Apathy, Anger, Action – The psychology of climate change


by AIQ Editorial Team

Psychological barriers can prevent people from acting to avert the climate threat, even when they recognise the problem. So how can we best engage individuals, companies and communities in the quest for solutions?

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Three golfers stand together on a putting green, planning their shots. Such is their focus on the game, they seem not to have noticed the danger looming in the distance. A massive fire surges through the forested hillside above the course, leaving a swathe of charred tree trunks in its wake.

Captured by US-based photographer Kristi McCluer, the image went viral on social media in the summer of 2017. It was hailed as symbolic of our shared failure to acknowledge the reality of climate change. David Simon, creator of television series The Wire, commented it was a “visual metaphor for America today”.1 And the photo has taken on a new relevance in early 2020, as footage of the Australian wildfires blazes across smartphones and television screens.

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