Psychological Responses On Global Climate Change

2385 WordsMay 31, 201610 Pages
Psychological Responses to Global Climate Change “Climate change is not ‘a problem’ waiting for ‘a solution.’ It is an environmental, cultural, and political phenomenon which is reshaping the way we think about ourselves, our societies and humanity’s place on Earth” (Hulme, 2009, xx). Global climate change is one of the most important social and political issues facing humanity today. During last year’s State of the Union Address President Obama asserted, "No challenge — no challenge — poses a greater threat to future generations than climate change" (Lombrozo, 2015). Commonly referred to as ‘global warming’, climate change can be defined simply as an increase in the earth’s overall temperature. According to scientists at NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS), the average global temperature on Earth has increased by about 0.8° Celsius (1.4° Fahrenheit) since 1880 and is steadily rising (Carlowicz, 2016), with April of 2016 being the hottest month ever recorded (USGCRP, 2016). For the past five years, we have also experienced the warmest winters in history (Saad and Jones, 2016; Swim et al., 2016). More broadly, climate change can be characterized by changes in the whole Earth system, including the atmosphere, the hydrosphere, the cryosphere, and the biosphere (Swim et al., 2016). In addition to rising temperatures, this includes more frequent wildfires and hurricanes, rising sea levels, longer periods of drought in some regions and an increase in the number,
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