Slaying The Discredence Dragons

“The weather has always changed.”  “Renewable energy will never be competitive.” Perhaps, you’ve heard these sayings before. Little throwaway comments like these seem harmless; they’re just words after all. They don’t hurt anyone, and sometimes, we don’t even notice them.

“They know the truth”, I tell myself. Truth, like ethics, is place and temporal based. My education in climate science, my childhood experiences, my relationship with nature – are all a unique truth. It’s comforting to assume that most people understand something the way you understand it. We can avoid awkward conversations that way and continue with our day.

Why are we still using Styrofoam plates and bowls? Why do we still see plastic bags in grocery stores? Why doesn’t every new building have solar? Why are we coughing on inversion so thick it blocks out the mountains?

Discredence is partially to blame – one of the Seven Dragons of Inaction. People who doubt the science, the messenger, the government organization trying to solve a problem, or people who flat out deny climate change are experiencing Discredence. They don’t trust the information, so, they don’t accept it, or worse, pollute more because they can or start campaigns of doubt.

Where does distrust come from? Who do we trust? Sociologists and psychologists have been studying trust for decades and found that a few factors are almost always at play. Who we trust tends to be an unconscious decision. The messenger and how a message fits into our worldview matter most.

This was part 2 of a 8 part series. Join us the end of each month as we slay the Seven Dragons. 

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