Psychological Barriers That Limit Climate Change Mitigation

The Dragons of Inaction
Psychological Barriers That Limit Climate Change Mitigation and Adaptation
Robert Gifford
University of Victoria

Most people think climate change and sustainability are important problems, but too few global citizens engaged in
high-greenhouse-gas-emitting behavior are engaged in enough mitigating behavior to stem the increasing flow of
greenhouse gases and other environmental problems. Why is that? Structural barriers such as a climate-averse infra-
structure are part of the answer, but psychological barriers also impede behavioral choices that would facilitate mitigation, adaptation, and environmental sustainability. Although many individuals are engaged in some ameliorative
action, most could do more, but they are hindered by seven categories of psychological barriers, or “dragons of inaction”: limited cognition about the problem, ideological worldviews that tend to preclude pro-environmental attitudes and behavior, comparisons with key other people, sunk costs and behavioral momentum, discredence toward
experts and authorities, perceived risks of change, and positive but inadequate behavior change. Structural barriers must be removed wherever possible, but this is unlikely to be sufficient. Psychologists must work with other scientists, technical experts, and policymakers to help citizens overcome these psychological barriers.

About arnulfo

veterano del ciberespacio
This entry was posted in culture, Γαῖα and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s