’t Understand the Theory, Talk About It Over and Over and Over Again – Why Climate Science Does Not Move People 5

6 It is unfortunate that we expect scientists not only to use rationality in their work, but in their presentation as well. They are h umans too and their individual stories and passions are what could be most moving about the he topic of climate change. Throwing more information at people who don't agree or don't understand (t deficit" model — that if people just had more infor mation, they would believe - or act) doesn't "information change their minds. "Ironically, one of the best proofs that information does not change people's attitudes is that science communicators continue to ignore the extensive research evidence that shows that informat ion does not change people's attitudes." “...what truly engages the emotional brain are personal stories, and what convinces us of the trustworthiness of the communicator is our evaluation of his or her own commitment.” nicators not just for their personal qualities but also for the quality of Scientists are “the most trusted commu the scientific method they embody.” ("There are culture wars between scientists too, in particular the so called paradigm wars between positivism - (which uses experiments to establi sh findings that are declared to be universally true) and constructivism (which insists that knowledge is always situated in a time, in a place, and in a culture). The few skeptics who have a legitimate scientific background invariably come from the positi vist disciplines of physics, chemistry, and geology – particularly, it would seem, those with a background in the nuclear and petroleum industries. s of Their criticisms that climate science is being distorted for political or ideological reasons are reflection deeper resentments about constructivism.") Chapter 24 – How Climate Change Became Environmentalist : Protect, Ban, Save, and Stop Environmentalist messaging speaks to environmentalists but can turn other potential allies off. "As my work has taken me away from my fellow greens into quite new groups... I have become aware of how poorly that environmental language works outside its own constituency. The problem is that in the absence of any competing narratives, these environmental words and images are s o very -- well, so very environmental." "Environmentalists are drawn to an anti - human rhetoric too, some of them talking about humans as a plague or virus that eats up the natural world." "The visual and metaphorical language that surrounds climate change ma rks it, irredeemably, as an environmental issue. These images, constantly reinforced in every news story and media item, create a tightly interlinked schema by which climate change is detached from the other issues t people care most about." "For many working people, (employment, economy, crime, defense) tha meatpacking plants, factories, power plants, and traffic jams mean development and " paid employment, whereas for environmentalists these are practically symbols of the apocalypse. ed One example of such mix messaging is the earth hour. The "earth hour," when people around the globe turn off the lights for an hour, is a – "politicians like it because they love big, cheap empty gestures " – yet also powerful symbol of solidarity decline and death (darkness). Environmental messaging about climate change invokes a universal frame for isn't intentionally exclusive to those already converted on the issue, but often is. : Polarization – Why Polar Bears Make It Harder to Accept Climate Change Chapter 25 Polar bears frequent the iconography of environmentalism and climate change. But Marshall a rgues it is a misplaced focus we have focused on a symbol that represents what will go away, what we will lose. "This – focus on what is vanishing means that we are perpetually looking backward rather than forward, gazing at what might be gone rather than at what might come into being. It is a visual iconography that speaks of loss, and is tinged with melancholy." It hampers motivation, and perhaps installs a background guilt th at makes one more likely to avoid the issue in the future. : Turn Off Your Lights or the Puppy Gets It – How Doomsday Becomes Dullsville Chapter 26 "To what extent should communications concentrate on climate change as a disaster?" Only people who already have a predilection to be engaged by this type of messaging (based on their cultural and social ties) are likely to respond to doomsday scenarios. "The problem... is that when people feel threatened and isolated, they can adopt a range of strategies to di minish their sense of internal fear: denial, uncertainty, playing down the threat, fatalism, and anger toward the communicator." "Dan Kahan... stresses that the perception of risk s need to respond to these is formed by the norms within social groups and that effective communication values, rather than seeking some perfect cocktail [of fear and hope]." Those who hold a view that the world is 6

