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Climate Delusions


Speaker Info:

Mark Jaccard
Professor, School of Resource and Environmental ManagementComputer Science
Simon Fraser University


From the research of natural scientists, Al Gore talks of an inconvenient truth: that human's are heating the planet, especially by burning fossil fuels to emit carbon pollution. But from the research of social scientists, we know of a second inconvenient truth: that human's are prone to delude themselves and others about real-world evidence because of self-interest, convenience and preference, and this is preventing us from effective action to minimize climate change. The effort to stop global warming is frustrated by an array of delusions in which evidence is ignored or fabricated.

Even worse, it is not just climate science skeptics who do this. Even people who want action on climate change ignore evidence and sustain delusions that prevent effective action. This includes people who believe that peak oil is imminent, that energy efficiency is cheap and easy, that behavioral change is necessary and effective, that renewables can soon outcompete fossil fuels, that carbon offsets lead to carbon neutrality, and that a global agreement can be reached by voluntary consensus. This talk explains why leading social science researchers know that these are delusions, and more importantly what to do in order to act in time to prevent massive species extinctions and major human costs.