This was included as part of a more extensive quote in last week’s post:
The present research finds that system justification tendencies are associated with greater denial of environmental realities and less commitment to pro-environmental action.
That same study also offered this conclusion from its authors:
The crux of our argument, then, is that system justification motivation is a significant obstacle to attaining pro-environmental change.
SO NOW WHAT?
If increasing world population will necessitate the maintenance and/or expansion of an energy supply capable of supporting an additional 1.5 billion users within two decades, that “significant obstacle” will have to be addressed and reconciled regardless of the inclination to deny and/or avoid making the small commitment to do one’s part in easing energy demands.
Denial isn’t going to have any effect on the relentless and still unpredictable impacts of climate change. Denial and refusal to make a contribution to easing the energy challenges we’re sure to face also won’t alter the reality of a finite resource being drawn down daily by more consumerism for more reasons in more ways and in more locations.
Whatever comforts denial and avoidance provide via system justification will likely do little more than compound the regrets later on by the failure to acknowledge today’s unpleasant truths. It is even more certain that failure to address those challenges now will do nothing more than restrict the options available to us all when inevitability becomes reality.
SOME PLANNING IN ADVANCE, PERHAPS?
That the full measure of climate change’s effects and peak oil’s impacts on us all aren’t likely going to be obvious to everyone for years to come might be a convenient excuse to do nothing now. But a moment’s pause to consider just how extensive those outcomes will be, and how many of us and in how many ways we will all feel those effects shouldn’t require much more than a bit of common sense to appreciate that the transition itself will be years in the making.
[W]e suffer the consequences of a population that believes in the absence of evidence and, more curiously, rejects an objective reality that conflicts with beliefs easily proven false.
A moment’s worth of contemplation as to the truth of Jeff Schweitzer’s observation, followed by a brief assessment of the benefits and disadvantages of continuing to ignore or deny evidence in favor of tenuous beliefs, might bring a few more of us around to a recognition that we all have a role to play in ensuring a better future for ourselves and for our children.
We could do so much worse than taking some time now to find just enough courage to acknowledge that we face some fact-based challenges in the years to come. Psychological protections have their purposes, but they are neither invincible nor infinite shields against the facts and reality of a warming planet and a finite resource base.
So now what?
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The Tretiak Agenda
They began [here] on June 15, and will continue weekly throughout the summer
~ My Photo: The Community of Brier Neck, Good Harbor Beach, MA – 10.27.13
We face a choice going forward. There’s a kind of false dichotomy, a false choice that we’re being presented between policies on the left or policies on the right. It’s not left or right, it’s forward or backward. It’s a choice between investing in the future, leaving a better future for the next generation just like parents and grandparents did for us, or ignoring these hard choices and sentencing the next generation to a lower standard of living, to fewer opportunities, and a future that we could do better by. Former USDOT Deputy Secretary John Porcari
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