Perhaps .. the grim prospects it conjures trigger memories of their own repressed traumas. It is therefore worth considering whether it is the most traumatized segments of our society that are the most dismissive of climate science, due to hardened psychological defense mechanisms.
In truth, we are all somewhere on the spectrum of climate denial, as evidenced by the near universal use of the term “climate change.” Continuing to view the climate crisis in terms of “realists versus deniers” is itself a form of denial. Dissociation from Climate Trauma is both enabled and reinforced by our cultural milieu at this most critical time in the history of our civilization. Those who have most to fear, or lose—parents and grandparents, say, or the most affluent (secure) social classes—also have the greatest incentive to partake in the grand dissociative illusions of endless economic growth and technological progress.
When our most deeply held beliefs are challenged, “many of the most biologically basic brain systems, those responsible for protecting us, kick into high gear. These are things like the amygdala, which tells you when to be afraid, and the insula, the part of your brain that processes visceral feelings from the gut and tells you things like if you’re encountering food that’s bad for you. We have a strong motivation to defend those sacred values.”
Jonas Kaplan, Professor of Psychology, Brain and Creativity Institute, USC. (2019)
Neural correlates of maintaining one’s political beliefs in the face of counterevidence.
Kaplan. J, Gimbel. S, Harris. S. (2016) Scientific Reports volume 6, Article number: 39589
“Our challenge is to create a new language, even a new sense of what it is to be human. It is to transcend not only national limitations, but even our species isolation, to enter into the larger community of living species. This brings about a completely new sense of reality and value.”
(Thomas Berry, “The Ecological Age,” in The Dream of the Earth, 42).
Earth Emotions: New Words for a New World
An interview with Glenn Albrecht (2019)
"Directly recognizing and engaging people as agents of change can drastically speed up low-carbon transformation processes because everyone is part of a system, and everyone has a sphere of influence. Activating conscious human agency that is critically reflective of individual and shared assumptions, beliefs and paradigms is a powerful way to shift norms and institutions in ways that support the road maps and pathways consistent with the Paris Agreement."
Karen O'Brien, University of Oslo, 2018
Is the 1.5C target possible? Exploring the three spheres of transformation
Karen O'Brien, University of Oslo, April 2018
https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cosust.2018.04.010 Published by Elsevier
“Despair is the state we fall into when our imagination fails. When we have no story that explains the present and describes the future, hope evaporates. … Without a restoration story that can tell us where we need to go, nothing is going to change, but with such a restoration story, almost everything can change.… It should resonate with deep needs and desires. It should be simple and intelligible, and it should be grounded in reality...... We need a new restoration story, which is going to guide us out of the mess we're in, which tells us why we're in the mess and tells us how to get out of that mess. And that story, if we tell it right, will infect the minds of people across the political spectrum.”