Excerpt from an article on Vox, published on April 19, 2017 – the first installment of Climate Lab.
When Per Espen Stoknes looked at polls going back to 1989 assessing the level of public concern about climate change in 39 different countries, he found a surprising pattern in the data.
“Incredibly enough, it shows that the more certain the science becomes, the less concern we find in richer Western democracies,” he said. “How can it be that with increasing level of urgency and certainty in the science, people get less concerned?”
After further research, Stoknes, the author of What We Think About When We Try Not to Think About Global Warming, found some answers. He examined several hundred peer-reviewed social science studies and was able to isolate five main barriers that keep climate messages from engaging people, what he calls “the Five Ds”: Distance, Doom, Dissonance, Denial, and iDentity.
“I had to cheat a little bit with the last D — I lost one there — but it was the closest I could get,” he admitted.