7 just, stable, and fair tend to loathe apocalyptic messaging. "The idea that they could be subject to arbitrary impacts upsets their belief that the worthy are rewarded and only wrongdoing is punished." It's important to not that's true is irrelevant effective communication speaks to people in their language – note that whether or so that they can respond. ght - siding – The Dangers of Positive Dreams Chapter 27 : Bri siding": messaging that emphasizes the An alternate to doom and gloom scenarios is called "bright - opportunity that climate change presents. Jr's "appeal to the American conscience started with the MLK - siding... is a narrative antidote to the upbeat word s 'I have a dream' not 'I have a nightmare.'" So "bright negativity of the apocalypse, in which the real problem is pessimism itself." Environmentalist David Orr, ring actual crises such as Pearl Harbor or the London however, notes that this was not the optimal tone du Blitz: "leaders told the truth honestly, with conviction and eloquence." (This enhances trust of the - siding turns down the volume of threat. messenger.) Marshall's critique of this optimism is its naïveté: "bright - It is only a few more notches on the dial before one is deep into outright denial... bright siding is ultimately a - regressive narrative that validates existing hierarchies. It promotes an aspirational high consumption lifestyle while ignoring the deep inequalities, pollution, and waste that make the lifestyle possible." : Winning the Argument – How a Scientific Discourse Turned into a Debating S l am Chapter 28 cientists S against skeptics/deniers. According to a journalist who are often at a disadvantage in debate settings has interviewed most outspoken skeptics/denialists, they are "detached internally from the substance of what they are naysaying and motivated by the gamesmanship of showing how clever they are – as t hough it is all a game of chess." As expected, who "wins" a "debate" is the one who puts up the best fight. And "the mere existence of a debate is enough to persuade people that climate change is still debatable." NPR hosted a debate. P re - debate , the clima te change advocates had a clear lead in a ballot of the audience; afterwards they had lost a third of their support. Skeptics won the debate through their use of social cues reinforced by humor. They won the contest of "who would you rather have a beer wit h?" Some of the scientists got - intellectual. exasperated, condescending, or over : Two Billion Bystanders – Chapter 29 How Live Earth Tried and Failed to Build a Movement "Live Earth" was a simultaneous concert in 11 cities around the world, whose goal was to raise awareness and ement on climate change. While it featured major celebrities and artists, it lacked a clear message generate mov and goals. "It was hoped that bringing so many people together would itself create the historic moment; as though the co - handedly create a social norm for action. But in the absence of a clear ncert alone could single objective and a movement that could galvanize the audience into action, it created a global bystander effect: two billion people waiting on the sidelines to se e if someone else would do something." It was a great show but didn't hook into anything deeper, says Marshall. : Postcard from Hopenhagen – How Climate Negotiations Keep Preparing for the Drama Chapter 30 Yet to Come Copenhagen UN Climate Change Conferen ce, 2009. The gallant oratory focused continually on "setting the sums it up stage" but did nothing that resembled real action. Marcus Brigstocke : "so they blew it, and wasted the greatest of chances/instead they all frolicked in diplomat dances,/and decid ed decisively, right there and then,/the best way to solve it's to meet up again./and decide on a future that's greener and greater,/not with action right now, but with something else later." Chapter 31 : Precedents and Presidents – How Climate Policy Lost the Plot Early efforts at climate legislation were based on three deceptively similar issues that had recently had success through international cooperation: arms reductions, ozone depletion, and sulfur emissions causing acid rain. However, these were tam e problems "with well - defined and achievable ends." "The Number of factors involved in both issues was very small – a mere 25 power utilities and 110 plants were involved in the Acid Rain program. Twelve companies and their subsidiaries accounted for the v ast majority of the production of – both could be reversed within a generation. ozone - depleting chemicals." Their timeframes were clearer 7

8 "These issues created an optimistic narrative of resolution and renewal that was entirely inappropriate for the irreve - ended problem of climate change." Since these wrongly became the frames for climate rsible and open policy, "they defined climate change as an environmental issue and therefore not a resource, an energy, an economic, a health, or a social rights issue. The y determined that it would be best managed through emissions trading, and therefore not through regulation, taxation, and rationing." : Wellhead and Tailpipe – Why We Keep Fueling the Fire We Want to Put Out Chapter 32 ge is unique in that policy solutions ubiquitously focus on the "tailpipe" Marshall points out that climate chan end of the issue (gas emissions) and ignore the "wellhead" end -- exploration, development, production of more fossil fuels. Why? Leading environmental campaigners who have been invol ved in major policy discussions since the 1990s say the issue was simply never framed that way. The common enemy - themed narrative is that this frame, or lack thereof, is due to lobbying and huge influence of oil companies. But Marshall suggests that is the less significant explanation. This leads to cognitively dissonant situations like Britain's Minister of Energy and Climate Change one month boasting about "the allocations of new licenses to release twenty billion barrels of oil around British coasts. The next month... [announcing] an ambitious plan for the Government to reduce its emissions by 10%." So