America’s shrinks analyze our climate change inaction

The vast majority of Americans believe climate change is an important issue–at least 75 percent, according to a 2009 Pew Research Poll–but that doesn’t mean Americans are willing to do anything about it. And according to the American Psychological Association, that was cause enough for America to spend some time in therapy.
The APA dispatched a team of eight psychologists to study American inaction on climate change. On Friday the chair of that task force, Dr. Janet Swim, presented its findings at the APA’s annual convention in Toronto. The full report is available as a pdf, but here is the official quick summary of its conclusions about American inaction:
Uncertainty – Research has shown that uncertainty over climate change reduces the frequency of “green” behavior.
Mistrust – Evidence shows that most people don’t believe the risk messages of scientists or government officials.
Denial – A substantial minority of people believe climate change is not occurring or that human activity has little or nothing to do with it, according to various polls.
Undervaluing Risks – A study of more than 3,000 people in 18 countries showed that many people believe environmental conditions will worsen in 25 years. While this may be true, this thinking could lead people to believe that changes can be made later.
Lack of Control – People believe their actions would be too small to make a difference and choose to do nothing.
Habit – Ingrained behaviors are extremely resistant to permanent change while others change slowly. Habit is the most important obstacle to pro-environment behavior, according to the report.
via APA.
Uncertainty, mistrust, denial… the usual demons. And it seems to me those demons are just the ones the climate change deniers are endeavoring to exploit. In fact, while America’s psychologists are endeavoring to figure out why we’re not taking action to prevent impending harm, the Heritage Foundation and the Competetive Enterprise Institute will be screening a 40-minute film today that claims to debunk every assertion made in Al Gore’s film, “An Inconvenient Truth.”
Now, instead of dissolving the task force, perhaps the APA will get America back on the couch to discuss its feelings about health care.

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