Ramp up the Fear Factor says Professor of Public Ethics October 3, 2009Posted by honestclimate in Discussions.
Tags: climate change, Clive Hamilton, global warming
Ramp up the Fear Factor says Professor of Public Ethics
By honestclimate, October 3, 2009
Excerpts from The UK Telegraph
October 3, 2009
Most people in denial over climate change, according to psychologists
The Met Office has warned that if the world continues to burn fossil fuels at the current rate temperatures will rise above four degrees C in the next fifty years.
This will cause sea level rise, droughts, floods and mass collapse of eco-systems.
However Clive Hamilton, Professor of public ethics at the Australian National University, said the majority of the population is still in denial about the risks of climate change.
He compared the situation to the psychology of the British and German populations before the Second World War and said the only way to make people change their behaviour is to “ramp up the fear factor.”
Prof Hamilton said scientists have played down the risks of global warming for fear of overloading people with information.
“There is a widespread belief in the scientific community that the public cannot handle the truth and so they have been pulling their punches. Global warming is unique amongst environmental problems – which are often exaggerated – in that it is now clear that the scientists have been understating the true implications.”
Prof Hamilton said scientists now have a duty to inform the public about the risks of climate change so action is taken and people are ready to adapt their lifestyles.
“There is a view we should not scare people because it makes them go down their burrows and close the door but I think the situation is so serious that although people are afraid they are not fearful enough given the science,” he said. “Personally I cannot see any alternative to ramping up the fear factor.”
Read the full article here