THE WORDS 'CLIMATE CHANGE' GENERATE A POWERFUL DYNAMIC

If all Americans believed that extreme weather events, droughts and wildfires are primarily caused by climate change they would soon react and demand immediate action from their political leaders. It is likely that this will happen fairly soon because of the dynamic hidden in the phrase 'Climate Change'. Wolfgang von Goethe the famous German poet and scientist said  ''we only see what we know". Cognitive psychology largely agrees and says that we only understand what we see - and give importance to it -  if we have a schema  (mental model) for what we are looking at.  As the terms 'Climate Change' become more widely used people will try to understand what they mean and start to construct schemas. As a result of this process they will soon  see  extreme weather events and wild fire in a different light as the occur again and again - after all, climate scientists told us that  their numbers and severity would  increase as a result of climate change. This simple CLD tries to illustrate this dynamic. It suggests that if you want to speed up this process, a good strategy would be to point out at every occasion possible that an increase of extreme weather events and droughts is precisely what climate scientists predicted!


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