There are major problems with traditional, top-down ways of communicating the challenges of climate change. While just laying out the facts is one matter, actually getting people to change behavior is far harder. Meanwhile, trying to instill fear about the likely negative impacts of climate change is even more counter-productive. Consequently, there may be cardinal limits to what government, the media, and academia can do just by themselves.

Face‐to‐face dialogue might work much better in terms of prompting people to think through the issues seriously; but that is extraordinarily hard to organize on any scale involving more than a handful of people. Thus there remain many failures in public cognition of the complex phenomena attending climate change. Public opinion polls often show that people do care, and do want something to be done; but there is no necessary urgency.

This is where modern society comes into play, along with its tremendous power and tools to shape the world. It is society’s imperative to assess humanity’s influence on nature, and to draw the world’s attention to it. Society faces the non-trivial task of not just providing access to reliable information about global warming, but to help every citizen think about tomorrow.

Everyone must help change the world for  the better while refining their own way of life. Although it is the state that legislates laws, it is only society that can create the necessary conditions for their effective realization.