One of the biggest problems confronting humanity today is climate change, which has a negative effect on the economy, the environment, and public health. Humans continue to struggle to act boldly and quickly enough to stop climate change's worst effects, despite the overwhelming scientific evidence for its reality and urgency. The desensitisation of individuals to the problem is a significant barrier.
Desensitization, as it relates to climate change, is the process by which individuals lose interest in or apathy towards the problem of global warming. The scope and severity of climate change gradually start to lose their effect as news reports, documentaries, and scientific studies continue to inundate media sources. The size of the issue may cause people to feel helpless or overburdened, which can result in apathy or a feeling of detachment.
Main causes of lack in apathy
The slow rate of change is the primary factor contributing to desensitisation to climate change. Climate change is a difficult issue that has persisted for decades or even millennia. Due to this gradual pace, people may not instantly notice the effects of climate change and may not comprehend their importance until it is too late. People may believe that the problem is not pressing and that they have plenty of time to take action as a result of the slow pace of change.
The media is the second factor in climate change denial. The media can be very helpful in bringing up consciousness of climate change, but it can also help people become less sensitive to it. People may feel overwhelmed and powerless due to the never-ending news coverage and films about climate change. If the media is perceived as biased, sensationalised, or repetitive, people may also lose interest in the problem. People might not understand the significance of the changes until it is too late because the consequences of climate change are not always obvious. People may believe that the problem is not pressing and that they have plenty of time to take action as a result of the slow pace of change. This can result in a vicious cycle where people lose interest in taking action because they no longer see climate change as a serious danger.
Why is this a problem?
Desensitization to climate change has disastrous effects. People are less likely to take action to reduce their carbon impact or support policies to address climate change if they do not see it as a serious danger. This inaction could have terrible effects on the business, the environment, and public health. The world is already experiencing a number of major effects of climate change, such as more frequent and severe heatwaves, droughts, floods, and wildfires. Infrastructure, agriculture, and human health are all susceptible to substantial damage from these extreme weather events. Population displacement due to rising sea levels and more frequent natural catastrophes is another effect of climate change.
Desensitization to climate change can have a serious effect on one's emotional well-being. For many people, climate change is a cause of stress and anxiety, and the helplessness and despair that comes with it can make people feel hopeless. The effects on mental health, such as melancholy, anxiety, and post-traumatic stress disorder, may be severe.
How can we change this?
A way that we can stop this is through personalising the issue if climate change, this is because for many people they may feel that climate change is a far away problem but through making it more of a deeper or tangible problem it could link with people on a more deeper level. An example of doing this would be through sharing stories of people in the world that have been affected by climate change and also highlighting how communities have taken action to lower the effects of climate change.
Encouragement of action would be another strategy. When confronted with a worldwide crisis like climate change, it's simple to feel helpless. This feeling of helplessness can be overcome by encouraging people to take action, no matter how small. By giving resources and incentives for people and communities to cut their carbon footprint and embrace more sustainable practises, governments, NGOs, and businesses can promote action.
In conclusion it is important for us to remember that the world that we inhabit is something worth fighting for and we do need to have climate change at the top of our list for importance, this means for many of us to stop being selfish and thinking that it does not effect our lifetime because as it stands it does not seem like the majority of people in this generation care enough about the state of our planet.
By Wesley Kambasha