Do our brains hamper our response to climate change’s growing threat?

3-9-2019 polar bear agony
Credit: Lifegate

In early phases of human existence we faced an onslaught of daily challenges to our survival and ability to reproduce – from predators to natural disasters. Too much information can confuse our brains, leading us to inaction or poor choices that can place us in harm’s way.

These biological evolutions ensured our capacity to reproduce and survive by saving our brains time and energy when dealing with vast amounts of information. However, these same functions are less useful in our modern reality and cause errors in rational decision-making, known as cognitive biases.

[A few cognitive biases] are particularly important in explaining why we lack the will to act on climate change.

Related article:  How our brains respond to mass shootings

Hyperbolic discounting. This is our perception that the present is more important than the future.

Our lack of concern for future generations. Evolutionary theory suggests that we care most about just a few generations of family members: our great-grandparents to great-grandchildren.

The bystander effect. We tend to believe that someone else will deal with a crisis.

These cognitive biases evolved for good reason. But they’re now hamstringing our ability to respond to what could be the largest crisis humanity has ever created or had to face.

Read full, original post: How brain biases prevent climate action

Outbreak
Outbreak Daily Digest
Biotech Facts & Fallacies
Talking Biotech
Genetics Unzipped
Infographic: What are mRNA COVID-19 vaccines and how do they work?

Infographic: What are mRNA COVID-19 vaccines and how do they work?

As of 1 December 2020, thirteen vaccines have reached the final stage of testing: where they are being given to ...
favicon

Environmental Working Group: EWG challenges safety of GMOs, food pesticide residues

Known by some as the "Environmental Worrying Group," EWG lobbies ...
m hansen

Michael Hansen: Architect of Consumers Union ongoing anti-GMO campaign

Michael K. Hansen (born 1956) is thought by critics to be ...
News on human & agricultural genetics and biotechnology delivered to your inbox.
glp menu logo outlined

Newsletter Subscription

Optional. Mail on special occasions.
Send this to a friend