The Emergency of Climate Change: Why Are We Failing to Take Action?
Article first published online: 22 JUN 2009
© 2009 The Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues
Analyses of Social Issues and Public Policy
Volume 9, Issue 1, pages 205–222, December 2009
How to Cite
Frantz, C. M. and Mayer, F. S. (2009), The Emergency of Climate Change: Why Are We Failing to Take Action?. Analyses of Social Issues and Public Policy, 9: 205–222. doi: 10.1111/j.1530-2415.2009.01180.x
- Issue published online: 24 NOV 2009
- Article first published online: 22 JUN 2009
Latane and Darley developed a five-stage model to understand why people do and do not help other people in emergency situations. We extend their five-stage model to explore why people do and do not take action against climate change. We identify the factors that make climate change difficult to notice and ambiguous as an emergency; we explore barriers to taking responsibility for action; and we discuss the issues of efficacy and costs versus benefits that make action unlikely. The resulting analysis is useful on two levels. For educators and policy makers, the model suggests the most efficacious approaches to galvanizing action among U.S. citizens. For social scientists, the model provides a valuable framework for integrating research from diverse areas of psychology and suggests fruitful avenues for future empirical research.