Climate Change and Fear

Updated: Jul 29, 2019

I am going to start off with acknowledging one thing: I am not an expert on global warming. However, as many people on this planet are - and should be - I am very concerned for our planet.


That's an understatement.

I am terrified.

"I am terrified"

In fact, this morning I woke up my entire body frozen from stress of a nightmare in which I have to run for my life - because the planet is dying.

Climate change is such a "funny" threat because our minds are not hardwired to perceive it. We are good at running away from the bear in the woods - but we are not good at running away from a change in temperature.

I scroll through my Facebook feed and see an article "15 years left until there's no way back". I look at the window and cars are driving, people are going to work... No one is panicking, so why should I?

"Our minds are not hardwired to perceive climate change as a threat"

However, maybe the whole panicking part is the problem.

Here's a psychological fact for you: fear is a great way to motivate people to behave a certain way (think of me running from a bear). However, if faced with too much fear people often go into denial or are simply frozen by fear.

In order to use fear effectively it has to be used in a moderate amount and always connected to direct suggestions on what people can do.

Constantly screaming "we are all going to die" is definitely going to get you attention, but it may make people too scared, defensive or deny the facts. More importantly, even if they get scared - you haven't given them any actions to take.

I am going to paraphrase the wisdom of Hans Rosling, the author of the absolutely amazing book Factfulness. In response to any challenge or problem we don't need to panic. And we certainly shouldn't panic others. We need to stay calm and approach solutions rationally and quickly. Panic doesn't get us anywhere.

So what can we do against climate change?

We can:

- Take the public transport, bike or walk (avoid using cars - especially alone)

- Vote for politicians that take action against climate change

- Support companies that are working towards greener ways to operate

- Fly less

- (Boycott companies who contribute to pollution)

- Eat less red meat. (You don't have to go vegan, just be more conscious about what you are buying)

- Reduce your energy usage: Plug out your electronic devices whenever possible. Turn off the lights.

- Raise awareness in your community

- Buy less (you'll save money too, awesome right :)

...Again this is not my field of expertise. So please get in touch:

What actions are you taking against climate change?

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