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The psychology behind climate inaction

Natasha Kumar By Natasha Kumar Mar22,2024

The psychology behind climate inaction

We are concerned about global warming, but we are not acting up to the challenge. situation.


Speech synthesis, based on artificial intelligence, makes it possible to generate spoken text from written text.

The majority of Canadians say they concerned about the climate, but there remains a significant gap between what should be done to protect life on Earth and what is currently being implemented. Psychology provides interesting avenues to explain – in part – the gap between our climate intentions and actions.

Collectively, when it comes to climate, we are full of contradictions. We minimize the risks generated by the upheavals linked to global warming and we believe we are acting more than our neighbors.

According to the Canadian Applied Climate Action Research Program, 40% of people think their own household is prepared to deal with climate change, while half as many people think their community is prepared. The Climate Action Barometer, conducted every year by Valériane Champagne St-Arnaud at Laval University, shows that more than 70% of the Quebec population believes they are participating concretely in the fight against climate change through their actions. But only 40% think that the majority of Quebecers are doing their part…

Psychology research has shown that the human brain is sometimes trapped by its own mechanisms. Cognitive biases can distort our perception of reality. They appear in a host of contexts to protect our psychological integrity or to soften negative emotions.

For example, some studies have shown a natural tendency in humans (and even other animals) to expect a positive event more than a negative outcome. Studies have shown that it is common to minimize our own risk of experiencing a divorce or heart attack, while assessing the risks as higher in others.

LoadingNearly 155,000 skilled workers want to immigrate to Quebec

ELSEWHERE ON INFO: Nearly 155,000 skilled workers want to immigrate to QuebecLoadingNearly 155,000 skilled workers want to immigrate to Quebec

ELSE ON INFO: Nearly 155,000 skilled workers want to immigrate to Quebec< p class="StyledBodyHtmlParagraph-sc-48221190-4 hnvfyV">The same goes for climate risks. According to the Climate Action Barometer, 70% of the population claims to have experienced the harmful consequences of climate change. But only a minority (21%) say they feel directly threatened. In addition, the risk is judged higher for others, and the further these others are from the person questioned, the greater the perceived risk.

Some of these shortcuts can be taken up in public discourse and used to slow down climate action. In the video above, Carbone offers you an exploration of the psychological brakes that can paralyze the individual and collective implementation of the solutions listed by scientists to prevent humanity from sinking into ecological catastrophe.

Carbone talks about the environment differently to respond to citizen concerns. From popular science to issues that affect the daily lives of Canadians, Carbone's videos explore a diversity of issues and challenges to make more informed choices.

Natasha Kumar

By Natasha Kumar

Natasha Kumar has been a reporter on the news desk since 2018. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining The Times Hub, Natasha Kumar worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my 1-800-268-7116

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