Creating a Climate for Change
Communicating Climate Change and Facilitating Social Change
Edited by Susanne C. Moser
Edited by Lisa Dilling
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print Publication Year: 2007
Online Publication Date:August 2009
Chapter DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511535871.021
Individual human beings affect the global story: small actions in the microcosm have consequences in the macrocosm. The climate change now under way represents a systemic disruption that is the greatest threat on the human horizon, requiring basic changes in habits of thought that link global change to individual and local behavior. Such changes in ways of thinking or acting are costly both economically and psychologically, and will occur only when the threat to the integrity of planetary systems is felt as deeply relevant – as directly connected to the individual. Raising the awareness of climate change in adults and children is not only a matter of conveying the facts of temperature or composition of the atmosphere or the threats that changes in these present. Unless individuals begin to identify themselves as part of the process and identify with it, they will not be willing to change.
Human beings do typically live and act in multiple worlds, each one providing a context for the development of a sense of identity-in-relationship, each one potentially more inclusive. The infant begins with a sense of herself as part of the mother–infant dyad and gradually becomes aware of being distinct within it, developing through households and communities and all the contexts of life. The goal of education for global responsibility must be to give each child a continuing sense of his or her value and responsibility as a part of these larger contexts.