Monday, September 05, 2011
The Psychology of Climate Change
There are certain topics that can't be won if debated. Climate change is one of them. The cognitive dissonance experienced when I bring up the topic with people is powerful, almost surreal.
I admit it. I will often bring up climate change in instances where I know the group leans sharply to either side of the political spectrum to yield a sharper response. Regardless of their political persuasion, the emotional response are textbook: People react by siting examples of why their viewpoint is the correct one even though their logic and science is far from correct. Then I respond with a piece of science or data that gently and politely refutes their viewpoint. Their final response--purely a defense mechanism--is to blame someone else or some entity, i.e the government or a specific political party. "Its those liberals..." or "Its those Jesus-freaks..." or "Its the BIG government..." or "Its the BIG corporations...". Its at that point that I realize their mind is made up. Try as I might to stay unbiased and balanced in my approach or presenting my information; it doesn't matter. Their confirmation biases already won, the conversation results in a total collapse of anything constructive and right into a chaotic mess of blaming others.
Now I'm done :)