called "radical" environmentalists are the only - group attempting to connect the wellhead and tailpipe in policy and zeitgeist, through concerted mechani sms such as divestment campaigns and the (in this case particularly symbolic) battle over Keystone XL. But "as long as radical activists are the only ones making these connections, their arguments may be marginalized and disregarded." current p olicy solutions to climate change are Moreover, unprecedented , com pared to other global problems, in their ignorance of production end of the equation. "F the isheries are managed through fishing rights and production quotas. Illegal logging is prevented through perm its and forest ma nagement." And drug policy doesn't ignore production, "which is why the US government spends nearly $2 billion per year on international control me "faulty underlying psychology" premise as an asures." Marshall returns to the it can also be understood as an extreme error of judgment resulting from cognitive error and explanation: " flawed categorization. Scientists categorized climate change as a tailpipe issue because production was considered a political issue that was outside of their doma in. Policy makers then categorized climate change as a tailpipe problem because they drew on recent available experience that suggested viable solutions for he job... tailpipe problems. Confirmation bias and a socially constructed norm of disattention finished off t After 20 years of negotiating around emissions, we are now in a bizarre situation. Most Western governments have established programs to subsidize the increasing production of r — with enewable energy, biofuels, and less success nuclear power. And t hey do so while encouraging, and usually subsidizing, ever - larger — investments into exploring and developing new fossil fuels." Chapter 33 – Why Oil Companies Await Our Permission to Go Out of : The Black Gooey Stuff Business Oil companies internally acknow ledge climate change but justify their wellhead expansion by saying society and government haven't given them "permission" to develop the solutions to climate change (such as carbon capture and storage). "The responsibility lies with the emitters who g ive Shell the 'permission' to extract fossil fuels that they choose to burn...'we need the permission that society gives to us,' [the Shell executive] says, but main reason the oil industry 'is not being given permission to make a transition out of fossil fuels.' And the for this is that 'the international agenda is driven by people with political agendas that are unrelated to solving the problem.'" Cognitive dissonance abounds: "They all said the same thing: that as soon as governments regulate climate change they would become 'energy companies.' In the meantime... they admitted, off the record, that the competitive environment forced them to suppress the truth about climate change and ensure that those regulations do not happen." How We Diffuse Responsibility for Climate Change Chapter 34 : Moral Imperatives – 8

9 We diffuse responsibility for climate change, which makes it harder to determine where and how to act. Politicians “deliberately create needlessly complex treaties and unworkable processes to draw attenti on away from the need to do something.” Quoting George Monbiot, “’Government creates the impression that One of the reasons we something is being done, while simultaneously preventing anything from happening.’” hind climate change – or at least there wasn't at the start. be do this is there is no clear "intentionality" (McKibben's #ExxonKnew campaign aims to change this perception?) The discussion of who is responsible inevitably leads to blame, and some argue that climate change "needs 'problem solvers not blame seekers.'" Everyone agrees theoretically with "fairness" of reductions in emissions, or regulation, but we usually conflate what we consider fair with our own self - interest. We "give an excessive value to what we already possess. We come to believe t hat this originates in our own skill, talent, and hard work and is therefore a fair reward." : What Did You Do in the Great Climate War, Daddy? – Why We Don’t Really Care What Chapter 35 Our Children Think source of moral motivation for climate action. The links You would think that our children would be a good to intergenerational effects of climate change "create proximity by showing how future events follow from present choices and imagining the specific moment when they might be brought to account. They avoid the problems of diffused responsibility and bystander effect by creating a direct connection between ourselves and those who will be affected. They build on our hardwired sense of care for our children. And they bring in metaphors from outside clima te change, including wartime mobilization or romanticized 'tribal' lore." Yet attitudinal research suggests that parents are equally, or less, concerned about c c hange than everyone limate else. "The choice to have children compels us to write a narrative a round climate change in which the overall prognosis becomes more optimistic, our own emissions become less significant, we become less vulnerable, and we accept a world of extreme inequality of future outcomes on their behalf. And, of course, people with c hildren can simply immerse themselves in the daily routine of tears, laugh ter, and the hunt for the missi n g shoe and put climate change into that category of tricky challenging things they would prefer not to talk about." Moral pleas, or guilt, is not a go od motivator