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Melissa Etheridge: I Need to Wake Up
Thanks to Eternal Flame for linking to this Melissa Etheridge music video on Climate Change under the Chris Christie thread. I have grabbed her link as a headliner for a new thread on Climate Change...who cares?
Certainly many of us care deeply. In fact I personally see Inequality and Climate Change as the two biggest problems that our society faces in the next few decades. Both trends need to be reversed, but let me focus only on Climate Change, and the broader question of why Republicans have largely become skeptics when at one time they were believers.
Joshua Greene in his recent book, Moral Tribes
, describes how our brains are designed for tribal life. He cites studies by Dan Kahan and his colleagues on how our brains have evolved and are often in conflict (cognitive dissonance) when different parts of our brain are competing with each other. So in the case of Climate Change, the tribal influences of being a "Republican" trump any kind of facts or critical thinking even amongst the more educated members of their tribe. Furthermore, human emotional responses such as guilt, gratitude, and empathy can also be in conflict with the tribal loyalty.
Republicans views on climate change are predominately skeptical or outright denial despite the overwhelming evidence and concurrence amongst scientists that Climate Change is real. It wasn't always that way
. In 1997, two out of 3 Democrats and 2 of 3 Republicans (67 percent for both) believed climate change was real and serious. Since 1997, support for Climate Change science has increased for Democrats to the 75 to 80 percent range while Republican beliefs have gone in the opposite direction to about 30 - 40 percent. It would appear that as scientific studies become more convincing, Democrats became even more supportive. The opposite occurred with Republicans. They abandoned critical thinking and became more tribal choosing to believe all the corporate (e.g. Koch Industries, Exxon) funded studies and think tanks that spent millions to cast doubt on the science, not to mention their propaganda outlets Fox News, Rush Limbaugh and conspiracy theorists like Alex Jones.
That's not to suggest that Democrats are also subject to tribal influences, but they seem more "evolved" when it comes to critical thinking and emotional traits such as empathy.
So getting back to Melissa Etheridges song on Climate Change...We need to wake up!
Also President Obama needs to elevate Climate Change in his day to day rhetoric and not just leave it for honorable mention in his State of the Union speech.
Thanks Eternal Flame for sharing...