The Green Medium is an Emerald Award-winning, youth-run blog that seeks to innovate how we discuss and inform ourselves on environmental concerns.

Why Do People Deny Climate Change?

If you’re reading a environmental blog I’ll assume that you share this sentiment but I’ll say this one last time; climate change is real and humans are causing it. Irrefutable evidence coming in from across the globe consistently proves it. For example, in a recent study published in the journal Enviromental Research Letters, scientists analyzed almost 12000 peer-reviewed studies and concluded that ninety-seven percent of them found that climate change was a man-made phenomenon. But even in the face of overwhelming evidence, people continue to deny what has been proven to be a fact. Why do people continue to deny climate change or that humans are causing it?

One of the reasons many people deny climate change is because of politics. Many deny or challenge climate change because they believe environmentalism and modern capitalism aren’t compatible. They believe that countries and/or businesses can’t both protect the environment and further economic growth. In some ways, there is some truth to what they argue but ultimately they are wrong. Environmentalism and a strong economy can be completely compatible! For example, the manufacturing, installation, and repair of solar panels and wind turbines creates jobs and helps the economy. As the price of solar panels continues to drop as the technology behind them improves, green energy sources are becoming more and more feasible every year. Interestingly enough, many of the politicians or individuals who consistently challenge climate change are the same people receiving the most money from oil companies or other large polluters. Many who deny climate change have undisclosed political motives or agendas.

The other major reason most people deny climate change is for personal reasons. Some deny it for religious reasons, believing that humans are too weak to cause any effect on the climate or that their god is too omnipotent to allow it. Others deny climate change for psychological reasons; for example, some fear that combatting climate change will force unwanted changes into their lives. These individuals fear that climate change will causes people or governments to take away the things that they like (cars, houses, meat) in the name of environmentalism and so they either actively or subconsciously fight the movement. Change can absolutely be a scary thing! And while climate change demands action, it doesn’t necessarily need to be an abrupt and sudden change. We must act but any change, even a gradual one, will be beneficial. If individuals and society as whole can move towards a more responsible and sustainable relationship to the earth, we can combat climate change head on! Climate change, if left unaddressed, can be very destructive to both the earth and your way of life and so a change is needed. For now, taking simple steps in your everyday is all that is needed.

Whether for economic or personal reasons, denying climate change is ultimately plain wrong. Climate change is a real and human-caused phenomenon that must be addressed. It is only through open honesty, acceptance, and diligence that we can begin to confront the problem. We can stop climate change, we only need to not deny it.

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