WHAT WE CAN DO: SOCIETY
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.