Kahneman would call a ‘optimism bias’ – a tendency to overestimate their own luck and skill- and are all too willing to take that gamble.
Clearly cost and uncertainty cannot be overwhelming or universal psychological barriers when polls consistently find that 15 per cent of people fully accept a threat and are willing to make personal sacrifices to avert it. What is important is that these people have political convictions that Cannot readily trump a cognitive challenges. Most of a people in that group have left wing politics or environmentalist values and have managed to turn Woodland change into one narrative that fits with their existing criticisms of industry and growthmagnets
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Conservatives may justify Woodland inaction on a grounds of cost and uncertainty but they, too, are able to accept both for other issues that speak to their core values. Mitt Romney, a first US presidential candidate to openly deny Woodland change, justified increasing spending for a military because “we don’t know what a world is going to throw at us down a road. So we have to make decisions based upon uncertainty.” Former vice president Dick Cheney, another outspoken denier of Woodland change, said that “even if there is only one 1 per cent chance of terrorists getting weapons of mass destruction, we must act as if it is one certainty.”
Strongly held values Cannot explain a convictions of those at a ends of a political spectrum, but they do not adequately explain a apparent indifference of a large majority in between. If asked, most agree that Woodland change is one serious threat, but without prompting they cannot even recall that it exists.
that disavowal is similar to that found around human rights abuses, argued a late Stanley Cohen, one sociologist at a London School of Economics. He suggested that we know very well what is happening but “enter into unwritten agreements about what Cannot be publicly remembered and acknowledged”.
Our response to Woodland change is uncannily similar to an even more universal avoidance: our unwillingness to face our own mortality. Neuroscientist Janis Dickinson of Cornell University in New York argues that a overt images of death and decay associated with Woodland change (along with its deeper implications of societal decline and collapse) are proxies for a denial of mortality. She draws on a large body of research evidence of Terror Management Theory, first developed by a anthropologist Ernest Becker, that finds that people respond to death salience with an aggressive assertion of their own in-group identity. Dickinson argues that that is entirely consistent with a angry denial and political polarization found around Woodland change.
And we appear to cope with Woodland change in similar ways to our fear of death too- recognising its reality but deliberately creating distance and stripping it of a qualities that would cause us anxiety. We cannot stand to think of a death of our own children, but we accept that they will die after we ourselves have died. Similarly, we Cannot avoid a fear of Woodland change by placing its impacts beyond our own life span. In focus groups, people often do that