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Reason in a Dark TimeWhy the Struggle Against Climate Change Failed -- and What It Means for Our Future$
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Dale Jamieson

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780199337668

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: April 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199337668.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 04 December 2021

Obstacles to Action

Obstacles to Action

Chapter:
(p.61) 3 Obstacles to Action
Source:
Reason in a Dark Time
Author(s):

Dale Jamieson

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199337668.003.0003

This chapter identifies some obstacles to taking action. Failures of understanding among scientists, policy-makers, and the general public can lead to excessive respect for science that can turn to disillusionment. Policy-makers are often blamed for responding to incentives that voters provide. This is exploited by some of the world’s largest corporations and richest people who support climate change–denying front groups. Even without these obstacles, climate change would be difficult for us to address. It is difficult to attribute particular events to climate change. We respond dramatically to what we sense, not to what we think. Evolution built us to respond to rapid movements of middle-sized objects, not to the slow buildup of insensible gases in the atmosphere. Finally, climate change is the world’s largest and most complex collective action problem. Each of us, acting on our own desires, contributes to outcomes that we neither desire nor intend.

Keywords:   Climate change denial, collective action, evolution, policy

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