to action. In successful army recruitment, it "was the combination of peer pressure, trusted communicators, social norms, and in - group loyalty that persuaded -- people to sign up not a moralistic slogan, however clever it seemed to be." 36 : The Power of One – How Climate Change Became Your Fault Chapter In the early 2000s, some environmental organizations took the "personal responsibility" approach to climate change campaigning. They encouraged consumers to reduce waste and live ethical lifestyles. The campaigns were largely failures. In Australia, "a third fewer people considered climate change to be their most important issue after the campaign than they had before." Marshall's interpretation: "no one paid much attention to these brutal evaluations because these campaigns had never really been concerned with reducing emissions. In reality, they were a narrative gambit: to define climate change as a problem that lay at the very furthest end of the tailpipe in the purchasing decisions of t he individual. Behind their uplifting slogans, and their appeal to national unity, what they were really saying was 'climate change is your fault.' And here lies the problem. As soon as one creates responsibility, one creates blame. Blame creates resentmen t, and the talk of responsibility in the home makes that resentment very personal indeed." Another snafu in this strategy was that people seem to think in terms of a carbon budget, where a single token act of environmental conscientiousness becomes moral l icense to justify further consumption. Research demonstrates that "people who buy energy - efficient lights and appliances tend to use them more. People who insulate their houses then turn up the thermostat." So suggestions toward lifestyle change can end up enabling additional consumption for those who are already sympathetic to the issue. And for deniers and skeptics, "demands to change their lifestyle ir confirm their suspicion that the real threat comes from the environmental liberals who want to control the lives." These two tendencies made the "personal responsibility" efforts unsuccessful. “What is missing, and what is urgently required, is a coherent policy framework that provides a contract for shared participation...not the power of one, but the power o f all.” How the Climate Experts Cope with What They Know Chapter 37 : Degrees of Separation – 9

10 This chapter describes how climate experts cope with their intimate and uncomfortable knowledge about the potentially catastrophic future. Many climate experts fl y copiously to conferences or for vacations. The excuses, Marshall says, are uncannily similar to those used by addicts: "I need to do this, I'm not hurting "All of them anyone, everyone else does it, I've worked for it, I can stop anytime, other people are far worse." could present complex narratives to justify their own behaviors, often containing a moral license or deferring class professionals." However, a psychologist "argues that it is - to the social norm among their fellow middle mistaken to judge the se inconsistencies as arrogant or hypocritical or apathetic. They are, she says, best understood as a strategy by which experts defend themselves against their anxiety and the internal dilemmas that cause them pain." She sees this "as a tangle of conflicti ng needs, or... a tapestry," not a sign of contradiction, inconsistency, or hypocrisy. Another take is that experts have created a bubble with its own norms and internal idiosyncrasies. They have "created ' ced a huge information machine run by experts, reinfor by other experts, and all they do is sit around in expert committees, and make their expert presentations to each other.'" How can a swordfish conservation biologist eat swordfish at a fancy restaurant? How can a "They are managing their own emotional anxiety by policing a strict climate scientist fly around the world? cognitive divide between work and play, information and responsibility, the rational brain and the emotional brain." Chapter 38 – Why the Future Goes Dark : Intimations of Mortality te change and the fear of death. One social researcher has found that half of the respondents in his Clima t like to be born in the future. They "anticipate that humanity will go extinct, most likely from study wouldn' rter of the children believe that the world will come to an end environmental collapse... in Australia a qua – not just before they reach adulthood... Extinction is an emerging narrative around climate change together more flippant extinction generally, but our own extinction specifically." This narrative fits into "an al and fatalistic" one that it's too late to do anything to fix the problem anyway. Perhaps, Marshall suggests, the idea that "it's too late" is a defense mechanism, "one that bypasses the entire issue of our moral responsibility." Anth ropologist Ernest Becker's "terror management theory" says that the denial of death allows us to "invest our efforts into our cultures and social groups to obtain a sense of permanence and survival beyond our death." So when we are remi nded of our death, o ur response is to defend those values, groups, and cultures. Indeed "many of the standard responses to climate change, of extreme rationalization, denial, or placing climate change impacts far in the future, are all consistent with our responses to our fea r of death." Becker's theory further elaborates that "when the reminder of mortality is subtle or so subliminal that people do not even notice it, they display a greatly enhanced sense of