As we all witness more extreme weather patterns, natural disasters and shifts in our environment, climate chaos is slowly becoming the new normal. With this new reality, our ability to mobilize around natural disasters becomes more difficult. Slowly but surely, we are becoming desensitized and fatigued by natural disasters: Americans in the 1980s experienced natural disasters on average every 82 days, but today it’s an average of every 18 days.
Most people around the world know about climate change and do want to stop it. However, the climate crisis is a problem that often challenges how people, particularly people in the West, are used to conceptualizing and tackling threats. The effects of climate change are wide-reaching and diverse; the impacts often aren’t felt immediately, and oftentimes, those least responsible get hit the hardest. Conceptually, it can be difficult to imagine the immediate links between cars and hurricanes.
Climate advocates have done a great job of convincing most people that climate change is real. However, mobilizing people to mitigate the climate crisis is also an issue of imagination. If the way we are conceptualizing climate change isn’t working to mobilize action, it may be time for more of us to broaden the ways in which we relate to the crisis, and approach it from a different angle.
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