By: Matthew Wilburn King
Published: 8 March 2019, BBC, http://www.bbc.com/future/story/20190304-human-evolution-means-we-can-tackle-climate-change
Level of Difficulty: **
These documentaries are referred to in the text
· Chasing Ice https://www.dailymotion.com/video/x1wx8ti
· Chasing Coral https://vimeo.com/229391539
Read the introduction and answer the questions
1. What is surprising about our reaction to climate change? Although there is ample evidence of the damage being done by climate change,……
2. The introduction ends on a hopeful/hopeless note. How do you know?
Read the section titled “Brain Biases” and answer the questions
3. According to Conor Seyle, we are failing to address the issue of climate change because…(There are two answers; find both)
4. Look back on the three paragraphs you have just read. We understand from the text that our attitude to external threats depends to a large extent on….
5. What superior ability/ abilities is/ are the brain of man capable of ?
6. The once useful cognitive ability we posses described above has now become a handicap. The reason is that it…
WATCH BEFORE YOU CONTINUE:
7. Which of the cognitive biases listed in the text are the following examples of:
· The municipality has set up collection points for collecting plastic. You cannot be bothered to take your plastic. You think others are doing it anyway and you won’t make a difference.
· Fibromyalgia can be treated with Xanax and similar drugs. Yet the same drugs can contribute to the development of Alzheimer’s. The young person opts to take the drug nevertheless
· You are putting your son through university. He does very badly the first year but you continue paying his tuition, bed and board. He does equally badly the second year. His brother tells you he should leave university and work. You decide to keep pushing him.
8. What do you think the word “hamstringing” means?
Read the section titled “Evolutionary Upside” and answer the questions
WATCH BEFORE YOU CONTINUE:
9. In order to get a law degree in the US, an individual needs to get his BA and then go to law school and even further specialize should he wish to. Similarly an individual wishing to be doctor goes through 6 years of medical school and then specializes. Both individuals have to face roughly 10 years of further education after high school. These two examples prove that we are perfectly capable of…
10. Consider the previous question and its answer. Why are we failing to address climate change?
11. The purpose of Exposure Labs in its choice of target group was …
12. A large company wants to reduce its use of paper. Which of the following would yield more favorable results? Why?
· Notifying all departments that reducing the use of paper is the new policy decision
· Pitting departments against each other and posting the result on the company website
· Pitting the company against another company which has already reduced the use of paper
13. The business model applied in Japan is the ringi system (find video). In this system even the worker lowest in the company hierarchy can come up with original solutions and speak to managers. In fact it is the worker who actually operates a piece of machinery who is consulted if there is a problem with that machine. Why does this system work so well?
14. Publicizing nightmare scenarios about the long term effects of climate change have been ineffective because
15. You have installed solar panels on your roof. You meet all your energy needs but you have energy to spare as well. You feed this into the national grid and get paid for it. This would encourage / wouldn’t encourage your neighbours to go down the same path because…
16. The writer bases the conclusion he reaches at the end of the text on the facts that…
Discuss the reasons why we are failing to address the issue of climate change
HOW BRAIN BIASES PREVENT CLIMATE ACTION; KEY AND TEACHERS’ NOTES
The text provides a fascinating take on why we are failing to tackle the obvious problem of climate change. We have all often wondered why people are so slow to act when we can see the effects of climate change all round us. This text tells you why. Despite the doom and gloom at the beginning, it ends on an optimistic note.
1. But that information hasn’t been enough to change our behaviours on a scale great enough to stop climate change
2. No other species has evolved with such an extraordinary capacity to solve it
3. It isn’t an immediate threat/ it is a complex threat
4. The way our brains have evolved over the last two million years.
5. Filtering information/ remembering what is immediately essential and that which is not
6. Makes it difficult to address complex long-term challenges
7. The bystander effect, hyperbolic discounting, the sunk cost fallacy
9. Imagining and predicting multiple, complex outcomes and identifying actions needed in the present to achieve desired outcomes in the future and acting on them.
10. The capacity to plan to ensure a future outcome breaks down when large-scale collective action is needed
11. To avoid/ to circumvent/ prevent etc the bystander effect OR not to succumb to the bystander effect
12. The second, due to the social comparison effect
13. Because of the endowment effect
14. Humans are more likely to change behaviour when challenges are framed positively, instead of negatively
15. Would encourage / because behavior change has been incentivized at a local level
16. We have evolved to innovate / we have evolved to have the communication and technology to pass these innovations on