Environment

Another Reason for Climate Paralysis

Collide-a-ScapeBy Keith KloorJul 11, 2011 2:39 PM

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This climate conversation at the Wilson Center covers a lot of interesting ground and is well worth watching. For a taste, here's one exchange between the host John Milewski and Edward Maibech, director of George Mason University's Center for Climate Change Communication. Milewski: One theory I've heard, one reason I've heard that people respond almost with a glazed over look to this whole discussion is because it feels overwhelming. Edward Maibech: It's absolutely overwhelming. A lot of the messaging consistent with the climate science has been relatively apocalyptic. It's scary. We don't like to deal with fear unless there are options available to us to reduce the threat, so that we can turn back to the things we want to be doing. Milewski: Do we have options? Maibech: That's a great question. I would actually suggest one of our options is to be a whole less frightening in the way we try to explain the issue of climate change to the American people. I think that's a really important insight, that fear isn't the answer. It tends to just get people to turn away.

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