Am I more likely to make harmful choices because I’m more agreeable? That’s what a new study suggests, but to understand it properly means understanding that each individual is not a statistic and can actually make choices that go against the flow.
Many of us know in our hearts that our lifestyle is damaging to the environment and could even contribute to societal collapse. Changing course can be hard, but it becomes much easier when we don’t try to do it alone but rather gather in groups with shared purposes such as sustainability, social equity, and more resilient communities.
Are we prepared for climate change and environmental decline? Not only are we not doing enough to slow climate change, scientists say, but we’re also not prepared to handle the acute and chronic mental health challenges already stirred up by climate destabilization. If we don’t slow climate change, we may at least be able to brace ourselves against its effects.
According to a NASA-funded study, industrial civilization may soon collapse: the social and ecological systems our lives depend on may suddenly fail on a massive scale due to overuse of resources, global climate change, and social inequality. Only by facing this possibility earnestly and fully—overcoming our collective denial without panic—can we avert it from happening
Conservative White Males lead efforts to deny global climate change and other major environmental and social problems. They may be driven more by an unconscious fear that accepting these realities would undermine the status of their own in-group—and the political-economic system that privileges it—than by a will to deceive.
The world is not quite what it seems, as psychological studies so often remind us. We filter out information that conflicts with the views we hold and let in information that confirms those views — the so-called “confirmation bias.” Places like the island of Bali can have reputations as paradise, but do such images of perfection block us from seeing reality?
Every year, most of us in the United States and the rest of the Western world ramp up our consumer drive into the holidays, when we participate in a ritual that’s often anxiety provoking and, perhaps worse, takes a huge toll on the environment. Let’s begin to give each other and the planet a break—and form stronger bonds in the process.
Most aware people know that our economies and lifestyles are messing up the planet, causing pain and destruction. Species are going extinct, we’re contaminating our bodies with toxins, and rain forest is being converted to monoculture plantations. How does this knowledge of destruction—and its repression—affect our psyches? How can we unblock repression?
Science has recently been telling us some truly wonderful news: We humans are not alone in the universe as the only conscious, feeling beings. Other animals are conscious, can think, can feel pain, and can even be considered people. The question is, Why do we need to be told such things that our ancestors already knew?
We live in two worlds simultaneously: the world of our direct experiences—smartphones, well stocked grocery stores, cars—and the realm where our consequences play out—toxic superfund sites, clear-cut tropical forests, oil disasters. Only by bridging the gulf between the two can we heal the planet.
Every day we make choices--buy a steak, drive a car--and the impacts ripple out across the globe--antibiotics rendered useless, the climate going crazy. How does this separation of actions and consequences affect our decision making? Some classic and highly controversial psychology experiments show that it makes us more destructive.
News of environmental problems seems endless: worsening climate change, radioactive landscapes, flooded coastal cities, species going extinct. It can seem depressing and overwhelming. The world appears out of control, and the problems seem abstract. How do they relate to our daily lives? How can we regain control over our environmental impacts?