With the almost unimaginable scale of the impending catastrophe 1 for humanity with climate change, why aren’t people taking action to mitigate it?
Research on the “Bystander Effect” shows that 𝙩𝙝𝙚 𝙢𝙤𝙧𝙚 𝙥𝙚𝙤𝙥𝙡𝙚 𝙬𝙝𝙤 𝙬𝙞𝙩𝙣𝙚𝙨𝙨 𝙖𝙣 𝙚𝙢𝙚𝙧𝙜𝙚𝙣𝙘𝙮, 𝙩𝙝𝙚 𝙡𝙚𝙨𝙨 𝙡𝙞𝙠𝙚𝙡𝙮 𝙩𝙝𝙚𝙮 𝙖𝙧𝙚 𝙩𝙤 𝙙𝙤 𝙖𝙣𝙮𝙩𝙝𝙞𝙣𝙜 𝙖𝙗𝙤𝙪𝙩 𝙞𝙩.
There are two factors:
●︎ 𝗗𝗶𝗳𝗳𝘂𝘀𝗶𝗼𝗻 𝗼𝗳 𝗿𝗲𝘀𝗽𝗼𝗻𝘀𝗶𝗯𝗶𝗹𝗶𝘁𝘆: the more onlookers, the less responsibility an
individual will feel to take action.
●︎ 𝗦𝗼𝗰𝗶𝗮𝗹 𝗶𝗻𝗳𝗹𝘂𝗲𝗻𝗰𝗲: individuals watch the behaviour of those around them to determine how to act. If other people are doing nothing, then maybe it is ok to do nothing.
𝙏𝙝𝙚 𝙖𝙣𝙨𝙬𝙚𝙧 𝙞𝙨 𝙩𝙤 𝙗𝙚𝙘𝙤𝙢𝙚 𝙖𝙣 𝘼𝙘𝙩𝙞𝙫𝙚 𝘽𝙮𝙨𝙩𝙖𝙣𝙙𝙚𝙧:
●︎ 𝗣𝗲𝗿𝘀𝗼𝗻𝗮𝗹 𝗥𝗲𝘀𝗽𝗼𝗻𝘀𝗶𝗯𝗶𝗹𝗶𝘁𝘆: say “𝘪𝘧 𝘯𝘰𝘵 𝘮𝘦, 𝘸𝘩𝘰?”
●︎ 𝗦𝗼𝗰𝗶𝗮𝗹 𝗜𝗻𝗳𝗹𝘂𝗲𝗻𝗰𝗲: use personal conversations, social media, networking, your public behaviours, to influence others to act with you. Use your influence.
There are two further reasons why people don’t take action:
●︎ 𝗙𝗲𝗲𝗹𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝗵𝗲𝗹𝗽𝗹𝗲𝘀𝘀 𝗮𝗻𝗱 𝗱𝗶𝘀𝗲𝗺𝗽𝗼𝘄𝗲𝗿𝗲𝗱: individual change is needed, but also political and international change. How can we influence this? One step and one person at a time: if we fund environmental groups and volunteer our skills to them, post on social media, go on demonstrations to Parliament, this will be noticed by the political parties. If your government changes its policy, other governments will notice and be influenced.
●︎ 𝗣𝗿𝗶𝗼𝗿𝗶𝘁𝗶𝘇𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝘆𝗼𝘂𝗿 𝗼𝘄𝗻 𝗶𝗺𝗺𝗲𝗱𝗶𝗮𝘁𝗲 𝗹𝗶𝗳𝗲: your personal, family and work
commitments seem more urgent than climate problems.
Yet if we have runway global warming, there will be no future for your children and grandchildren. When you are old, and your grandchildren say, “𝘸𝘩𝘢𝘵 𝘥𝘪𝘥 𝘺𝘰𝘶 𝘥𝘰 𝘵𝘰 𝘴𝘵𝘰𝘱 𝘵𝘩𝘪𝘴?” , what will you answer?
Let’s hold our heads high and safeguard the lives of future generations and our grandchildren.
The Earth should not be
a worse place after my life
than it was when I was born here.
You are not helping the planet,
you are not helping nature,
you ARE the planet,
you ARE nature,
you are helping yourself
The climate crisis is both the easiest and the
hardest issue we have ever faced.
The easiest because we know what we must do.
We must stop the emissions of greenhouse gases.
The hardest because our current economics
are still totally dependent on burning fossil
fuels, and thereby destroying ecosystems in
order to create everlasting economic growth.
This is a the third in a series of blogs, the previous ones were:
- Do you know how Nature talks and thinks? https://www.lifetalent.com/do-you-know-how-nature-talks-and-thinks/
- Do you know the path to freedom? https://www.lifetalent.com/do-you-know-the-path-to-freedom/
To read the next in the series, click here: https://www.lifetalent.com/do-you-feel-seen-heard-and-loved-just-as-you-are/
We have a WhatsApp group for psychologically minded people interested in protecting nature called Generative Earth Protectors – click here to join it.