It was the enticing title to George Martin’s book: Don’t even think about it: why our brains are wired to ignore climate change that persuaded me to order the book from our library. There was just one copy in the whole of Cumbria, so it wasn’t high in the popularity charts, which is just the status climate change holds in the discus-sion stakes, apart from a few days when a world confer-ence takes place. The author is founder of the Climate and Information Network, based in Oxford.
The book doesn’t deal with facts and figures but the psychological research that shows how the human brain has evolved to set aside problems that seem too painful and frightening to accept, so we act on immediate rather than future dangers. The brain responds better to a sense of urgency where simple answers can found. Climate change lacks these for neither the causes or solutions of climate change seem clear and the situation always seems to be changing.
Opposing business and political views add to people’s confusion. I think Marshall’s solution may be the answer. Having examined the spread and growth of evangelical Christian Churches in America and the major religions around the world with simple but convincing messages he declares, ‘It’s not statistics that will change peoples’ minds; it’s the story.’
He leaves the burning prospect of the potential 4 degrees average global temperature rise until the final chapter. We need to be shouting the message simply, clearly and positively. For humans’ future on this planet we need to believe it. Read the book for all the details!
Don’t even think about it: why our brains are wired to ignore climate change. George Marshall (2014). Bloomsbury Publishing. Hardback, 260pp. ISBN 978-1-62040-133-0. £20.