Have you ever noticed that almost all of the news surrounding climate change is often delivered in a negative way? Well, it’s not by mistake. This is actually a tactic that has been dubbed “Climate Doom,” and most media outlets have embraced it.
The idea is to scare the public into taking action. This can range from recycling more to using less energy. More importantly, it can lead people to care more about the issue politically. This helps promote candidates that want to make impactful environmental changes.
However, there is also a flip side to this. Eventually, people just get tired of hearing doom and gloom. When that happens they tend to stop paying attention or even worse, start pretending the issue isn’t real.
This raises the question, is Climate Doom actually helping or hurting raising awareness?
The Science Supports Climate Doom
If you’ve been paying attention to the latest reports that focus on climate change, you might realize they are not positive.
And as the media does best, they tend to make it a bigger deal than it actually is. This means that the reports themselves actually support this doom outlook, but the truth is that the scientists that write them do not.
The problem is that when you are reporting the findings of a report that are largely negative (i.e emissions on the rise, governments fail to meet goals, more species becoming endangered) it’s difficult to paint it in a positive light.
Yet despite this, many scientists have spoken up that while things are getting worse, there’s a lot to be hopeful about.
So why is Climate Doom so prominent?
Humans Cling to Negative News
The real reason why Climate Doom is so prominent is human nature. Humans love reading negative news for a variety of reasons.
For example, let’s say you were skeptical of a certain politician. You read a header that states that politician has ties to corruption. You are very likely to click on that article because it negatively confirms your initial bias.
The same is also reversely true. Imagine that same scenario, but you are a huge supporter. Well, you will click to read it and look for holes or things that don’t really add up to try and discredit the article to make sure your beliefs were founded.
In either case, the negative outlook is drawing in readers from both sides. Climate Doom is not really that different.
The problem is that climate doom really makes it sound like the world is ending. It certainly can lead to that if it remains unchecked, but that would be many decades into the future if the world didn’t curb emissions.
Thus, even when positive news comes out, it is quickly buried behind a fresh set of extreme weather, negative scientific reports, and other chaotic news.
Ultimately, it can make climate change seem like an unwinnable situation when it’s the exact opposite. Humanity can make the necessary changes to battle climate change and it can be done in our lifetime.
Robert has been following and writing about environmental stories for years at GreenGeeks. He believes that highlighting environmentally friendly practices can help promote change in every household.