the superiority of their own social group, and to give increased attention to status, money, and improved self - image." So the that can lead them consumerist, materialistic, superficial excesses present in our culture may in part be due to our background anxiety surrounding death. Climate change is a particularly salient death reminder. Not only are we all can individually do to stop it contributing to it, and not only is there nothing we we are a lready grieving our — own deaths — but we used to be able to cope with our death by investing in things that would survive us, cont ributing to something larger. Now, in the extinction narrative, even that small solace is removed (making climate change particularly unappealing to think and talk about). As Freud wrote: "all the things [my friend] would otherwise have loved and admired s eemed to him to be devalued by the fate of transience for which they were destined." All of this makes it not hard to believe that most prefer to look away from climate change and continue to pursue high - carbon, status - driven lifestyles. Chapter 39 the Head to the Heart – : From The Phony Division Between Science and Religion Climate change and religion have more in common than we think, according to Marshall. However, religions have overall had surprisingly little involvement in the climate issue. "Previou s social justice movements, from the anti - slavery campaigns through civil rights, anti - apartheid, anti - debt, and anti - poverty campaigns, arose through church networks." Similarly, "environmentalists are equally wary of religion and seem to form strategic a lliances with just about anyone before they talk to religious groups." Yet the apparent differences en climate change and religion — that one is based on scientific data and the other on revealed betwe 10

11 kno wledge, myth, and ancient text ording to climate scientists who also have strong — are a false divide, acc faith. "People of religious faith have understood all along that there is actually no clear dividing line between the rational and the emotional brains, but rather a conversation between the two." Moreover, climate change and religion actually face many of the same challenges: both rely on the trust in and authority of the communicator, involve spatially and temporally distant events, challenge our normal assumptions about the - term losses to avoid long - term costs. Religion has successfully world, and require us to underg o short navigated each of these challenges. "Religions have found ways to build strong belief in some extremely nicator trust." “’In the uncertain and unsubstantiated claims through the power of social proof and commu end, climate change is not some facts and figures; it comes down to what’s in your head. And that’s a belief.’” : Climate Conviction – What the Green Team Can Learn from the God Squad Chapter 40 e movement can learn from religions and their success as social This chapter details what the climat movements. "Churches... sell themselves entirely through the quality of the experience they offer converts. - time experiments in what moves, excites, and persuades people." Psy chologist Ara They are... real Norenzayan says that climate activists are missing a major opportunity to learn from the success of religions -- "'these people are ignoring the largest social movements in the world and the ones that have proven time and again to have the powe r to galvanize people into action.'" He says that one of the reasons climate change often feels hopeless is because people are never prepared to make personal sacrifice based on rational ions contain sacred values that are so calculation. But religion activates that willingness in people. Relig fundamental that they are nonnegotiable, and people will do whatever it takes to defend them, including laying down their own life. Norenzayan suggests "turning action on climate change into a non - negotiable sacred va lue." For example, protecting our children, honoring our country's heritage and national parks, etc. One way the church did this was through constant missionary outreach and the subsequent creation of a supportive society -- hrough ritual and shared worship." Émile Durkheim said "A community of shared belief t "religion was not just a social creation, it was... society made divine." The fellowship of people who share one's interests, goals, and values is essential to nurturing conviction and allowing for a w ider acceptance of climate change. With this in place the church or climate fellowship then becomes a safe space to voice personal problems, struggles, and doubt. The climate movement till now has offered no such space. Additionally, individual moments of revelation can be powerful sparks to commitment. "Lynda Gratton, a chair of the World Economic Forum, reports that the most ambitious sustainability programs in the business tial individual." About world invariably stem from the transformative inner experience of a single influen three - quarters of people report having had a moment of personal revelation, making it a near universal experience. ("They described their experience as joyous, sometimes frightening, and always 'ineffable' and 'unknowable.' Although these are often called religious experiences, only a quarter the respondents use the word God.") The language around personal transformation invokes terminology such as conversion, affirm, witness, epiphany. Such words never appear in discussions around c limate mobilization (and they do appear around religion). "Outside the circles