Why is climate change such a hard sell in the US?
Recent polls reveal that six in 10 Americans oppose Trump’s move.
As a philosopher, interested in the nature of knowledge and persuasion, I have long wondered why climate change is such a hard sell in the U.S. Is there something about it that makes it liable to doubt, skepticism or inaction?
Why are so many unwilling to make sacrifices for the climate – even on the chance that human geography and life on Earth will be profoundly changed?
Last year it received a grade of “C” from scientists – which was the lowest it had received in over 20 years.
It implied, as it said, “less urgency to make the bay healthy.” I would draw the same conclusion on climate change: Everything looks and feels fine, for the most part; few people connect extreme weather events with the larger global changes.
And the more dramatic or obvious effects of climate change, well, they are not felt here – yet.
I suspect that because of all these hurdles, climate change is not liable to be solved by democracies.
And China has the ability to take dramatic measures on climate change and act quickly – just what scientists are calling for – dragging the people with them.
In our democracy, I believe, if there is one thing that can be pressed upon the public to sway them with respect to climate change, it is how the U.S. has tackled immense environmental and geopolitical threats in the past, not entirely unlike climate change.
We successfully faced up to that threat, and diminished the world’s nuclear arsenal, effectively ruling out the threat of global nuclear war.