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    The Role Of Psychology In the Climate Change Debate

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    Climat change is about aggregation of changes that are arguable anthropogenic i nature; that have been noticed in current trends of climate studies. First o all; the temperature of the surface of the Earth has increased steadily ove the years. There have been some variations; but the long terms report stil stands that there is a warming of the earth as we know it. Thi warming is due to the imbalances in the energy equilibrium of the Earth. The earth receives a lot of energy in form of ultraviolet radiation energy from th sun which is scattered by the molecules of the earth; bouncing back as heat.

    This heat gets trapped and retained by greenhouse gases reducing the capacit of the Earth to emit the heat; and maintain an energy balance; as the heat i emitted, it is absorbed by the greenhouse gases; so is kept in the atmosphere. Th greenhouse gases include Nitrous oxide, water vapour, chlorofluorocarbons; an carbon dioxide. These gases have been increasing in concentration in th atmosphere in recent times. There have been arguments however that thes changes are natural; and the Earth is going to restore itself as it has alway done. Thus the deadlock in the scientific community as to whether the change occurring are relevant enough to be described as dangerous.

    This is becaus global warming predictions include melting of ice caps due to heat; an overflowing of the ocean; washing away coastal cities; and gradually swallowin up land (Mann, 2015). Thi controversy has been on since the 20th century; and the prediction are only beginning to look more realistic in this 21st century i the wake of events of natural disasters involving water: Hurricanes, flooding. According to reports, there is growing concern about what is going to happe next.

    The Managing Director of IMF (International Monetary Fund) has been know to take interest in climate change; rather than focusing on other primar economic issues; such as Eurozone and China; This deflection is only bein highlighted here because the issue of climate change is outside the majo concern of IMF; (Lagarde, 2015). John Kerry; United States Secretary of state usually talks about climate change as his most pressing concern; (Goodell 2015); though one might argue that Islamic State, Russia, and China are more pressin issues. The USA has the Environmental Protection Agency as their national fron tackling environmental problems.

    Apart from that th Intergovernmental Panel on Climate change (IPCC, 2007) have conveyed hope of consensus; in the debate amongst scientists; that the risk of inaction fa outweighs the losses that would result from taking considerable action to bot restore the victims of this happenings and gradually clamouring for policie that will strengthen the ecosystem and reduce; or potentially reverse th threat that climate change poses.

    The major concern in the debate i the fact that different governments, nations, administrations; and corporat individuals perceive climate change differently; and have scientific backing o their assertions; though firmly rooted in bias. Even though these assertion are arguable; so is the Climate change phenomenon itself. What is arguable i not whether or not climate change is happening; but whether or not the change are progressively catastrophic; or the Earth has intrinsic systems that woul later regulate any imbalance; and consequently; whether the costs incurred i mitigation attempts; and economic consequences are justifiable.

    The Role of Psychology

    Psychology’s contribution i important because climate change is regarded as an anthropogenic phenomenon. This means that climate change has resulted from aggregations o environmentally degrading behaviour engaged in by humans. If climate change i to be tackled appropriately, it will involve changes in behaviour; from thos that affect the energy equilibrium in a negative ways to those that are eithe reparative or the direct opposite of the former.

    First of all, the main driver o global warming has been implicated to be emissions that are a result o consumption of energy by humans. This energy consumption is due to deman placed both by technological advancements and taste; and affluence an lifestyle. Are there effective ways of altering energy consumption or lifestyl to make room for less carbon emissions? These are pertinent questions tha psychological research is set to reveal. Are there certain incentives that ca be put in place; or certain indicators that can be eliminated to improv sustainable behaviour change in the direction of less carbon emissions.

    These questions are in the realm o psychology because of the availability of theoretically based models o behaviour change and behaviour acquisition. There is need for the acquisitio of new environmentally sustainable behaviours in order to kill off the formerl harmful ones. Apart from that; how the public is going to be convinced t embrace renewable energy sources; and the investors in the energy industry ar going to be convinced to embrace investment in renewable energy is also for psychologist to decipher.

    This will involve messages an campaign; which will be processed differently individual by individual an group by group. It is via the psychological understanding of these appraisa processes that appropriate messages can be engineered towards several targe audiences to bring about the desired awareness and behaviour change. There is lot of mindset problem, beliefs; associated with ignorance of climate concept in many societies. This is an issue that has to be resolved via awarenes through all angles; both by governmental bodies and non-governmental bodies (since some people distrust governmental bodies; and others distrust no governmental bodies); the awareness has to be done via all angles to reduce th level of ignorance on the subject (Newman & Pitman, 2010).

    Apart from this ignorance problem there is also the problem of designing incentives; as certain taxes an sanctions on energy consumption is t to generate wild responses from th general public; design of policies, sanctions and taxes and regulations tha will protect the climate is very important. It has to be done in such a inclusive manner that will not reflect any unwarranted hidden interests. Ther has been clamour that the actions taken to mitigate climate consumption wil result in a lot of unwarranted economic losses particularly due to diversio from fossil fuel usage. This also has to be tackled.

    The issues here as we can see have lot of technicality that can only be appropriately tackled via an interdisciplinar approach. Hence there is a need for psychologists to collaborate wit researchers and scientists in other spheres; including sociology, economics an climatology in order for climate re-ordering ideas to be abundant. The proble with most attempts at mitigation is the hidden costs and the possibility tha there might be an unfavourable rebound. This is a call to action fo psychologists to apply behavioural principles in formulation of climat policies that will bring the results that we are hoping for. Since th formulations of these policies that will reduce the emission of these gase into the atmosphere are beyond the scope of psychology; there is need fo cooperation across disciplines.

    There is also need to educate th public on ways of adjusting to the impact of climate change; as it may involv seasonal variations; farmers will be encouraged to engage in very regulate irrigation and commercial agriculture instead of depending on the rains to com at the right time; because either they might come very late; upsetting th season.

    In terms of energy consumption there should be a readiness in society to tilt from fossil fuels to other form of renewable energy. If carbon emissions are to be successfully reduced nuclear energy, wind energy, solar energy and other forms of alternative energ have to be put in good light. For example, the layman is going to associat nuclear energy with some sort of fear due to the capacity of damage nuclea weapons can cause; to think that radioactive matter can be used to generat energy in a manner that will not be harmful. According to McGowan and Sauter (2005); attitudes have been changing and people are beginning to appreciat nuclear power as being able to bring along with it benefits of cleaner air, powe independence; and lesser carbon dioxide emissions.

    Research needs to be intensified i order to identify ways of going about changing the face of energy consumptio in a way that fossil fuel investments do not suffer heavy losses; because, i we are successful in changing the end-users; we should also be able to look fo ways to appeal to the huge players in the oil and gas industry to divest because if a total switch to non-fossil fuels is achieved; the world wil change as we know it; because a major economy driver is crude oil and its pric (Spence, Pidgeon & Uzzell, 2009).

    Psychologists have to collaborat with other fields to proffer long term solutions to this climate change befor it is too late. And efforts should be made to monitor and manage the sid effects of these interventions.

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