The Huffington Post:
Later this month, the UN’s International Panel on Climate Change will release its fifth and latest assessment of the scientific evidence regarding human interference in the world’s climate. Based on the working papers that have preceded this final synthesis, the IPCC will echo the alarms of earlier assessments — that global warming is unequivocal and unprecedented and extremely likely to have been caused by human activity. The report will call for new policies to mitigate climate change and the likelihood of severe and irreversible consequences.
The IPCC has been studying and reporting on global climate change since 1988, with increasing urgency, and indeed received the Nobel Peace Prize in 2007 for its work. Yet none of these scientific reports has significantly changed human behavior, which is woefully inadequate to make the needed changes. That’s in large part because of psychological barriers to change: Despite the overwhelming evidence for global warming and its dire economic and human consequences, these consequences lie way off in the distant future. They are a problem not for us but for future generations, and are easy to ignore.
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