of dedicated environmental activists, there is no community of belief. There is no social mechanism for sharing it, least of all witnessing it. People deal with their hopes and fears in isolati on, constrained by the socially - policed silence and given no encouragement other than a few energy saving consumer choices." growing field of psychology research, but not a single Finally, forgiveness needs to be discussed. It is a rapidly study has been dedicated to forgiveness and climate change. "The climate change narrative contains no language of forgiveness. It requires people to accept their entire guilt and responsibility with no option for a new beginning. Not surprisingly, what happens is that people either reject the entire moralistic package or generate their own self - forgiveness through ingenious moral licensing." This is a massive weakness, as efforts towards action are stalled by instincts towards blame. A nd without forgiveness, blame is damning. In international negotiations, "the unresolved responsibility for past emissions continues to prevent agreement ansmuting destructive emotions on a shared approach to future action." Since forgiveness is a process of tr like guilt, blame, and anger into positive ones like empathy and reconstruction, the climate movement is suffocated without it. 11

12 Chapter 41 : Why We Are Wired to Ignore Climate Change... And Why We Are Wired to Take Action irst half of this chapter summarizes "why we are wired to ignore climate change," which comprises the The f content of the first forty chapters. The second half of the chapter describes why we are wired for action as well. We have immense capacity to "accept thi ngs that might otherwise prove to be cognitively challenging once they are supported within a culture of shared conviction, reinforced through social norms, and conveyed in narratives that speak to our 'sacred values.'" Most of all, "climate change is the one issue that could bring us - interest contained in the together and enable us to overcome our historical divisions. This, rather than the self economic arguments is the real reward of taking action." : In a Nutshell – Some Personal and Highly B iased Ideas for Digging Our Way Out of Chapter 42 This Hole This chapter, also already in a summary format, describes Marshall's vision for how to better approach climate change and generate solutions. The key shifts he proposes: - be aware, and wary, of narratives: t hey are how we talk and think about climate change. An effective narrative follows good narrative rules, but narrative can also take over, and narrative is never the same thing as the issue itself. Resist simple frames. Don't accept your opponent's frames, because within that battleground a false debate can occur and signify uncertainty, whereas in reality, there is no uncertainty in the science. - cooperation move away from the enemy narrative. Instead speak in terms of a heroic quest, centered around (unity isn't necessary) and common ground. - emphasize that solutions to climate change can be linked with sources of happiness, including community and togetherness - present climate change as a journey of conviction that incorporates sacred v alues. - engage across the political aisle, affirm wider values, make climate change less "eco," and don't assume that what works for you will work for others. - create spaces that acknowledge grief and loss involved with climate change. Mourn the end of th e fossil fuel age, which gave us a lot. Mourn what is lost and value what remains. Four Degrees – Why This Book Is Important In the last chapter Marshall describes what a world with four degre — aka "why es of warming would look like this book is important." Scientists increasingly speak of four degrees as the likely reality we are headed towards, not two degrees. They continually use the word "catastrophic" to characterize it. Heatwaves would become intense and unbearable. And temperatures would rise over la nd greater than over sea. One potential example: "the warmest July in the Mediterranean region could be nine degrees Celsius warmer than today's warmest July." "Forty percent of plant and animal species will be at risk of extinction." "Overall [food] yield s could fall by a third in Africa." "Four degrees guarantees the total melting of the Greenland ice sheet and, most likely, the western Antarctic ice sheet, raising sea levels by a combined thirty two or more feet... two - and all of southern Bangladesh and Florida would end up underwater." thirds of the world's major cities "'The limits for human and natural adaptation are likely to be exceeded.' The World Bank echoes this when it could reach four degrees between concludes that there is 'no certainty that adaptation might be possible.'" We the 2050s and 2070s. Harsh predictions say eight degrees by the end of the century. About the Author George Marshall is the founder of the Climate Outreach and Information Network, based in Oxford, England, and over the past twenty - five years he has worked at all levels of the environmental movement, including in senior positions for Greenpeace USA and th e Rainforest Foundation. He is one of the leading European experts in climate change communications, is a lead adviser to the Welsh government, and counts major environmental organizations, politicians, faith groups, businesses, and trade unions among his clients. at www.climateconviction.org. His website is climatedenial.org. Visit the website for Don’t Even Think About It 12

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