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Psychological Perceptions and Climate Change: What You Can do to Help

How we think in the short run affects us in the long run, am I right?

By: Shannon Bushinsky + Save to a List

Climate change communication is challenging, especially when there are so many different perceptions of the risks of it.  Everyone responds differently to this overwhelming topic based on their experiences.

Climate change is not an occurrence over a short period of time, neither is it an easy concept to grasp.  Rather, it consists of many events that snowball over years that create tremendous threats that humans are not overly great at perceiving.  Our risk perception of long-term events is low.  Most of us are not capable of fighting against an event like climate change unless we have personally felt its horrors or have been warned about its devastating effects.

This is the very reason why climate change policy is so difficult to enact.  There is uncertainty amongst us because we as a population have difficulty responding to such long-term and abstract events.  For most of us in the United States, climate change has not hit us the hardest it can yet.  With the immense idea of this worldwide phenomenon, it’s difficult to personally connect in a specific way.

Spread the word about our psychological perceptions and how we can change our attitudes and behaviors towards it.  Maybe even to others.  As a community, if we continue to spread the abstract and uncertain event of climate change in a personal experience and concrete manner, effective climate change action will occur.

We want to acknowledge and thank the past, present, and future generations of all Native Nations and Indigenous Peoples whose ancestral lands we travel, explore, and play on. Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations. Please explore responsibly!

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