The COP24 UN Climate Change Conference 2018 in Katowice, Poland has opened with a direct call for immediate action on climate change. You’d think that 99% of scientists, years of evidence, weather records being broke every month, and even oil companies admitting climate is real would motivate people to care. However, it’s the very fact that there is so much evidence of the damage of climate change that people don’t care about acting on it. This ironic twist is thanks to the perceived mental workload one has to handle in order to feel motivated to buy fewer things.
“A big part isn’t the experience; it’s the motivation,” said Paul Thagard, professor emeritus at the University of Waterloo’s Department of Philosophy, who specializes in cognitive science.
“Psychologists talk a lot about ‘motivated inference’ … when people have strong motivations, they’re very selective in the sort of evidence they look for.”
Even though there is consensus that climate change is occurring and that humans are exacerbating it, there are still people — including politicians — who refuse to acknowledge the evidence.